No matter the professional field, accepting a new role is, in some form, a leap of faith. You put your best foot forward and hope the role you read about and the team members you met in interviews are everything you thought them to be. Most of the time you’re probably right, but everyone runs into cases where the role they signed on for simply isn’t what they expected.
These scenarios are possible in any professional field, but for travel nurses, the experience of starting a new role occurs several times a year. And with that, so too does the potential for a negative experience — sometimes even one that a nurse feels they simply have to walk away from.
If you find yourself in such a situation, here are three things to consider before ever deciding you need to quit.
1. Recognize that quitting is a "nuclear" option. This may seem melodramatic, but quitting should be your absolute last resort when nothing else has worked. Quitting an assignment early jeopardizes your long-term reputation not only at that facility but elsewhere as well, and you've worked too hard to be known as a quitter. As such, it should only be something you consider when you feel you have no other option and you've given the situation the appropriate amount of time to improve on its own. Which leads to #2...
2. Contact your staffing agency for help and be blunt. Hit us up! Our goal isn’t just to help you find a placement. It’s to support you every step of the way through your tenure until it’s time to find your next placement. All this is to say we won’t abandon you, so let us know when you're in a tough spot and let us hear your questions and your frustrations. We may be able to help you solve the issue, and just as important, add clarity to any financial penalties that you could face for an early departure. The latter there being a big variable that could help balance out the pros vs cons, as no one wants a surprise on their final check.
3. Consider what you will leave behind. When you want to quit it’s easy to think about the negative — the reasons you want to quit. Instead, we encourage you to think about the reasons you want to stay. Maybe the work isn’t everything you wanted but you really love the area where you live or appreciate the people you work with. These factors are not inconsequential. Lastly, don’t forget your patients and how they have benefited from all you have done. You'll be leaving them behind as well, and they deserve the benefits of your professional expertise.
We all reach moments in our lives where we feel the best course of action is simply to walk away. But when it comes to travel nursing, there is almost always a better alternative. Focus on the positive, use your staffing agency as a resource and make the best of a situation that isn’t what you hoped it would be. Things will get better before you know it.