On episode 44 of The Nurse Keith Show, holistic career coach Keith “Nurse Keith” Carlson discusses the ins and outs and ups and downs of deciding whether it’s time to stay or go in a position. We can sometimes feel beholden to stay while knowing it’s time to exit, stage left. How do you navigate your feelings and the trajectory of your career?

A green two-way street sign pointing to Should I stay or Should I Go with arrows pointing to left or right to compare options

(NOTE: please scroll to the bottom of the post to listen to the podcast!)

Many factors come into play when we’re trying to decide whether to leave a job or not. It’s a complicated problem at times, and you can feel stultified when faced with a decision that could have a significant impact on your career. Joe Strummer and The Clash once sang about this type of dilemma (I actually remember seeing them perform this song on Saturday Night Live, but I’m dating myself, aren’t I?)

As I mentioned in this episode, Michelle Shocked once sang, “the secret to a long life is knowing when it’s time to go”. Here’s some more musical inspiration and entertainment for you:

In speaking with clients, here are some of the issues that sometimes come up:

  • What will my colleagues think about my leaving? What will they say about me?
  • How can I abandon my patients/clients/colleagues/friends?
  • How do I know that this change will be good for me and my career?
  • What constitutes a positive career change?
  • What if I make a mistake?

When a change is in the offing, there are inspired actions that you can take:

  • Activate deeper networking as part of your career research and development
  • Research the facilities and institutions where you want to apply
  • Request informational interviews with individuals who work (or have worked) at those facilities
  • Contacting potential references to let them know you may need their support
  • Call an emergency meeting of your most trusted peers, family, or colleagues
  • Make sure your resume is tight
  • Get your LinkedIn profile updated

This a great episode to activate you in your career, and I highly recommend listening and diving deep into this recording!

Thanks for listening and being a part of the Nurse Keith Nation, and if you need help making a career decision, feel free to reach out to me!


The Nurse Keith Show is adroitly edited and produced by James Larson of Prowess Production and Management, and social media and promotion are expertly handled by Mark Capispisan.

Please consider leaving a review of The Nurse Keith Show over on iTunes; this helps more nurses and healthcare professionals find the show and benefit from the information being shared. Just visit iTunes, click on the iTunes store, search for The Nurse Keith Show under podcasts, and leave a review, and voila. Thanks!

Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCKeith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind NurseKeith.com and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of RNFMRadio.com, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at Nurse.com.

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.” He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews New Service, LPNtoBSNOnline.com, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.

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