Need help choosing between two job offers

  1. I'm down to the wire. I have to make a decision, because I am supposed to start as a new grad in the ICU where I've worked since May as a tech on TUESDAY! It was difficult to secure the position in the ICU- the two charge RN's (NOC shift) had expressed to the NM of the unit that they didn't want "another new grad" hired, but after the NM spoke to the DON, she "vetoed" the wishes of the charges, and hired me anyway. So, going in to this job, I'm already feeling like I'm not being welcomed and am worried about starting my career a leg down. The NM promised me that she would "monitor the situation" regarding the attitudes of the night RN's..

    Now- the other job is one I really didn't consider until now. I think I was just trying to stay where I knew what I was getting into- almost like the devil I knew was better than the devil I didn't, ya know? I know the docs, the p & p's, where things are, how to locate stuff, am reasonably familiar with the computer charting, etc etc. However, after graduation and having the last few weeks off to think about my options, I decided to shadow an RN at a teaching facility, it's an inner city hospital, a university hospital. The minute I walked onto the floor, I felt a big sigh of relief. The staff welcomed me, they asked about me, they were friendly and I could just sense and see that they are a TEAM. They work together, they laugh, they help each other every step of the way. It's a step-down PCU, so it's still got the critical care aspect that I love.

    The only real problem is money. The ICU job offers a weekend diff, plus NOC shift diff. The base pay is .60 an hour higher. The teaching hospital offers only an NOC diff, which only kicks in for the last 8 hrs of the shift. Overall, it's about a $2K difference annually between the two jobs.

    I believe my mental health and emotional happiness is important. But, obviously, money does factor in.

    What say ye?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   damarystx
    2000.00 annually is 76 per pay check.....in my experience I prefer to work in an environment where I am happy and make a little less money. In fact I took a $3 pay cut my current position, but for that three dollars less I wake up every day happy to go to work, willing to put in extra shifts if needed work doubles if needed, go cover someone elses shift if they need to leave early etc. and I don't feel an added stress when I do it because I love my job, and the people I work with....in another setting I wasn't nearly as willing to do all the extra stuff because every day I dreaded going to work just to cover my regular hours....yes my money is a little tighter but my happiness and very low stress level make up for that for me. Good luck in your decision!
  4. by   Jolie
    I echo the previous poster's remarks.

    I remember being a new grad, hungry for money after so many years of barely getting by, and thinking that a dollar or two an hour was a HUGE difference. It is not. Happiness, a welcoming staff, and a safe working environment mean far more.

    However if you choose the second job, you owe your manager a call first thing tomorrow morning, as she went to bat for you, and will be expecting you to report to work on Tuesday. Follow that up with a professionally-written letter thanking her for her vote of confidence, and tactfully explaining that you believe that you have found a unit which offers a "better fit" for you.
  5. by   focker-male nurse
    Let me play devil's advocate...
    Mental health and lower stress is important. But you are comparing a place you are now working with with a place/staff that you have only met while shadowing (was that once or more)? The staff you met while shadowing could be the greatest but the staff you work with on nights/weekend could be totally different. (unless you shadowed on the shift which you would work, then please disregard)

    Is the place that you now work that bad?
    If you take the job at the university hosp. how much is parking per month. Here in Birmingham it is about $50 a month which is $600 annually. That + the loew pay is something to consider.

    That being said, I wouldn't work somewhere that I was miserable. Call me crazy but I get the feeling that you didn't hate it where you work you just got your feelings hurt that the CN's didn't want you. I have a solution. If you stay where you are bring everyone lunch and pull your CN's aside sometime and express thanks saying,"I know you guys wanted an experienced RN but I appreciate you giving me a chance."
    This will impress them and show that you are a team player and that you are a go-getter who is not afraid to take action. This should impress them and diffuse any hostility.

    Im not saying you should stay but dont think that there aren't those kind of nurses in every hospital. Only you know how bad it truly is where you are.
    good luck,
    matt
  6. by   kenny b
    Oh man! This one's a no-brainer (I mean this in an, "I'm excited for you!" way, not an "This should be obvious to you!" way. 2k per year seems like a lot, but it's really nothing ($170/month). That is about 40 bucks per week or a couple of hours of overtime or an extra shift every month or so. It would be better to make the money up in overtime at a place you feel good about.

    As Focker pointed out, the high-paying option might not be as bad as it sounds, but a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush (and all that). Of course one of the beatiful things about a nursing career is your option to change direction later if you want to do so.

    So this isn't such a critical (irrevocable) descision, but this IS a critical time in your career, and the extra support will probably pay off in spades later on (financially as well as in your quality of life).

    If you don't want the overtime to compensate for the extra $40 per week you'll have to make up (that's only a couple of hours!), then drive a Geo Metro and save on gas, insurance, and payments! (I love my Geo!)

