How to Successfully Quit Your Nursing Job [Ultimate Guide]

nursing woman

Having a nursing career means you have a lot to juggle, a lot of opportunities coming left right and center, and a big responsibility on your hands.

This can be both exciting and scary, but there comes a time in your career when you have to make a change…or just want a change.

You might be offered a new position in an entire new city, or even a different department, a new specialty or to retire altogether.

Whatever your reasons, I’m here to help you quit your nursing job the right way.

I specialize in helping people quit their jobs, so you’ve landed on the right page and I’m happy to steer you in the right direction.

There Will Be Doubts & A Lot of Excuses


You’re going to have so many doubts and question whether quitting is right for you.

Deep down you know you aren’t in the right job, so you’ll continue making excuses not to quit and may end up in the same miserable job for the rest of your life.

And that’s definitely not a good thing, but very common for most people on the planet

Because you worked so hard to become a nurse, you’ll tell yourself that it would be all for nothing, or that your friends and family are going to be disappointed in you.

These are all excuses, it’s a defense mechanism humans do to make themselves feel better about a bad situation.

They know they’re in a job they don’t want to be in, but they make excuses to justify their actions (or lack thereof), which is not leaving!

Sure, your family might be disappointed in you but they’ll soon get over it when they see you’re happier.

And at the end of the day, it wasn’t a waste of time, it was all a learning curve.

Life is all about learning, so you succeeded.

You only fail when you stop learning and growing and becoming a better version of yourself.

Should You Quit?


First and foremost you need to ask yourself if quitting is the right thing for you.

Don’t worry about your parents, your patients, your co-workers or your friends, do what you think is right for you.

Ask yourself is quitting going to make you happier?

Because at the end of the day, that’s all we’re trying to accomplish in this world.

We all just want to be happy, and staying in a miserable job for the rest of your life is going to destroy you mentally.

Don’t overthink this step, as it really is as simple answering in a split second.

If you’ve been unhappy in your nursing job and can’t stand everyday, you can’t stand waking up in the morning for another dreaded shift, maybe it’s the best option to get out while you still have your wits about you.

You should know right away if you need to quit your nursing job.

A good indication is that you are unhappy all the time (especially everyday) and all you can think about is leaving and doing something else, or your next day off.

That’s your number one indicator right there!

Reasons to Quit Nursing


1. You’re sick of it

This isn’t uncommon at all.

Many people in different jobs get sick of what they do.

When we get “use” to what we do, we get bored.

However, if it’s your passion it changes the entire playing field.

You likely won’t get bored and you’ll spring out of bed in in the morning.

But on the other hand, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll get bored and want to do something else.

One reason to quit nursing is that you’re sick of the people, sick of the workplace, sick of the hospital, sick of the patients, sick of the hours and everything else that comes with it.

You’re just an all-round miserable person as a result of you not enjoying your nursing job.

It might not be a good idea to leave if you’re just sick of a couple things, but if you’re absolutely sick of everything else I mentioned, then by all means kick that nursing job to the curb.

2. You’re Switching Positions

You might be moving to another position or another department in another hospital on the other side of the city.

You might be needed elsewhere in a position more suitable for you and your hours.

This is a viable reason to quit your nursing job and thus has to be done gracefully so you don’t burn bridges, which is a bad thing to do in a small community like nursing.

3. You’re Moving to a New City

dubai city

You might be wanting a change of scenery, you might want to get away from family or your spouse might need to move for a new job.

Whatever reason, moving to a new city means more opportunities for your nursing career, or a new career altogether.

It’s completely okay to quit your nursing job for a new job in another city, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

4. You Just Want a Change

Change is good, it opens new opportunities and allows you to fully live instead of living in the same place and doing the same thing for the rest of your life.

I’ve made huge changes in my life.

Were they scary? Of course.

Did I have doubts? Of course.

But did I experience the changes I visualized in my head? Absolutely.

I took action and pursued the necessary steps it took to make those things become reality.

I became happier because I knew it was the right thing to do and that’s why I’m here to tell you it CAN be done, you CAN do whatever you set your mind to.

Even though it sounds cliche, it is so true and holds so much value when you believe in it.

How to Successfully Leave Nursing


1. Quit Gracefully By Giving 2 Weeks Notice

No matter the circumstances, you’ll definitely want to give 2 weeks notice if you want to move on to another important position.

Give 2 weeks minimum, and 3-4 weeks only if it’s possible.

3-4 weeks will be better because it shows your professionalism and that you are trying to make it as easy as possible for them to find a replacement.

However, 2 weeks notice is also good and shows you’re professional, courteous and you actually care about your employers and co-workers.

If you don’t want to get back into nursing again or any other important position, then quitting on the spot can be done but not recommended.

2. Put it in Writing

Another way to look professional and get a good reference for your new employer is to put your notice in writing.

Don’t overthink this step.

A couple of paragraphs is perfect.

Half a page is good if you’ve got a good relationship with your employer, and a full page is overkill.

Don’t do that.

Put your 2-4 weeks notice in writing and then move on to the next step.

A few key points that need to be in your resignation letter are:

  • The last day you plan to work (so they know when to stop scheduling you)
  • Thank them for the skills and knowledge you learned and emphasize that you are grateful for your time there
  • Wish them all the very best for the future

3. Hand it to Your Manager

Personally give your letter of resignation to your manager, do not leave it on their desk at the end of your shift.

You CAN do so if you don’t see your manager very often, which is likely the case if you work for a large company.

Otherwise personally hand in your notice.

