smart move or unprofessional?

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    Hi all, I'm new-ish around here. I've been a pediatric critical care nurse for the past 6 years (my whole nursing career) and will be starting medical school in a few short weeks. YAY!

    Now, here's the thing: originally, I'd planned on switching to PRN at my current institution when school starts. It's not lining up quite how I'd like time-wise, and I've been seriously considering getting a PRN job in an adult ICU. I'm most likely going to be some sort of a surgeon in the end, and not necessarily peds, so I figured this might be a good time to make the crossover. Recently, I've fallen in love with the idea of working in the SICU at a nearby military medical center. I have sent my CV to HR along with a cover letter acknowleging the relative exclusivity of my experience to peds and asserting that I'm more than happy to do whatever they recommend to get up to speed with big people. So far....crickets.

    In the meantime, would it be acceptable to contact the nurse manager directly to introduce myself and outline all the reasons that I really, REALLY want to work for him/her, and asking what I need to do to make that happen? I think that my reasons are good ones: 1) Desire for adult CC/post-surgical experience, especially truama-related (which I know there is a lot of there) 2) Considering joining the military as a physician myself 3) Strong desire to care for those who serve and their families. Would doing so come across as positive and motivated, or neurotic and pushy like an overly self-assured "baby-surgeon?"
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I think you have a couple hurdles here. Was this a per diem job you applied for? The hospital may not want to invest in bringing you up to speed only to have you bail if med school starts consuming most of your time. They may also want someone who already has experience on the adult side of things. However, I don't see any problem with reaching out to them and find out where they stand.
    Good Morning, Gil likes this.
  5. 2
    I see what the move would do for you, but as a hiring manager I'd be more interested in hearing what you would do for me.
    CrufflerJJ and VivaLasViejas like this.
  6. 0
    Yeah, they don't want to invest time in you since you will definitely be leaving them at some point. When? That's unknown to them, but everyone knows medical school is time-consuming, so they'll assume you'll be gone in 6 months, which may or may not be true.

    If you're going to be honest when interviewing (which I think you should be), I think you will find it will be very difficult for you to get a job.

    Anyway, congrats on your med school acceptance! That's really exciting. But, really, think of all of the med school-ites that have no experience whatsoever. So, no biggie, at least you have actual clinical experience as a nurse when you start as an intern.
  7. 0
    Congrats! Good luck with med school! I think you may find it difficult to find to job with that in your near future, but don't let that hold you back. Give it a try. I would include what you have done for your current employer.. Have you changed or created new policies that have helped? Things like that will set you out from the rest. Please let us know how you do...
  8. 0
    Well, I was planning on working 2-4 shifts per month and staying for the first 2 years of school. I didn't mention how many shifts per month in my letter, but I did say I plan to stay for 2 years. I'm prepared for the "you won't have time, therefore we don't have time" sentiment, but mainly wanted to know if it was presumptuous of me to straight-up call the nurse manager instead of waiting for HR to act.
  9. 0
    I think opening an interview knowing that your time there is limited may not be the best way to get in the door. Many facilities require a set orientation in the begining. You are going from pedi to adult and while similar...they are not the same.

    There is a financial investment involved on your behalf knowing that they will not get their return investment. 2 years 2 days a month isn't bery much. If I was the manager........I don't think it would be a good fit knowing you are strating school so soon and will leave shortly thereafter. While I think your ambitions are admirable I would not accept be able to accept your offer.

    That being said.....it never hurts to try.
  10. 0
    Well, just strategy wise, seems like a tall order to start medical school in a few weeks and learn a totally different form of critical care nursing at the same time - going through orientation and re-learning so much, and then only offering that hospital prn work in exchange. With so many nurses unemployed and all, I don't know if I'd take a chance on you- expending resources on you - as a manager if I knew that I'd not have you around much.

    Not that you shouldn't fly it up the flagpole. I kinda think you'd have to bridge the medical side and the nursing side, and depending on how everybody gets along there at that place, it could be a fine idea in everybody's minds, or, not.

    IF it's a military hospital, things might be a bit different as far as who you talk to in order to facilitate things, it might even be that you need to have spent a little more time doing some meet and greets up the chain on both sides, medical and nursing in order to do this.
  11. 0
    I'm thinking a few things here:

    When you're in medical school, it's extremely intense from the time-needed and stress-involved points of view. You may not be able to work.

    Places might not be willing to hire you for 2-4 shifts per month. There might not be such positions available.

    That being typed, one never knows until information is gotten from those that know for sure. First contact the HR department to see if they can answer your questions. Then, I'd contact the nurse manager ONCE, state my case shortly and concisely, leave a message for callback if necessary, and leave it in his or her court. When you speak to the manager, ask for an appointment to talk about it. It's always better face-to-face. If an appointment isn't possible, then ask your questions/state your case and see what happens. When you send in an application to HR, sometimes it's one of hundreds, and they all go into a pile. You need to do things that make you stand out...following up makes you stand out a bit and at least might get someone to pull your application to look at it. Managers hire--HR sends applications to them. If you talk to the manager, he or she can ask for your application and then you're really at the top of the heap. Go for it. What do you have to lose? It's not aggressive, it's assertive, and assertiveness is valuable.

    ...stepping off soapbox...
  12. 0
    I wouldn't make myself a bother (don't want to burn future bridges), but I don't see any harm in trying to follow up directly with someone with the answers.

    You're not an ideal candidate, given your severely limited commitment to the job combined with your need for training, so I wouldn't expect much, but you never know! If it does come off as unprofessional to someone, they have years and years to forget about you before you potentially come knocking on their door for a position as a physician.


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