As some of you may have read, I posted a few weeks ago that I was having trouble finding a job, it was a year of searching and I hadn't received any interest. Lady luck must have been on the internet that day and read my post, because I'm now wrestling with 3 different job offers, and can't seem to make my mind.
A bit about myself: Live in northern California. Not exactly attached to my location, but my significant other is. I am, however, emotionally attached to RN wages here =). Here are my options:
1.) MedSurg Full Time in El Paso Texas. Wage= 25ish. Must sign 2 year contract after 18 week residency. Things I Like: Location. Things I Dislike: MedSurg, Wage, Contract.
2.) ED Full Time in North West Texas. Wage=22ish. Must sign 2 year contract after 18 week residency. Things I Like: ED. Things I Dislike: Wage, Contract, Location.
3.) Corrections Full Time Limited Term in SoCal: Wage=45ish. Term=12 months. Thing I Like: Wage/Benefits, Location, Interest In Corrections. Things I Dislike: Fear of not being easily welcomed back into acute care in future.
I have narrowed my choices to 2 and 3. 3 For monetary/comfort reasons and 2 because I feel it would enhance my career in ways 3 would not be able to by way of making options for me wider If I ever decided to relocate to another place. One strong factor that drove me to pursue nursing, other than my passion for medical science and my felt duty for public service, was how attractive the idea of "being able to work anywhere" was. I feel starting my career in corrections might pigeonhole me. In all honesty, I don't see this job scarcity loosening its grip anytime in the near future and if this limited term corrections gig doesn't roll over to full time (with the state's labile budget issues as they are), I will still be considered a "new grad" in the eyes of acute care employers, just an older one.
My interests in nursing are both emergency/critical care and public health. During my ICU residency I was often frustrated with the inability to truly connect with patients on a personal level. I enjoy teaching; I tutored mathematics and chemistry during college and enjoyed it immensely. I wish there existed a unit where I could resuscitate patients from an MI then take them in the back room for coffee and educate them about lifestyle changes and health concerns, haha.
I know I sound like I'm all over the place here, and believe me these last few days of trying to decide between my options here have been a mess. To make things more complicated. I'm the type of person to [over]analyze the slightest detail in any situation, and the more exposure I get in the hospital setting, the more I realize that the majority of the nursing workforce is a vehicle for tasking, and in most cases, operating as a scapegoat for care-related issues: customer satisfaction ratings, nursing absorbing peripheral tasks due to institutional cut backs, etc. Perhaps that is just the fiscal devil on my shoulder convincing me to take the corrections gig.
I'm really not sure what quality/type of advice is available for someone in my situation. Maybe you could humor me and help me brainstorm what things should be important to a new grad like myself starting his career. Or maybe you guys can tell me to shut up and just pick one--tough love never hurt. I guess I'm just looking for some direction--I've never really made a big move in my life like this.
You Guys are Awesome
I think that choices 1 & 2 are probably a good starting point for a new grad. Something to consider is the cost of housing/living vs wage. I have not been to South Cal, but I have heard it is crazy expensive. $45/hr might not buy you as much as $25/hr somewhere else. Also Texas does not have State income tax, which I think is a huge bonus. My family lives in the Ft Worth area of Texas (I live in NW Wisconsin), and I was surprised at how cheap the housing was there. Houses were about 1/3 to 1/4 the price of the houses in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro! I was shocked!
Do you know much about the facilities you were offered a position at? Are they reputable? What is the patient/staff ratio on the Med/Surg floor like? Do they utilize LPNs in the hospital settings in Texas? (We have no LPNs in hospitals in my area of WI, but staffing ratios seem to be less?)
I guess I would be a little nervous about a contract too. I think an 18 week residency sounds very desirable for the amount of training you will get though! I am on week 4 of my 12 week orientation (I'm a Dec '11 grad), and I thought that was generous! If I were you I would choose #1 (if the ratios aren't crazy) You like the location, the wage is decent (I bet housing is at least 1/2 the price of So CA), and med/surg will probably provide you with a more interesting patient population than you would expect. Just my 2 cents! Good Luck with your decision! Let us know what you choose!
PS. I just read this article that is titled "10 Best Cities for Cheapskates" and it listed El Paso, TX as #2. It states that El Paso has "extra cheap cost of living". Take a peak! I read this article because it listed my city as #7 on the list! Check it out! http://finance.yahoo.com/news/10-bes...eapskates.html
Last edit by kylee_adns on May 8, '12
: Reason: adding in article