If they ask what it is, tell them that they need to have a look at it. Don’t tell them what it is, let them read it for themselves.

They might even read it in front of you and give you your blessing on the spot, as this is what happened with me (not in nursing, but another job).

Do not leave it on their desk because this is going to catch them by surprise and maybe put them in a bad mood.

Personally handing them the letter shows you are a professional and that you are ready to answer all questions that come your way, like a professional nurse does.

4. Avoid Being Negative

happy coworkers

At no point should you bring up bad points about the workplace, the coworkers, the patients or the employers.

You are a professional nurse and you need to act like one at all times.

Even if your manager was the worst person that walked in your life, or your coworkers need a lamp thrown at their head, these negative things need to stay out of your mouth.

Do not mention anything bad about anyone while you’re at the exit interview and in your letter of resignation.

Just give your primary reason which is that you’re moving to a new city, or whatever your reason is, and stick to it.

You do not need multiple reasons, you only need one.

This will keep your head clear throughout the process and you’ll be able to answer questions easily and as smoothly as possible.

5. Ask For References

Be sure to ask your managers if you can use them as a reference in the future.

At this point, since you’ve been so professional throughout this entire process, they will happily give you a good reference and I already know it.

Other references overlooked most of the time are your coworkers!

It doesn’t need to be managers that you can use as a reference, it can be someone you worked side-by-side with everyday.

Someone you look up to in the workplace is a great reference because they can see how much you try and aspire to be a better person.

These are the type of references you should be getting, so ask a few coworkers to be your reference in the future, they will love that you asked them!

The Final Takeaway


Nursing is stressful, difficult and can beat you while you’re down over and over again if you let it.

It is not an easy job and requires strong resilience and a willingness to improve and get better.

It is certainly a difficult job and one that requires sleepless nights especially when you’re going through school and studying.

You go through so much just to become a nurse, so you feel like it’ll all be a waste of time.

But that’s not the case.

Nursing is not for everyone and that’s okay, you might want to do something else with your life.

You might eventually find something that makes you spring out of bed every morning, because in my opinion, that is the end goal.

You should be striving to find a job that you love, your passion.

When you can do that then you will love going to work everyday and you’ll perform your best since you love what you’re doing.

What I Do & Love For a Living


I refuse to be apart of the system.

I always hated working for someone else because I’m a guy that loves freedom.

I don’t want to be tied down to a schedule, I want to do what I want, when I want.

That’s why I searched for other means of income and started looking for ways to make money online.

I found different systems, some made me a couple dollars here and there.

Most of them worked but they weren’t sustainable. They only make you beer money, or even only a couple cents!

Then I found out how to create a blog, write articles and rank them in the search engines.

This created a new life for me, as I was ACTUALLY living my dream of living the laptop lifestyle.

Now I’m not saying this is for you but it certainly works for those that hate their job and want to live life on their own terms.

It is called Wealthy Affiliate and it’s the best thing that happened since the internet!

The training is just that good and you can even use it for free.

Well that’s my recommendation if you still don’t know what to do after quitting your nursing job.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Why do you want to quit your nursing job? Let us know in the comments below.

-Brandon

Job Quitters Unite

10 thoughts on “How to Successfully Quit Your Nursing Job [Ultimate Guide]”

  1. Thank you for this great post!

    I have a nursing friend who has mentioned wanting to change things up in her work life but she’s so afraid of quitting.  Not just because it would leave her in a state of unknown but because she’s just not sure how to go about it the right way.

    This post is perfect for her.  You give excellent advice and even offer potential reasons for quitting in the first place.

    I think this will help her out immensely.  I plan to share it with her tonight.

    Thanks again,

    Scott

  2. Hello Brandon, this is a very good post here on how to quit for a nurse. I have a friend who is looking to quit because her fiancee says they will be moving to a new city pretty soon. In your tips, you have recommended that they give a two weeks notice but in some cases, one doesn’t have two weeks and she might still want to quit gracefully, what do you think she should do?

    1. Sometimes that does happen and the only thing you can really do in this case is to write your resignation letter, explain your situation (even if you are only able to give a week or less notice), apologize for the short notice and hopefully they will understand and give you their blessing.

      Although this might have an effect on your reference later on, so keep that in mind.

  3. I would love to quit my 9-5. I feel almost no satisfaction from work and I would love to be my own boss. I think whenever I build up the courage I will follow your advice for steps to quitting and do it. I just can’t do it yet because I have bills and responsibilities. 

    1. It sucks when you have no satisfaction. I’ve been in that position numerous times before and it’s mentally draining.

      We all have bills but ONE thing I recommend is to build up an online business until you are making enough money to leave.

      Hope this helps, friend.

  4. great post! there is so much stuff I can relate to what you are writing.

    I’m currently still stuck with my nursing job but I’m slowly expanding my own business in the background waiting for the right moment to say adios.

    it does give me doubts sometimes whether its the right thing to do but facing those daily struggle with my job is really convincing me to keep on pushing forward.

    thanks for this motivational post and all the best 

    1. Great job for figuring out a way to leave your nursing job. It’s not easy to make such giant leaps but when you do, it’s the best thing in the world and I can promise you that because I’ve been done it all before 🙂

      Good luck!!!

  5. Nursing I think is actually a nice job for ladies. Two of my school friends (both ladies) told me that what they would love to become in life is nurse. I asked why, their response to me was that it is what gives them joy. It was pretty surprising to me anyways. Maybe they need to read this article incase they want to quit later

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