Boost your career trajectory
The right plan and tools will help you carve out a successful career.
Tips on how to change jobs
When you're ready for a new career direction make a flight plan first.
Salaries on the upswing
Find out how your salary compares to RNs across the country.
Legally protect your practice
Know the tools you need to protect your license from potential liability.
Learn how to keep the peace
Conflict management isn't easy, but it's worth the time and effort.
Make 3 mammoth decisions
Choose your goal and platform before heading back to school.
Job satisfaction study
RNs reveal how they really feel about their jobs.
Job search like a pro
Become a savvy job seeker by following these guidelines.
5 tips for job interviews
Make a memorable first impression at your next interview.
Create a winning resume
Jump ahead of the competition with a top-notch resume.
FREE CE: Become empowered
Learn how to gain a greater voice at your organization.
Avoid turbulent travel nursing
Seek advice on travel contracts before signing on the dotted line.
Is travel nursing for you?
If you have an adventurous spirit, you might like this specialty.
Get to the heart of bioethics
Big ethical decisions have a way of influencing all aspects of RNs' lives.
CE COURSE: Terminal degrees
PhD, EdD, DNP — which one should you pursue?
Get on boards when job hunting
Nursing job boards can help you find the perfect job.
Speak their language
Bilingual nurses are in demand by recruiters.
Engaging millennials
Nurse leaders are finding ways to retain younger nurses.
Healthcare in the outlands
Rural areas seek nurses willing to make the move.
Continuing education catalog
Read this list of CE modules geared toward your professional growth.
CE COURSE: Precepting
Find out why preceptors are critical to the nursing profession.
Protect against retaliation
Nurse attorney discusses your discrimination rights on the job.
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Look before leaping when changing jobs
Career detour decisions require introspection and research
© 2021 from Relias. All rights reserved.
By Eileen P. Williamson
Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, is the former senior vice president and chief nurse executive at OnCourse Learning. Williamson continues to write for and serve in an advisory role.
If you’re thinking about changing jobs, there are questions you should ask yourself and decisions you have to make. Is this the right time to make a move? Is a new job
my next best career step
? Am I leaving my job for the right reasons? Am I ready to start a search? The good news is you’re not the first person who has had these questions and the answers aren't too hard to find.
We all worry about tenure and the negative connotation of being a “job hopper,” but it seems the days of having one or two employers in our careers, or staying long enough to earn the gold watch and be toasted at a retirement dinner are over. In 2016, the median number of years wage and salaried workers had been with their current employers was 4.2 years — down from 4.6 years in 2014, according to the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

Each job you have during your nursing career is not the sum-total of your work history, but an important building block of what will be your nursing story. We need to give each one our best, then know when it’s time to move on. As you consider making a change, it’s important to know all people don’t make job changes for the same reasons. For some, it’s dissatisfaction with salary, benefits or advancement opportunities. For others, it’s bad hours, bad bosses, too much stress or too little recognition. Some leave because of poor work-life balance, changing family responsibilities or relocations. With all the possible different reasons, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is, "Why do I want to leave?"
A good way to start is to sit down, take a deep breath and clear your head. Take a look at what you’re doing at work each day and ask yourself some questions about your job’s positives and negatives.
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Should I stay or go?
Taking stock
Is it helping you grow and develop; gain experience; move your career forward?
Is it a job you’ll be proud to have on your resume or CV in the future?
Is it helping you learn new things and increase your knowledge?
Have you given it your best and has it made you a better nurse?
Are you bored or dissatisfied or is what you’re doing no longer challenging or fulfilling?
How you answer these questions should help you decide if the time is right to move on. A recent
U.S. News & World Report article
said it’s best to start looking for a new job while you’re still happy in your current one, so being honest in your answers will help you know if it’s time to start looking.
Once you’ve made your decision, focus on what you want and don’t want in the next job and start the hunt. Remember, nurse recruiters are there to help you get the job that’s best for you. Talk with them; tell them how you feel, where you are in your career planning, what you’ve been doing and what you’d like to see yourself doing in the next few years and beyond. In interviews, you’re being evaluated and you need to do some
evaluating of prospective new employers
, too. Don’t be reluctant to ask questions.   In the end, the facility you want may not have the job that’s right for you, but the more interviews you go on, the better you’ll get at interviewing. Recruiters work hard to attract the best hires to their facilities, and you need to be attractive to the best facilities.
Starting the hunt
  • Be optimistic about your move if you're convinced it’s for the right reasons at the right time.
  • Be honest at the outset about problems or barriers that may preclude making this change.
  • Be committed to the change and to investing the time, work and emotion it will require.
  • Be willing to give the job search your best and do all you can to make it a successful one.  
  • Be sure you know all the financial issues you may encounter during the job transition.  
  • Be clear on the facility, location, role, salary, benefits, etc., you want and be ready to articulate them.
  • Be prepared with an updated resume or CV and a list of
    professional and personal references
    at interviews.
  • Be ready with questions you want to ask in interviews and prepared for the ones you’ll be asked.
  • Be informed about the things you need to question or agree to before accepting a job offer.
  • Be positive about your decision. Don’t let worrying and angst overtake you and don’t give up.
Some final advice
Each job you have during your nursing career is not the sum-total of your work history, but an important building block of what will be your nursing story. We need to give each one our best, then know when it’s time to move on. ”
— Eileen Williamson, RN