New RN, just had 1st job interviews with HR and Unit Manager, need your advice

  1. Hello everyone, I badly need your advice.

    Here is the scenario:

    I applied online for M/S day shift - was told in email it was offered to another candidate. I browsed on their website other possible fit for a new RN like me without prior work experience and ended up applying for M/S/Tele night shift, Rehab, and Float pool. Got an interview with HR, where I said (for the q: how do you see yourself in 5 years?) that I would like to either be a CNM or FNP, and that I only liked to start in M/S (when asked which position I was pulled more into) because I believed it would prepare me better for any other specialty I might consider later on. Okay, fast forward, I got into second interview, with the nursing unit manager, and it went well. I was told they would call me for the next meeting, which I am anticipating to be a job offer, although I would not want to hope/expect too much (because I have read of a post about having very good interview then no more follow up). That 2nd interview was last Wednesday, and I was warned by some friends that HR usually plays it cool for a week, but I did not want to sit here being too comfortable expecting a job offer soon when there might be none, so I browsed again for other job ads and applied online last Friday at a nearby hospital.

    This second hospital had ads for OB-Gyn night shift (my first priority, given the chance to start there without experience) and Med/Surg day shift. I got a call this afternoon to set up an interview.

    Today also, I saw an ad for OB-Gyn day shift in the first hospital I applied to for M/S night. Now I want to submit application also for that position (I really liked the people there and the interviewers), BUT my first two interviews were over, and I am wondering whether I should call the HR to ask her if it was fine for me to apply for that position despite what I told her in the interview that I wanted exposure in M/S to develop competence. Should I ask her opinion on whether I, a new RN, should start in M/S before considering specialty areas or could I start right away in OB-Gyn (she knew I was planning towards that direction when I expressed interest in becoming a CNM). Should I wait until I get that call for the 3rd interview before I ask about the OB-Gyn position? (HR and unit manager both offered their numbers in case I have more questions to ask.)

    What do you suggest I do? I do not want to be seen as fickle-minded, but since many have started in specialty areas and had no problems gaining competence in their desired field, I am now also considering NOT spending my first year as a nurse in M/S (which I know I do not like). I like that first hospital not only because the working environment seemed very good, but it has a very good reputation (JCAHO certified and one of last years Best Places to Work in my state). I have yet to set an appointment with the second hospital so I do not have an idea yet of how the people there are.

    Your input will be highly appreciated.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   HealthyRN
    I would go ahead and call the first hospital to ask when you might hear about the job offer. In my experience, most hospitals do not wait that long if they are going to make an offer. I went on several interviews with different hospitals when I first graduated and most of them made an offer immediately after the interview or within a few days at the most. If you do not get offers for either position, I think it would be fine to apply for the OB job. As a new grad, it is hard to know exactly what speciality in which you want to start and they should be understanding of that.

    One piece of advice that I would offer would be concerning the "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question. Personally, I think it is wonderful that you want to pursue FNP or CNM. However, many employers, no matter what they say about valuing education, do not want to hear this. The nursing "shortage" is at the bedside, not in advanced practice. It's just my opinion, but I would not give the employer a specific timeline. It's okay to let them know that you believe education is important and you have goals. I would say something like, "In 5 years, I hope to be a competent and skilled RN and a role model and mentor to other nurses. I hope to contribute to the leadership of the unit, perhaps by serving regularly as a charge nurse, leading various committees for the unit, or serving as a preceptor. At some point, I would like to continue my education in nursing."

    Good luck with your job search.
  4. by   manangmdrn
    Wow, thanks a lot for that great tip, KatRN,BSN! I have always thought that the HR wanted every applicant to have a clear direction for career advancement, but I have known all along that I want to be a part of a company's growth (as long as that company does not restrict employees from voicing their ideas and suggestions for the overall improvement of the facility and the working conditions). I will be sure to use your suggestion on answering the "5-yr" question in my next interview at the second hospital.

    You might be in a community where there is a great shortage of nurses that you got job offers immediately. Here in my area, the greatest shortage is, as you said, bedside nursing (mainly Med/Surg, ER, and CCU), but I tend to believe there is a significant competition as well, so maybe the best approach really is to make the employer see that I will, under good circumstances and working conditions, stay within the company and actively participate in its expansion and growth.

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