Not the new grad problem I expected..

  1. I graduated Aug 19 and have had 3 interviews with 3 job offers (the third came today). I'm having a very difficult time deciding between 2. I know there have been a lot of these questions lately, but I've seen some great advice and would love some of my own!

    The first job is at the major teaching hospital (where I did most of my clinicals) on a transplant/GI floor. They receive hundreds of apps per position, and I only got an interview because I asked one of my clinical instructors to talk to another instructor who knows the nurse manager on the floor. I feel extremely grateful for this opportunity. The hospital is only a few minutes from me. However, it's not a unit I'm particularly interested in and I must stay 18 months after orientation in order to do an internal transfer. I'm worried if I don't take the job now, I will never get in to this hospital. I wasn't told about pay officially, but from asking people who work there I think it's $25/hr + night shift differential. My schedule would be 2 12's and 2 8's/wk at night.

    The other job is at a smaller community hospital 40 minutes from my home. It's a new grad ED residency with a full time job to begin after. The ED is where I want to be. However, a 40 minute drive in a Michigan winter can easily become 1 hour and I'm very nervous about driving the freeway in winters. Also, the hospital obviously doesn't carry the prestige of the first. Pay is $25/hr + $3/hr night shift. Schedule 3 12's at night.

    I would love to work at hospital #1, but in the position offered by hospital #2. Not sure what to do. Any advice would be wonderful!
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    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 181; Likes: 111
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   ChristineN
    What's the third job offer?
  4. by
    At a magnet hospital on the Neuro floor, but it's 2 hours away, so I'm not considering it at this time in light of the other 2 offers.
  5. by   NellieOlsen
    I would take the first one, especially since someone pulled some strings to get you an interview. It's close to home, pay is comparable to offer #2, and look at it as a chance to learn a new specialty. It sounds like the only benefit of offer #2 is it's in the ER. I can see why it's a tough decision though. Good luck!
  6. by   demylenated
    This is really a decision that no one can offer you advise... this is your decision. You may end up not liking the ED... and 18 months, being a new grad, will fly by and you can get a change... not to mention, you'll probably be pulled to other floors as needed.

    Me? Gas? Stay close to home. Being a new grad, you are *pretty sure* you know what you want, but you most of the time don't find your niche until after working for awhile. A larger hospital gives you more opportunities.
  7. by   MIRN2
    Oh my gosh!! I was in the exact same situation as you only a couple of hours ago! That's amazing. I had such a difficult time picking because I have always wanted to work at the big hospital, but like you, it wasn't on a floor that I was passionate about. And the other position was full time. But in the end, I still picked the big hospital because it was closer, had better hours, and it was at the hospital that I really wanted to work at. I figured I just had to do my time, gain some experience, and who knows, maybe I'll really like the floor. But either way, I got my foot in the door. Good luck with your decision! I know how difficult it is.
  8. by   vegasmomma
    I agree, with gas prices soaring you should take the closer job. But more importantly than that, working in a teaching hospital that you are already somewhat familiar with will help you hit the ground running. You can always transfer to someplace more of interest after 18 months of networking and really investigating different departments/floors while you are there.
  9. by   hiddencatRN
    How badly do you want to work in the ER? I would have picked a community hospital ER over a major hospital on another unit, but I really, really wanted to work in the ER.
  10. by   MTRN13
    I would probably do the first hospital. Just from experience of living in snow country for a while. When your tired driving home after night shift is not a time to be off guard on driving in more difficult conditions. It could be a safety issue. If the first hospital is also one you are really interested in then get your foot in the door. It is easier to transfer internally. I took a job on a med surg unit which I do not like. I am currently trying to transfer to OB or L&D. My good costumer service, and reputation has the manager of ER trying to change my mind, and come to her unit. You never know what will happen, but with 19 months of acute experience I may have a lot of really amazing options that most nurses would love to have. It is exciting to have options, and be able to figure out what works best for me in the next phase of my career. Good luck ! I would also say follow your heart. You worked hard to achieve your nursing dream. You are truly blessed to have so many options as a new grad. Congrats !
  11. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    Choose the one closet and maybe you can transfer to the ED after your 18months is up. Its closer to home, teaching hospital with prestige and someone pulled strings to get you in there. Count your blessings too. Alot of new grads would love to be in your place right now.
  12. by   tokmom
    Ditto to what the others say. I would go for the first one. Suck it up for 18 months. Do your best, stand out on the floor and in the hospital community. If there are commitees, volunteer to be on them. This way you get to know the other nurse managers by first name basis and the get to know you. You can work this to your advantage in the long run.

    The second hospital sounds nice, but I'm with you on the drive. Not fun in the snow.
  13. by   luv2b_a_nurs
    Hmmm, that's tricky! It's so hard to decide, isn't it?? I had a similar situation recently. Interviewed for a job *close* to my dream job but night shift in a hospital about 45 mins from my home. I also interviewed for a job at the hospital 5 mins from my house, days, no weekends or holidays, but not even close to the specialty I want. The deciding factor for me was benefits. Job A only gave $500ish a year towards BSN completion. Job B pays 100% towards a BSN. Since that is a huge short term goal of mine I had to go with Job B. Just depends on what is best for you and your situation right now.
  14. by   murphyle
    I had a very similar choice when I graduated school (and I'm in Metro Detroit also): full time nights on a neuro floor at a large, prestigious teaching hospital, or full time nights in the emergency department at a community hospital within LTH's system. Also much like you, I had an old instructor championing me for one of the positions, and being in the same system, the pay was the same for both. In my case, drive time wasn't a factor, since both hospitals are more or less equidistant from my home. (LTH is 15 min by freeway or 25 min by surface streets; CH is 7 min freeway or 15 min surface streets, but that freeway is home to a large, old-growth stand of orange barrels , so it's largely not worth the bother.) I had family connections at both hospitals (father at CH, mother at LTH). Emergency was what I wanted; neuro I knew I could do, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Both jobs came with a 15-month commitment, so if I hated it I'd be stuck for that long.

    In the end, it all boiled down to prestige and culture. Large Teaching Hospital is a very well-known and well-respected institution, one whose credit would get me in the door just about anywhere in Michigan. Community Hospital's quality of care is just as good, but it's much overshadowed by its parent organization. Likewise, people at LTH are justifiably proud of themselves, but rather prone to backbiting and belittling everyone who isn't them, while CH is a much smaller environment but offers a much more cohesive, supportive atmosphere.

    I went to Emergency at CH. Best decision I ever made. I work with some absolutely amazing people, I've had the opportunity to develop leadership skills and help improve care standards that I never would have had at the big hospital, and I can honestly say that I love going to work every night. And - in a case of it all coming full circle - I now have people from LTH actively recruiting me to go work in Emergency there, as well as recruitment offers for the Level 1 trauma center at Huge University Health System (major boost in prestige and slightly better benefits, but less pay, a very restrictive union and a 1 hr+ commute, such that I'd more or less have to move). I don't think I'll ever leave CH entirely, though - quite honestly, I like the place too much to leave!

    In the end, you have to do what you think is best for you. It may be to your advantage to start in emergency at the smaller hospital, get your skills honed and work your way to a larger institution. On the other hand, as others have said, you don't want to burn any goodwill you may have accrued at the larger hospital, and depending on where you are, the job market may be such that you'll have much more difficulty getting back in the door. I'd also tell you that in either instance, you can stick anything out for a year if you turn out not to like it. (What I don't think I'd place too much emphasis on, though, would be the driving distance. As you're no doubt aware, between snow and construction, any commute can turn into a hour-long adventure...!)

    Wherever you go, I wish you the very best of luck - and do let us know where you end up.