New Grad in Need of Opinions....(sorry it's long)

  1. I will be graduating in May. I have interviewed with a state hospital in NY, and was offered a position in the OR and the orthopedic floor. I am very tossed up about which to accept. I originally wanted to work in NICU and have just gotten called today (a different hospital, not state) to interview for that. This is the dilemma:

    I did two clinical rotations in Ortho. I am comfortable with it, but it is physically demanding. The nurse manager (who I LOVE) has offered me day shift and either 8's or 12's whichever I want and I would have to work every other weekend. I will eventually care for 6 patients, but will have a CNA doing vitals, fingersticks, baths, bedding and an LPN passing meds. Lots of help and the staff is wonderful, but I can't say I LOVE orthopedics.

    The OR - I LOVE. We are taught to scrub in and do participate in surgeries. The hours are rotating days shift (7-3, 9-6, 11-7). Not the best since I have 2 children in elementary school so I would have to have daycare for them more than if I took the ortho job. But, it is every 2 weekends not every other. I feel I won't be using very many skills if I take this job, and it would limit where I could then transfer to if I decide to move on.

    The NICU - I LOVE. This is where I really want to be, however it is 3-11 shift which means I won't see my kids for more than 15 minutes a day. I don't know how permanent that time frame is, but I don't know if it is worth it. And, I don't feel I would be able to transfer to a regular floor and then care for more patients if I ever decided to.

    What are your opinons on best place to start and why?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Alex_RN2b09
    I'd go with the Ortho job to make life less stressful on yourself, once you're more settled in you can always transfer. Just keep an eye out for a NICU day slot opening, and keep in contact with the manager of that unit. This way you can see your family more often and have a boss you really really like, that in itself often makes the job more enjoyable. OR I see you not using as many of the clinical skills that you would need for NICU if you were to eventually transfer, and you would also end up seeing your family less then if you took the job in Ortho.
  4. by   loricatus
    Quote from jennis13
    I will be graduating in May. I have interviewed with a state hospital in NY, and was offered a position in the OR and the orthopedic floor. I am very tossed up about which to accept. I originally wanted to work in NICU and have just gotten called today (a different hospital, not state) to interview for that so I am tossed up about whether to go and interview for it. This is the dilemma:

    I did two clinical rotations in Ortho. I am comfortable with it, but it is physically demanding. The nurse manager (who I LOVE) has offered me day shift and either 8's or 12's whichever I want and I would have to work every other weekend. I will eventually care for 6 patients, but will have a CNA doing vitals, fingersticks, baths, bedding and an LPN passing meds. Lots of help and the staff is wonderful, but I can't say I LOVE orthopedics.

    The OR - I LOVE. We are taught to scrub in and do participate in surgeries. The hours are rotating days shift (7-3, 9-6, 11-7). Not the best since I have 2 children in elementary school so I would have to have daycare for them more than if I took the ortho job. But, it is every 2 weekends not every other. I feel I won't be using very many skills if I take this job, and it would limit where I could then transfer to if I decide to move on.

    The NICU - I LOVE. This is where I really want to be, however it is 3-11 shift which means I won't see my kids for more than 15 minutes a day. I don't know how permanent that time frame is, but I don't know if it is worth it. And, I don't feel I would be able to transfer to a regular floor and then care for more patients if I ever decided to.

    What are your opinons on best place to start and why?
    State hospitals are in bit of a budget crunch right now and may suffer from lack of needed equipment/support. This may directly affect you in ortho, where the functioning equipment and the support staff are the only thing that won't have you taking a disability leave for a back injury within the first year. Also, the cumulative stress from the demands on your body if you were to do ortho may do you in faster than any other specialty.

    The OR could limit you and might be a better place to go when you are closer to retirement. As you probably have seen, older nurses are accepted in OR. If you get critical care experience and find yourself burning out from regular floor nursing, the OR should welcome you.

    With that said, NICU is critical care nursing. You will learn the basics that can be applied to other critical care positions. Besides that, this is the area that you feel passionate about and therefore will thrive in. Sacrifices with family have already been made just to go to school. No matter what position you take you will be sacrificing time with your family. You will be exhausted after working in an environment you are not passionate about; and, although you may be physically present with your children, you may not be totally there, anyway. Besides that, you'll be working a 5 day week-2 days are free to be with your family. Many with 9-5 jobs just have time to pick up the kids from daycare, feed them and put them to bed, with not much quality time anyway. This is just the nature of things nowadays. Doing what you most enjoy makes you a better parent during the time you have to spend with your children. This is just my opinion; but, why do something your heart isn't totally committed to? Why don't you ask your children what they think? I am sure their answer will be for you to do what will most make you happy, is this not what you would want for them when they get older?
  5. by   cardiac.cure03
    Hmmm, I would honestly have a hard time deciding which to choose if I were in your position also.

