Breaking up is hard to do, and a bedside nursing job is no different. The freedom of switching to a new remote nursing job might feel so close you can almost taste it… but one thing can still stand in the way: Your resignation.
The news has prominently featured resignations recently, and the term “great resignation” has gained traction. This led to a recent uptick in employees job hopping in hopes of finding employment with better work-life balance and a higher salary. Times have changed, and switching jobs after short periods is no longer seen as a professional death sentence.
Plan Your Resignation
First, don’t let the logistics of resigning stop you from giving your all to pursue a better job. You can address your resignation when you have a desirable offer in front of you.
- Take timing into account. According to Glassdoor, the average length of the hiring process is around 3 weeks, up to 4 weeks in some states. That should give you an idea of how long it may take to have an offer. With that timeline in mind, take stock of any upcoming holidays, vacations, or important work dates and deadlines.
- Find your employment contract. If you have an employment contract, make sure to review it. Many employees don’t have contracts, like if you reside in an at-will employment state and you had no access to proprietary data. However, the employee handbook can be considered an implied contract if your employer wants to pursue any type of legal action.
- Note key details about resignation in the handbook. This includes how much notice your job requires, details about the payout for time off, paying back bonuses, and when your employment benefits, like health insurance, will end. All of this information will help you when planning to take the plunge and resign from the job.
Note: Although providing notice is a professional courtesy, it is usually not a legal requirement. Just be aware that some companies may make you ineligible for rehire, but they cannot take any legal action against you for an immediate resignation if you don’t have an employment contract.
Notify Your Employer
It’s a great idea to tell your employer in person, if feasible (sorry, night shift nurse managers); however, your resignation needs a written follow-up. This is the beginning of a paper trail in case any misunderstandings happen during the resignation process.
How to Write the Resignation
Write your resignation letter to your direct supervisor and CC your personal email so you have a copy after your accounts are closed with your current company. If you don’t want your supervisor to know you sent yourself a copy, or if you want your personal email address confidential, you can use the BCC function, which copies you to the thread privately.
Here is an example template:
Notice how nowhere in the letter did it say why you are leaving? That’s because you don’t need to give a reason if you don’t want to. You are free to provide a reason, especially if it’s something innocuous like the schedule wasn’t working out for you or you want to pivot specialties, but it might not be the best idea to give a reason if it’s “I can’t wait to leave bedside nursing, and I hate this company.”
Navigate the Transition
Now is your chance to give the reason why you are leaving. Your HR department might contact you for an exit interview or survey. Doing the exit interview is optional, so don’t feel pressured if you aren’t comfortable.
Pros of the exit interview:
- A chance to say your piece about what it was like working there
- An opportunity to connect with HR to discuss any questions you have about logistics, like benefits, PTO, or the possibility of being rehired
Cons of the exit interview:
- Your exit interview feedback may or may not be used to improve the company, so you can’t go into the interview assuming your words will change the company culture
- You may feel emotionally charged during the transition time, so be self-aware if you might say something you’d regret
- Be a willing participant in training and transferring your work. This will maintain the perception that you’re leaving on good terms.
- Clean your workspace with pride. Don’t be the coworker that leaves 25 alcohol swabs and old crumpled report sheets in their locker.
- Check your pay stubs. There’s always a chance that last week’s overtime wasn’t calculated correctly or your PTO wasn’t paid out according to policy. Getting this corrected sooner while you are still an employee is much easier.
- Give HR updated personal information. Moving soon? Make sure HR knows where to send your tax information for next year. And if you don’t have it already, make sure you have all the information for retirement accounts saved on your personal devices.
- Get your work bestie’s contact information. You might need them as a reference for this job or later down the line. While you’re at it, get a charge nurse or supervisor’s number and email as well.
- Have a Google Doc of “Previous Jobs” (trust us). Remember when you applied to a bunch of jobs, and they made you add every job you’ve had for the last 10 years into the application manually? That’s a lot easier if you have a Google Doc of each job. Include the company, address, phone number, supervisor name and contact information, job title, and employment dates. Your future self will thank you.
So Long, Farewell
Now that you’re equipped with everything you need to know to resign from your bedside nursing job, you can enjoy setting up your home office and preparing for your new schedule. Congrats, by the way.
Want to learn more about starting remote nursing life off on the right foot? Check out Nurse Fern blogs and remote nursing guides.