    Let us know what you decide! I'm looking forward to it because I've thought about this a lot and I'm hoping I can find a really supportive environment at the cost of a salary premium.
  7. by   focker-male nurse
    Great point Kenny B. The support would be more valuable in the long run. That is something I really need to consider when I graduate in May!

    thx,
    matt
  8. by   RN007
    Quote from leslasic
    The minute I walked onto the floor, I felt a big sigh of relief. The staff welcomed me, they asked about me, they were friendly and I could just sense and see that they are a TEAM. They work together, they laugh, they help each other every step of the way. It's a step-down PCU, so it's still got the critical care aspect that I love.
    I think this says it all ... good luck, and congrats!
  9. by   lorster
    Ok, heres the deal. RUN from that first job. You cannot equate money to happiness, and the job that feels right to you is the one to take. You will spend that extra 60 cents an hour on counceling, lol. Please take my experienced advice. The only reason I have been at this institution for 18 years is it is the only hospital in 140 miles, and the pay at Dr offices is half as much. I was a single mom and needed to make a decent wage to raise my three daughters by myself. My girls are grown and I have taken a traveling job to that hospital that is 140 miles away. A big hospital. I start on the 29th and I'm so excited to finally do something to get away from this place. I stayed here for the stability of my children, but was absolutely miserable to the point it has affected my health. So, please do what feels right in your gut. When you are a new grad, it is so important that you precept with nurses that will help you out and support you while you are orienting as well as in all the weeks and months that follow. It sounds like the nurses in the ICU would just as soon chew you up and spit you out as look at you. Take my advice, do what you feel is right in your heart, you will soon get raises and be up to that rate of pay anyway. Good luck.
  10. by   GeminiTwinRN
    thanks for the replies so far! I'm still weighing the options. I hate to disappoint the NM who went to bat for me, but in the end I supposed I have to look out for me, and what's best for me.

    As far as the ICU, it took me several months of hell before I finally felt like I was fitting in and that was a tech, working on day shift. I haven't worked with the night shifters at all, only shadowed for 4 hours one night with a nurse who was on her way out- she had given her 2 weeks notice shortly before. She was unhappy on the unit herself, and was transferring to the endo unit.

    I don't know about parking costs at the uni, I guess I do need to find that out. It's also about 10 miles further each way to commute, which isn't much. Luckily, even though it's in the inner city, the NOC shift gets to park in the visitor's garage, and there's a pedway to the hospital so we don't have to worry about walking the streets (terrible neighborhood) at dark. Also, no shoveling! YAY!

    The .60 is only the base rate difference. The weekend diff at the ICU is 1.05, and there isn't a weekend diff at all at the Uni hospital.

    When I shadowed at the Uni, it was on the shift I would work, and was also shadowing the RN who would be my preceptor. He was terrific, and had a lot to do with my reaction to the unit. The other charge on NOC is the one I interviewed with (their NM allows the charge to decide new hires) and she hugged me both before and after our interview. She made mention that she would go to bat for me with HR to see if there was any way to mitigate the pay difference- possibly with a sign-on bonus. I can't count on that, so I haven't let that play into my decision yet.

    Of course, if (when?) I make up my mind to accept the uni offer, I will write the letter to the ICU NM, and thank her for her believing in me.

    I went to the ICU to do some year-end safety modules last weekend, and while I was there (on the day shift, where I knew everyone), only 3 people even spoke to me! I felt the dread building even though I was only there for 2 and a half hours. That is what really instigated this whole change of heart. Those were the RN's and techs I had worked with, and even they didn't see fit to acknowledge my prescence. ugh.

    Keep the advice coming. I'm taking notes, and certainly my ben franklin is leaning toward the uni job.

  11. by   RN007
    A wise, retired nurse once said to me, 'Listen to your gut. It's God speaking to you.' I believe that.
  12. by   focker-male nurse
    I think, after your last post, you'd be crazy not to take the uni job.
    A prophet in his hometown is without honor....which means if they didnt respect you as a tech/nursing student, they won't respect you as a nurse.
    leave graciously and be happy!
    matt
    Last edit by focker-male nurse on Jan 7, '07 : Reason: oops
  13. by   GeminiTwinRN
    omg, I am completely panicked. Do I call the NM at the ICU job and tell her I've taken a different job offer?

    I haven't officially been hired at the uni job- I still have a drug test (no prob there ) and paperwork to do. Or should I call the HR dept. and tell them I haven't received my license in the mail yet? (they don't accept online proof) I actually received it Saturday in the mail, but it just as easily could have been delayed... I hate to tell the ICU NM that I have a diff. job if something crazy happens and it doesn't work out!

    HELP!!!
  14. by   santhony44
    Quote from RN007
    A wise, retired nurse once said to me, 'Listen to your gut. It's God speaking to you.' I believe that.
    I agree!

    Money is important, but no amount of money is enough to make up for a job you hate and dread, IMO.

    Also, teaching hospitals tend to be great places to work as far as seeing a lot of different stuff and learning a lot yourself.

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