GI office nurse as a newgrad - waste of skills?

  1. I just recently graduated from an ADN nursing program and I got my license last Tuesday. Here's my dilemma: I've been working in outpatient settings for the last 17 years as Medical Assistant. Many different specialties, family practice, pedi, endocrine, OB/GYN, internal med, GI, ... Now that I graduated, the office I've been working for for the last year of my nursing school wants me to stay and be their nurse. They've never had a licensed nurse before, always MA's. So, they're kind proud to be able to say "I'll get the nurse for you...".

    I really, really like the job, it's fast paced, lots of phone triage, precerts, medication problems, .... I jsut absolutely love my 2 GI doc's, they've managed to spoil me like hell the last year. Also, the PA is now a good friend of mine and I'd really hate to leave them at this time.

    I do wanna go into the hospital one day, but I don't think I'm mentally ready for floor nursing. I like the Mo-Fri, they've adjusted my pay (I'm now salaried) to a rate that's maybe 3 - 4 dollars below the hospital, but it's still about double of what I made before.

    All you "seasoned" nurses out there - what do you think? Am I making a mistake by staying in a doctor's office instead of going on a Med/Surg floor? I know I need the hospital experience, but what do you think my chances are of getting a job at a hospital in a few years, if I ever get tired of outpatient?

    My ultimate goal is Level I, II, or III nursery. But maybe later???? Let me know your thoughts. I'm torn about what to do!!!!!!!!!!!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   purplemania
    If you are satisfied with your job and pay, why risk becoming dissatisfied? Sounds like a great opportunity to show them what you learned. Maybe you can initiate teaching strategies for patient education, or you can teach staff about sterile technique, etc. Do you have a BLS Instructor card? Sounds like a great nursing job to me.
  4. by   Darlene K.
    I was in the same situation. I worked as an MA for 11 years and once I graduated LPN school the physician I was working for wanted me to stay (and I wanted to stay) because it was comfortable. But I felt that if I didn't get the hospital experience as a new graduate, I might not ever get the chance. I have a friend that went to PN school with me who was also a MA decided not to go the hospital imediately, now that she would like to try it (9 years later) she's not getting any offers. The hospitals seem to want new grads or recent hospital experience.

    I would say if you don't want to leave your office job, don't. But I would try to at least get on at a local hospital prn.

    By the way, I worked GI for 7 years (same physician) until I finished LPN school. I couldn't imagine doing anything else, I loved it. Until, I stepped into the ER. Good luck to you!
  5. by   newgrad04
    Thanks, guys! I know that I really need some inpatient experience, beyond the little bit that they teach us in RN-school. But with todays nursing shortage, don't y'all think I should be able to get a hospital job if I ever get tired of outpatient?

    Really, I like outpatient clinics because you actually get to KNOW your patients. You know them for years, sometimes. That's the disadvantage (or advantage, for some of us!!!) of working in a hospital. Yes, the pay's better, but I'm not that much below hospital entry-level RN's.

    I guess, I'm kinda giving the answer to my inital question myself! Should I stay or should I go? I think, I'll stick around for a while, see how it goes. The only thing I don't like it the salary part. I'd prefer to be hourly. But I'll just have to be careful and make sure I don't end up getting used. That's when it's time to re-think this.

    I really love my GI-docs and my co-workers. We're sorta like a family, very different environment from where I worked before. Even the docs constantly try to make us feel comfortable and happy at work. Sounds to good to be true, doesn't it?????? Like heaven in the workplace???? Who else can call their boss "Mommy" and "Daddy"? I'm for real, guys, we really do that and they love it !!
  6. by   peaceful
    You sound like you love your current job which has an excellent environment along with decent pay. What more could you ask for? You can get hospital experience down the road when you are ready for a change or prn. The right path will open up when the time is right.
  7. by   newgrad04
    Thanks, peaceful! Finally, somebody is telling me that I'm NOT crazy for not taking higher paid hospital jobs!!! As the old sayin' goes: "The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence!". At least at my current job, I know what to expect.
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Like Peaceful said...you can take a PRN position in the hospital too...work a few weekend shifts a month if you want. Good luck and congrats!
  9. by   joannep
    Hi,
    Being happy and feeling respected in your workplace is really, really important for your self esteem and well being.
    I'll bet the patients that you have developed long term relationships with are thrilled that you have qualified.
    Joanne
  10. by   gwenith
    You could always contact your local hospital to see if there is any weekend work available - that would let you get some experience - add a little extra to the bank account - you don't have to do it for long - then go on the casual pool/roster and be available for call-in work at the weekend.
  11. by   newgrad04
    Quote from joannep
    Hi,
    Being happy and feeling respected in your workplace is really, really important for your self esteem and well being.
    I'll bet the patients that you have developed long term relationships with are thrilled that you have qualified.
    Joanne
    You better believe it. I got lots of congrats and hugs from lots of patients.
  12. by   newgrad04
    [QUOTE=gwenith]You could always contact your local hospital to see if there is any weekend work available - that would let you get some experience - add a little extra to the bank account - you don't have to do it for long - then go on the casual pool/roster and be available for call-in work at the weekend.[/QUOTE

    Do you really think the hospital would let someone t without inpatient experience in the PRN pool????? I didn't think that would be possible!
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Your current situation sounds like a dream job to me. You won't lose skills, your skiils will be specialized- you will have GI lab nursing skills. I have worked nursing jobs where I havn't had to start an IV for years. Now, I work where I have to start IVs every day. I didn't lose my IV start skills because I hadn't used them. I was a bit rusty at first, but after a couple of weeks at my current job, it all came back to me.

    I have switched specialities several times. All require different skills. It has never been a problem for me. I have worked LTC, rehab, forensic psych, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, inpt hospice, hospice home care office, med surg and adult day care consulting.

    All of these positions require differing skills, and I've never had a problem with transitioning, learning new skills, and picking up old skills that I haven't used in a few years.

    So may nurses are so unhappy with their workplaces, I presonally feel that you'd regret it if you gave up your current situation. You could work one or two shifts a month at a hospital, if it's really important to you.

    After you get some nursing experience in your current job, you could renegotiate your salary and ask for hourly wages.

    Congrats on graduating, and working in such a positive environment.

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