A tale of two job offers.


I was tentatively offered a position at the unit I finished my final semester in (adult ICU). Love it there! Everyone is really nice and welcoming. Pay is decent and benefits are great. However they have a lengthy service agreement for new grads...not a big deal because I'm looking to build resume continuity.

They took really long to call back so I applied for positions elsewhere out of fear of not having a job. I applied to a NICU even though they wanted years of experience. Surprisingly they called me back. The first interview went awesome and I'm set to interview a second time. The pay is a tad bit better but the benefits aren't that great.

I'm unsure of what I should do because I'm expecting offers from both places. The NICU job only offers 12 wks of orientation and we didn't get much exposure at all to NICU in school (a quick walk through to be exact). The learning curve is significantly steeper than adult ICU. It's not that I don't think I can do it, I'm just afraid of not doing well in my orientation/probation period and being transferred to a less acute unit (happens a lot at this facility). I don't think the learning curve in the adult ICU will be bad because we studied it intensively in school and I've been on that unit for some time. But I'm afraid by turning down a NICU position I'd be passing up on a rare opportunity (most of the nurses there never ever leave). What should I do?


983 Posts

I wouldn't count any chickens before they're hatched! You're sort of creating a problem that you don't even have yet.


38,333 Posts

Precisely why I try to keep my job seeking to one employer at a time. I would not like to have your dilemma. You could establish a certain criteria to use. Easy one: whoever provides first offer. Another one: toss of a coin if two offers. Another one: Which job is closer to your home. Any other criteria that comes to mind: hey, check out the employee cafeterias. Who provides the better lunch entrees? Sounds joking, but whatever you decide on, will make the choice for you. But on the serious side, if you suspect that your preference for a long term career is peds, then NICU. Otherwise, it sounds as if today you are more comfortable in the adult unit.

scaredsilly, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,161 Posts

This is not something that anyone can really answer for you. If you only get one offer, then take it (either one!), but if you get two, you have to decide where you want your career to go. Is your dream job NICU or adult ICU? If you know the answer to that, you have answered your own question.

If you can't answer that, then it's a tough one. