Which NICU is right for me...

  1. I asked this question on the California boards then thought it might be better to ask it here.

    I am currently comparing the NICU at Cedars to a much closer community hospital.

    Cedars is a III the community is a II (but a very big and busy II). The community pays about 20% more up front but Cedars says after training and certification and a raise it will be almost the same in a year. Cedars also wants a 2 year commitment - I would owe them about $4000.00 if I do not work for them for two years. Cedars makes you work 13 shifts vs the community hospitals 12. Both require nights but Cedars wants every other weekend, which is acceptable to me vs one weekend a month at the community. They do pay a $6.00 differential on night weekends at Cedars which is nice but the community hospitals base rate is still more.

    Do you think the experience in a well regarded level III is worth the hour drive in traffic, and less pay? As I am starting a little later in my nursing career (30's) I want to get the best training and be the best NICU nurse I can. I'm willing to make sacrafices if the experience would be worth it. What would you do?

    Or what more can I do to get the best training possible?

    Thank you for any comments.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    It depends on what you want to do with your career.

    I do not believe in having an hour drive home in the am after working all night is a good thing, especially in the LA area. From that point alone, I would make a choice for the community program in a second.
    What is the orientation like at both facilities? That is probably the most important thing to compare.

    At the community hospital you should still be able to get experience with vents, etc. AS well as PICC lines, UACs and UVCs.

    Good luck......................
  4. by   Jolie
    Did Cedars help to fund your education? If not, why do they require a "payback" if you leave sooner than 2 years? I've never heard of such a thing for a routine orientation program.

    I would think long and hard about communing that distance with 12 hour shifts. That will easily turn into a 15 hour day. I am also very concerned with the 2 year commitment. That seems unreasonable. I don't know what I'm doing next week, let alone 2 years from now. On the other hand, do they make any promises of advancement, pay raises, or scheduling incentives for you if you stay 2 years? Probably not.

    My choice would be the local hospital. Best wishes whatever you decide!

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