You’re a nurse and love what you do, but you have a nagging feeling it’s time for you to move in a different direction. How do you know for sure it’s time to do so?

Like most nurses you were draw to the profession for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was the schedule, interest in helping others or even the money. You trotted along in your career satisfied by whatever drew you in the first place. But slowly, bit-by-bit, you became disenchanted. You can’t put your finger on it, but deep down you know you most move on.

Some nurses wake up and have a “ah ha” moment that alerts them of the time. For others, it’s more complicated. Typically there are signs you simply can’t ignore when debating when to move on.

  1. A sense of dread, anxiety, or unease. When thinking about work brings about negative feelings, it may be time to switch jobs. People spend a significant amount of their lives at work and if your job brings you discomfort, why put yourself through it when you can make a change?
  2. You haven’t received a raise in awhile. Money isn’t everything until you don’t have enough. If you feel like you are not getting a fair wage and haven’t had a bump in pay through additional benefits, bonuses, cost of living raises, etc, after a good amount of time then you may want to consider moving to a different company who values your expertise through compensation.
  3. You don’t feel like you are growing as a nurse. Personal and professional growth is important to most people. Some positions in nursing don’t lend themselves to growth on behalf of the nurse. If you strive to be the best nurse you can be but your working environment doesn’t encourage it by way of promotion, educational classes or positive constructive criticism, then it may be time to move on.
  4. You work in a hostile environment. We all know what a hostile work environment is like; constant bullying by co-workers, doctors or sometimes even management. Unsupportive management when issues do come up. Working in a hostile environment can really wear on you and, in the end, it’s not worth your sanity to work in such conditions.
  5. You want to make a major career change. A major career change could be going back to school for another degree, switching specialties, or even branching out on your own to start your own business! If something major is nagging you to make a move then staying stagnant in the same position is going to cause too much internal turmoil. If you have a goal you want to reach make steps in your life to do so.
See also
4 Ways to Ace the Exit Interview


In addition to working as a FNP, Nachole Johnson is a freelance copywriter and an author with her first book, You’re a Nurse and Want to Start Your Own Business? The Complete Guide, available on Amazon. Visit her ReNursing blog at for more ideas on how to reinvent your career.






Nachole Johnson, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
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