Taking a job in a unit you don't really want

  1. I applied for L&D, NICU, PICU-got a NICU interview. Didn't get the job. So now, I was told there are no openings in any pedi type unit (what i really want to do) so I had my application sent on to the units that have openings-ortho, several progressive care units, etc. I am a bit sad. I didn't get the job I really wanted, and now I will end up working in a unit I really wasn't wanting to work in. I wasn't really interested in adults, lol. I will work just as hard, work hard to enjoy it and have fun. I will do my best, even if it was not my choice of workplaces.

    Have you had to work in a unit you didn't want to? How did it work out? I am thinking that after 6 months(the requirement) or 1 year (seems a better time to get experience) I will definitely change units, if something I want is open. Then i'll have some experience, you know?
    Anyone else been there? I need some cheering up.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Many of us started out by taking jobs on units we didn't particularly want, and then made a change when the opportunity arose. There are many factors to consider in making the decision. It can be a good way to "get your foot in the door" at a hospital you really want to work at, but which might not have an opening right then in what you want; and some hospitals won't hire new graduates into some (or all) specialty areas, but want you to get some general (med/surg) nursing experience first; and it may seem more appealing than being unemployed while waiting for your "dream job" offer to materialize!

    I can think right away of two experiences in my career -- when I was getting ready to graduate, I applied to the hospital that sponsored my diploma school. They offered me a job, as they routinely did to "their" graduates, and asked me what unit I'd like to work on (of the units where they had openings). I chose to take an open position on the urology floor on the shift I preferred, and thought everything was a done deal. During the time between when they offered me the job and when I actually graduated and became available to work, the nursing office called me in and explained, v. sheepishly, that they had received an application from a nurse who had a lot of experience in urology and wanted a urology job, and they wanted to offer her the job on the urology floor -- would I be willing to please take an opening on one of the other floors? I probably could have made a stink about it and refused to cooperate with them, but would that have really benefitted me in the long run? It didn't really make a lot of difference to me; I knew I wasn't going to specialize in urology for my career, and I was just looking for a job to get some experience and support myself while I looked for a job in psych. So I agreed, and took the orthopedics job that they wanted me to take.

    Several years later, I applied to the VA hospital closest to my home. At that point, I was an experienced psych nurse; I indicated on my application that I was looking for a psych job, and I was interviewed by the psych supervisor. When the 'phone call came, the nursing office offered me a job on a general med/surg unit. I agonized over it for a few days before I decided it would be worth it to take the med/surg job to get away from my current work situation, and to get hired by the VA. It was only after I was hired and working on the med/surg unit that I found out that that particular VA (or maybe it was VA-wide policy at the time) only hired into the med/surg units and only "promoted" to the specialty areas from within -- if I had turned down that job and waited for them to offer me a psych job, it NEVER would have happened ... So, I worked med/surg for a few months, got some great experience and brushed up my skills, and, as soon as there was an opening in psych, I applied for it and got it (which had been the nursing administration's plan all along).

    Only you can decide how "picky" and rigid you want to be, but remember that, as a new grad, you are competing with experienced RNs for the more desirable and specialty areas. If you decide you will only accept your dream job, it may be a long wait. There's nothing keeping you from continuing to look for a "better" job while you're working ...
  4. by   NoCrumping
    Quote from RNinMay2005
    I applied for L&D, NICU, PICU-got a NICU interview. Didn't get the job. So now, I was told there are no openings in any pedi type unit (what i really want to do) so I had my application sent on to the units that have openings-ortho, several progressive care units, etc. I am a bit sad. I didn't get the job I really wanted, and now I will end up working in a unit I really wasn't wanting to work in. I wasn't really interested in adults, lol. I will work just as hard, work hard to enjoy it and have fun. I will do my best, even if it was not my choice of workplaces.

    Have you had to work in a unit you didn't want to? How did it work out? I am thinking that after 6 months(the requirement) or 1 year (seems a better time to get experience) I will definitely change units, if something I want is open. Then i'll have some experience, you know?
    Anyone else been there? I need some cheering up.
    How about another facility? I cant see you working with adults, if you dont want to. Thats my situation. If I have to be a nurse to an adult who is not either in labor, or has delivered a baby within the last 4 days, then I dont want to deal..... And I wont do it..... NICU might be a bit more specialized to find alot of them to work in, but maybe more facilities have peds? at least its not adults, and working in peds will help you down the line when applying to another NICU (or the same one) Good Luck!!!!
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I did that over two years ago......I wanted to work in OB, but there were no openings at my hospital so I took the Med/Surg job that was offered to me. The funny thing was, I ended up loving it, even though I'd thought I'd NEVER want to work M/S again after my previous experiences with it. I'm still there, have become a float nurse in the process, and I plan to stay there until either a discharge-planner position opens up or my body wears out :chuckle

    And my OB ambitions? I work mother-baby enough to satisfy that urge, and wouldn't touch L&D with a ten-foot pole
  6. by   grinnurse
    Is the hospital somewhere that you want to stay? I would think that would make a big difference. I had decided if I did not get the unit that I wanted at the hospital that I really wanted to work at I was going to take a m/s position to just get my foot in the door and then transfer when I could.

