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Leaving one nursing role for another: key considerations

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick
Looking for a new job is a big commitment. It takes time to research what’s out there and to establish what you want from your career. Then there’s the applications, interviews and time spent investigating your options. The decision to move is not taken lightly, so if you do decide to seek a new role you want to feel reassured that it’s the best fit for you. Our blog offers some important considerations to think about before making the leap. 

Money-motivated move

Financial reward is one of the single biggest motivators when it comes to the decision to leave a job. With the NHS at the tail end of a pay freeze that began in 2010, it’s hard to imagine that salaries on offer are going to be lucrative, yet salary is still an important factor to consider. 

A tempting salary might encourage nurses or care workers to consider moving away from the NHS and into the private sector. If location is something you’re flexible on, then the higher salaries on offer in London can be an attractive draw if money is high on your list of priorities.

Regional considerations: City vs. Country

Demand is high for healthcare professionals across the country and especially so in more rural areas. While the salaries on offer might not quite match up to London rates, you might view the high demand as having value in its own right, with fewer candidates to compete with. Working at a hospital, GP surgery or care home in a more remote region also brings with it lifestyle benefits that are not directly related to salary. For instance, a different pace of life and the chance to live and work in a smaller community. 

Perks of working in different regions

The decision to leave a job is never easy and can be complicated by personal factors. If your job search also involves a move to a different area of the country it’s vital that you find a job that works for you. As anyone working in healthcare will testify, our population is ageing and younger generations are having to care for older relatives more often. Being close to family can make a big difference to whether a job continues to be suitable for you. 

For nurses whose shift patterns involve evenings, nights and weekend working, the support of family to help look after children can be invaluable. Indeed, statistics published by Age UK suggest that 20% of grandparents that help look after grandchildren feel that the parents would not have been able to continue working without childcare help. If you do have to balance your job with particular needs outside of work, consider approaching potential employers with requests to consider a part-time or flexible working arrangement. 

Management issues

Many candidates cite management issues as a major factor when deciding to look for a new job. And with the NHS being the world’s fifth largest employer, the frustration felt at how such a vast organisation is managed can feel overwhelming to nurses and care workers. If you’re struggling with how workloads are managed at your hospital, surgery or care home it could be a signal to move on. Perhaps there’s simply too much work or not enough. Either way, seeking a new role elsewhere will help keep things fresh and interesting. 

Or perhaps you’d like to have your own input into how team members and work are managed? Maybe you’d like to influence how systems and processes work or feel that you would like to lead others. If management opportunities are not forthcoming in your current role, a move can give you the chance to expand your skills. 

Job titles: moving on with your career

A new job title brings with it new responsibilities, a new pay band and a chance to expand your skills and experience. If you’re looking for a challenge then a new job could be just the key to unlocking areas of nursing and care work that you haven’t previously experienced.
Ask your manager about opportunities for development or upcoming vacancies and ask them to point you in the right direction. If there’s nothing coming up then a move can broaden your horizons and expose you to opportunities that you might otherwise have missed. 

There are many different factors that prompt the decision to leave a job. Reasons are often complex and different for each individual. Large issues can feel too big to handle but a variety of small issues added together can be equally as motivating to look elsewhere. The important thing is to consider is what matters to you: money, family commitments or career advancement. Think carefully about what’s on offer in your current job and weigh that against what a different role can offer – and how that sits with what you want. 

If you found this blog interesting, why not have a look at our other post on Top career tips for nurses. Or if you’re looking for that perfect role, then check out all the vacancies we have available, and please do register your CV with us.
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