Hi everyone! I am a new member to allnurses and would like to ask for some much needed advice for an issue I'm currently facing. I am a new grad RN-BSN with no paid RN experience since I've graduated. While applying for jobs last month, I came across an ad online about an elementary school district nurse contract position that would start in Feb 2013 and end June 2013. Since the ad didn't specify needing any prior nursing experience, I decided to take a chance and try my luck. I've always wanted to be a peds nurse, so I figured that this job would be perfect for me. I am also very much aware that being a school nurse as a new grad is not recommended, but I've heard of some instances in which new grads have been hired as school nurses and seem to be doing well.
A week later, I was contacted by a recruiter telling me that the school district liked my resume and would like to meet with me for an informal interview. After meeting with the school district superintendent, I was offered the job on the spot. I was told that they received very few applications, which I could see why, since this school district is in a very rural community about 2 hours away from the closest metropolitan city (which is where I currently reside). Basically, it's in the middle of nowhere. So anyway, the school tells me that I'll be replacing the previous school nurse and my job is to finish out the school year for her. After meeting the previous school nurse, I found that she too was a new grad RN when she started working for the school in late 2012, and basically applied to this job out of desperation of need an RN job. She told me that she is leaving the school because she was offered a better position in a new grad residency program and she felt that the school district put too many responsibilities on her without much help and guidance, even though they hired her knowing she did not have any previous school nurse experience. She also told me that this school district has a high turnover rate for their school nurse position, which is quite alarming to me.
My biggest concern though about taking this position is that it's only a temporary contract position through a staffing agency, and would only give me about 5 months of school nursing experience. Since there are no guarantees that I will be given another school nurse position after my contract with this school is over, I'm afraid that this job won't give me enough nursing experience to help me find a job afterwards. Should I accept this job offer or not? I know some experience is better than nothing, but I've also heard that temp jobs do not look very good on a resume. School nursing is definitely something I consider doing as a lifelong career, but will 5 months of school nurse experience in a contract position as a new grad help me land a permanent school nurse position at a better school district closer to the city? Or should I decline the offer and wait to land a new grad RN position in acute care so I can gain the experience school districts require to hire school nurses? Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to read this! Any advice or thoughts are greatly appreciated!