    Good luck with the decision!
  7. by   HappyNurse2005
    THere are 2 hospitals in town. this one has L&d, nicu, picu, peds, the works. the other hospital had l&d that doesn't hire new grads, no nicu, no picu, and not even a dedicated peds unit-the kids are few and far between and are placed on a ortho/neuro adult unit. I could just work in a pediatric office to get peds experience, but i dont want to lose clinical skills.
    i have 3 interviews this week. CSPCU, CCPCU, and ortho. I guess I'll work there, maybe the PCU experience can lead to the ICU experience of NICU. YOu do what you have to, right?
  8. by   Jo Dirt
    I know the disappointment you're feeling. Don't mean to sound cliche, but things *will* be looking up. This doesn't have to be a permanent situation, just a minor bump in the road. Just ride it out and put up with it until something better comes along.
  9. by   CHATSDALE
    take the job be a squeaking wheel and bring up the fact that you want a transfer every chance you get..
    however, as was pointed out, you may find yourself in a fulfilling position and they won't be able to chase you off
  10. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I disagree about being the squeaky wheel about transferring. The op herself should not lose sight of her goal to be elsewhere. However, if all she does is bring up transferring while at this other position, she can burn a lot of bridges that may be beneficial to her in the future. No one wants to be runner up or feel like she settled for them and does not really want to be there.
  11. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from RNinMay2005
    I applied for L&D, NICU, PICU-got a NICU interview. Didn't get the job. So now, I was told there are no openings in any pedi type unit (what i really want to do) so I had my application sent on to the units that have openings-ortho, several progressive care units, etc. I am a bit sad. I didn't get the job I really wanted, and now I will end up working in a unit I really wasn't wanting to work in. I wasn't really interested in adults, lol. I will work just as hard, work hard to enjoy it and have fun. I will do my best, even if it was not my choice of workplaces.

    Have you had to work in a unit you didn't want to? How did it work out? I am thinking that after 6 months(the requirement) or 1 year (seems a better time to get experience) I will definitely change units, if something I want is open. Then i'll have some experience, you know?
    Anyone else been there? I need some cheering up.
    Hi there,

    I just wanted you to know I'm going through the same thing as you. I wanted L & D right after grad. Well, it turns out they already have a lot of new grads working there. Same with mother/baby. I'm in no hurry now to find a job outside of the women's health or peds. I am still interviewing. I have one next week in neuro/trauma. But I'm not thrilled about it. My husband will be gone most of the summer so my plan is to just wait and start working in the fall. But, like I said, I will keep interviewing and if something comes up that I just can't turn down then I'll go ahead and take the job. I'm glad to be in the financial situation where I don't have to work or else I feel like I'd have to take the first job offered to me. Kind of depressing since I went to nursing school because my love is L & D.
  12. by   KrisRNwannabe
    I know how you feel. Due to the long waiting list, I ended up in a LPN program. which i was fine with at the time because i could go back to the local community college and finish in 2 semesters for my RN. well, they changed their program and now I can't find a college to go to get my RN quickly and will be stuck working as a LPN. only 1 hospital in my county hires LPNs. 1 hospital does in the county north of me but they only pay 12 bucks an hour. all the hospitals south of me don't hire LPNs at all. so now I will be stuck working at a nursing home. uck. that is the last place I want to be. I will probably forget most of my skills since all the nursing homes around hire LPNs to pass meds. needless to say I am miserable considering I want to be in the NICU, Peds or L&D.
  13. by   HappyNurse2005
    me again! Figures, those other 3 interviews I had...I got all 3 of those jobs! I accepted a job in the Cardiac surgery pcu. Although the patients aren't quite what i wanted, the manager was great, the working environment looked really nice, etc. So I will go and make the best of it, and see how I feel about it in a year.
    Glad to see I'm not hte only one
  14. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from RNinMay2005
    me again! Figures, those other 3 interviews I had...I got all 3 of those jobs! I accepted a job in the Cardiac surgery pcu. Although the patients aren't quite what i wanted, the manager was great, the working environment looked really nice, etc. So I will go and make the best of it, and see how I feel about it in a year.
    Glad to see I'm not hte only one
    Congratulations on being able to choose out of the three! I hope you enjoy your job!

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