New Grad with 2 Job Offers - How do I decide?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am a new grad (May 2017) and I received my RN license a few weeks ago. I had two interviews yesterday (both at the same hospital in NJ) and received offers. Here's my dilemma:

    Offer #1-ICU step down unit FT 7p-7a.

    I know that I will learn a lot, the manager was awesome and seems to really care about her employees and I definitely see room to grow or even if I wanted to go somewhere else in the future, I know my experience there will allow me to do that. The problem is I have two small children and the schedule over laps when my husband leaves for work in the morning. The only way I can make this work is if I work weekends and one day during the week, where my children will most likely have to spend the night at a family member's home once a week and they stay with my husband when he is off on weekends. I'll be making more money for the same amount of days on the other unit but it will mess with my sleep schedule. If a 7a-7p position was available I would take it in a heart beat.


    Offer #2: inpatient rehab 3-11.

    I have the option of FT or PT but am considering PT because it gives me more flexibility and I can always pick up on 7-3 or 3-11 shift.

    I use to work in this department as a PCT and secretary before I moved out of the state and our family just moved back. I know the people, the routine, the manager isn't the best. A lot of people have left because the managers don't value their employees. However, the shift allows me to not worry about who will watch my kids and won't mess up my sleep schedule. To make more money I will have to pick up extra shifts.

    I am willing to make sacrifices and I know that which ever position I take doesn't have to be permanent. I just want to make the right decision for my first nursing job. HR wants me to call them on Monday with a decision.

    Please help!



    Dear My Sleep Schedule and More,

    Congrats on two job offers!

    Both jobs would be excellent in that you will get great experience, although the step down unit would provide higher acuity.

    I would not recommend part time in your first year of practice because the learning curve is steep and you need the full-time experience.

    So if you look at it as two fairly equal inpatient jobs, the main difference comes down to the hours of work and the manager. If you work rehab, you know going into it
    that the manager is not the best, and there is some turnover- so your expectations would not be unrealistically high.

    As for me, the rest is a values-based decision based on family. I would take the job that disrupts my family the least. In my long career, I have always worked around
    my children at any given time and never regretted it. I don’t think you will, either.


    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   moldyoldyrn
    Not going to really give you an answer but just a few thoughts. 1-the rehab job lets you set a schedule that fits your family now. If you take it then you have time to learn more as an RN and simply delay for a little time moving to a more challenging job without disrupting your family. 2- the ICU job is really attractive, high learning curve, lots going on, the excitement of the work and the interest in learning and doing. But would the ICU job add stress to an already stressful situation and, as a new RN, might that impact your family even more? My only feeling, and I do not think you would be wrong in either job, is to stabilize your family situation and work outwards from there.

    You do not want to be on a job that makes demands on your time and energy that you cannot handle. There are a plethora of exciting, challenging jobs out there that will still be there in a year or two. One thing you can always do is move into different jobs in nursing. Besides in a couple of years your family situation may change and give you more latitude. I worked with many new RNs and they found where we worked unexciting, we worked Hospice and Palliative care. I always told them work here to fulfill your requirement of two Years on the job before moving, go to every class and CEU course you can find on your area of interest. Take courses on Diabetes, Heart disease, Neurology, Communicable Disease, you name it, take it. Then when you have been on the job 18 months start applying to transfer to all the different medical or surgical units. Once you get the transfer, do the same thing with the classes and after about a year start applying for ICUs or other specialty areas like GI procedures, Clinics or what ever trips your trigger. The classes and education will only help you and it makes a big difference in your self image and confidence. The classes while working on specific units also help you incorporate book knowledge into the care of the patient in front of you.

    Whatever you decide, and I do not think either area would be a wrong choice, I hope you find a good place to work and have great success.
  4. by   NLLL16
    I don't think you could go wrong with putting your family first.
    One advantage to taking the rehab position is familiarity. The first year of nursing is so stressful with learning so many new things, if you are able to work in a familiar environment with people you already know, that would help at least a little bit. I transitioned from a PCT to new RN in the ER where I work and I think it helped me to know a lot of the processes and ins and outs of our unit before coming in to a completely new world. I will say delegation to techs was a bit difficult and still is at times (I've been a nurse for a little over a year and a half now). Overall, I would say the advantages outweighed the disadvantages!
    However, if you didn't like your job as a PCT in rehab, I wouldn't recommend taking the RN position, especially if it's a contract. I enjoyed my job as a PCT but frequently question how long I'll stay in the ER...management being one of the biggest issues. :/
    I hope the best for you! I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you, your career, and your family!

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