I have a real dilemma and feel like only nurses can help me make a decision! I have a job offer on the table, as well as two interviews scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday). I have to also give my answer regarding the offer on Tuesday as well. Here is my dilemma--(keep in mind I'm a new grad so this will be my first nursing job). My clinical experience has been mostly in neuro/neurosurg, ICU, SICU, etc.
The job offer is at a local hospital, 10 minutes from my home, with an excellent reputation for nursing care. The people seem nice (I did a clinical there) and their reputation is for being welcoming. The job is a 90% position, every 4th weekend, CCU/ICU. They are a private hospital, with a level II trauma center, practicing open heart surgery, etc. The downside is that their pay is substantially less (up to 10,000 less p/year) than the other hospital where I am interviewing) and they have somewhat fewer benefits (although I am less concerned about this.
The interviews are for the MICU and the SICU at a major teaching and research hospital in the area. It is a state hospital, and pays about 8-10,000 more p/year. Also offers a pension plan. As a state hospital it is large and focus is on teaching, lots of residents, nursing students, etc. It is the hospital associated with the college of nursing I am graduating from. This hospital does some amazing work, cutting edge procedures, etc. and the sickest patients from all over the state come here. This is very appealing to me (I really enjoy working with the sickest patients). However, there are a few downsides. First, it is about 45 minutes from my home. I would also have to add another 45 minutes to my commute for parking and taking a bus to the hospital (no onsite parking). I am somewhat less thrilled with the idea of a large, institutional atmosphere (cog in the wheel type of feeling), and I have also heard some negative things about the SICU at the hospital (high infection rates, staff not welcoming to new grads, etc.). I would have to work every other or every 3rd weekend. I am really drawn to working in the trauma bay of the SICU because I love trauma patients, but am not sure that is even an option (don't know if they are hiring for that bay).
So, my options are friendly, close to home and family (I have a small child so this is important), nice job opportunity for critical care, but maybe less exciting and definitely less money, or farther away, less time at home, possibly not welcoming or individualized, but more money and excitement.
How am I ever going to decide! Also, what do I tell the nurse managers at my interviews tomorrow? They may not be ready to offer me a job but I have to tell the first hospital a definite answer!