    I can see your concern r/t NICU and spending time w/ your children. That could be rough. But w/ the NICU, I wouldn't worry that if you start there, you'll have problems transferring to a different floor someday. If the unit you decide to want to transfer to one day hires new grads, they'll hire YOU no matter where you started your nursing career.

    I don't have much nursing experience myself (about 4 months), but I know when I worked in ortho as a PCT, it was a very demanding job. It was just as demanding for the nurses too. Just as a comical sidenote... I've heard a couple of em say they just feel like drug pushers w/ all the pain meds they give out!

    And don't worry soley about developing the skills. In OR, I'm sure you would learn TONS of info r/t pathophysiologies w/ interventions of all sorts of things! This, you would definitely be able to take w/ you to whatever area you'd decide to go to next. Skills are important to learn, but are fairly easy to learn compared to the other things we must learn in nursing.

    I think what it comes down to is you deciding what is of higher priority for NOW. Spending the time w/ your children? Working where you LOVE? Being where you're comfortable and have lots of support/help? The days and hours? Wanting to challenge yourself?
    And I emphasize NOW b/c you can always change things. You should not feel that if you decide to work NICU, you are placing that as a higher priority than your children. (I realize I might have made it sound that way, but I didn't mean for it to.) Of course, your children are of high priority. Like one post said, you'd still be able spend 2 days/week w/ them. You just need to decide if that will work for you for THE TIME BEING.

    Wherever you go, you'll gain knowledge and experience. And that is what counts. Good luck in making your decision and best wishes!
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]if you feel as though nicu is the job for you, take the ortho job. as you said, you have young children and you know they're only young for a very short time. spend what time you can with them while they're small. when they're older, you can transfer to nicu. you like the people, the working conditions and the shift you were offered on the ortho floor. and it gives you more time with your family. start there, move to nicu later.
  7. by   jennis13
    Thank you everyone! It helps to hear opinions. I am going to talk about this with my family after the NICU interview and we will make a decision together that we can all be happy about.
  8. by   jjjoy
    Or maybe continue applying... and some other position will come up... maybe not perfect but not one where you feel like you're sacraficing too much...

    I know I tend to pressure myself to take a good opportunity for fear that I'll never get such an opportunity again. True, that specific opportunity may be gone, but some other one that I'm not aware of yet is likely to come up.

    Do you really think you'd be okay with the ortho or are you just trying to sell yourself on what seems like the most practical option? It's not practical if you come to hate your job and want to quit. If that's not too big a concern, then maybe it is practical.

    I wish you peace of mind as you navigate your choices. : )
  9. by   suehp
    Quote from jennis13
    I will be graduating in May. I have interviewed with a state hospital in NY, and was offered a position in the OR and the orthopedic floor. I am very tossed up about which to accept. I originally wanted to work in NICU and have just gotten called today (a different hospital, not state) to interview for that. This is the dilemma:

    I did two clinical rotations in Ortho. I am comfortable with it, but it is physically demanding. The nurse manager (who I LOVE) has offered me day shift and either 8's or 12's whichever I want and I would have to work every other weekend. I will eventually care for 6 patients, but will have a CNA doing vitals, fingersticks, baths, bedding and an LPN passing meds. Lots of help and the staff is wonderful, but I can't say I LOVE orthopedics.

    The OR - I LOVE. We are taught to scrub in and do participate in surgeries. The hours are rotating days shift (7-3, 9-6, 11-7). Not the best since I have 2 children in elementary school so I would have to have daycare for them more than if I took the ortho job. But, it is every 2 weekends not every other. I feel I won't be using very many skills if I take this job, and it would limit where I could then transfer to if I decide to move on.

    The NICU - I LOVE. This is where I really want to be, however it is 3-11 shift which means I won't see my kids for more than 15 minutes a day. I don't know how permanent that time frame is, but I don't know if it is worth it. And, I don't feel I would be able to transfer to a regular floor and then care for more patients if I ever decided to.

    What are your opinons on best place to start and why?
    Sounds like Ortho is an ideal job fro a new graduate - you say you are comfortable with it but you dont love it. yes it is physically demanding but it is a rewarding job too. It can be repetitive (if it isnt a trauma unit) but this is good for gaining confidence especailly if you are a New Nurse.

    OR would be a good job but as you have indicated it would be a difficult job to move from as the skills used there are different. ALso you mention kids in elementary - the hours dont look like they would make for a good combination.

    NICU - is where your heart lies but the shifts arent what you want....3-11pm is a hard shift if you have kids...you may in the future want to change shifts but whenwill that be??? Who in front of you has requested a shift change???

    Think you have already answered your own question!!! I am bias - I work on Ortho and like it - I wouldnt say I love it but I have days where I really enjoy my work and other days where I am sooooo overwhelmed with the work that I come home and feel like I dont knwo what I am doing....LOL I work three 12 hour night shifts and have 2 kids in elemntary and it suits me fine...I get to use other skills occassionally when I get floated to another unit...but I like where I am as we have a really good Manager which is REALLY important!

    Good luck wth your decision:spin:

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