Big Hospital VS. Small Hospital Experience for new grad

  1. Well I am soon to graduate with my BSN in May. Surprisingly I have two good job offers already on the table. The first is from a big hospital in Macon, Ga on a med surg floor which an hour away from where I live. And the second is a rural hospital in Dublin, Ga in the ICU in which I am now doing my practicum at. Dublin is 30 mins away from me. My question is, which is better for a new grad experience wise, a big hospital or a small or does it even matter?
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   newRNstudent02
    Are you trying to go for a MSN in the future? and in which field? If you're just trying to get out there and get some experience I'd go for the big hospital
  4. by   jaznia15
    I don't know what I am going to do at the moment. The biggest problem with the big hospital is the distance and they are also making new nurses sign an 18 month contract to work. I don't know if I am going to stay in the area or if I am even going to like the hospital. I have heard good things about the hospital but I have also heard some bad things as well. The floor I was hired on is the indigent floor and my advisor felt my personality was right for the floor because I have "tough" skin and am able to deal with pts who might not be as appreciative to be in the hospital. I would love the chance to work with such patients and the experience is something I would love, but working night shift having to drive an hour home on an empty stretch of road is not something I want to risk at the moment not to mention gas prices are ridiculously high. When I first applied for the job, I did so in hopes of relocating but my son just got accepted into a hard to get into pre-k and my boyfriend just got settled into a job where we live now. With this economy I can't afford to move and risk my boyfriend not being able to find a good job quickly in the new area or not being able to find a FREE pre-K for my son. My hope is to do my year in the ICU and possibly relocate sometime next year to another big hospital I was looking at.
  5. by   elkpark
    Both large and small hospitals have strengths and advantages -- they're just different strengths and advantages.

    I started my career in a small, rural hospital (long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away ), and it was a great experience. I got to know nearly everyone at the hospital, there really was a "family" feel to the place (among the staff, I mean), and I was given a much wider range of responsibilities and experiences than I would have been in a larger hospital (where I, as a new grad, would have been "kept on a much shorter leash" ) -- granted, with plenty of support and back-up.

    Considering, as you mention, the cost of gasoline (who knows how high it's going to go??) and the additional travel time, I would encourage you to give the smaller, closer hospital a chance -- you might even like it enough to end up wanting to stay there long-term. In healthcare as in everything else, bigger is not necessarily better.
  6. by   Mutt's Wife, RN
    I just graduated with my ASN in May 2010 and have worked in both a large and small hospital, and this is what I took away from my experiences:

    Large hospital - Saw lots of exciting stuff that I knew I would not see in the small hospitals - seriously ill patients, open heart surgeries, etc. There were lots of aides to help out and the technology was very up and coming. The downside of this was I couldn't start an IV because the IV team did all of them, didn't draw an ABG or give a respiratory treatment, or even titrate my patient's oxygen, because respiratory therapy did that. Then there was a very large staff of doctors to get to know. To me, it was quite overwhelming and I didn't feel I had full control of my patients' situations.

    Small hospital - Do my own IVs, I'm the aide, I'm the respiratory person, do my own EKGs, mix drugs; you name it, I do it. I feel my nursing skills are much more diverse. The handful of doctors know me by name and I them. Relationships can be built because I am working with the same small group of colleagues. The downside? I haven't found any yet.

    Just some food for thought...
  7. by   jaznia15
    What about the benefits and pay??? Should those be considered??? Of course the bigger hospital is offering more benefits and the pay is about the same.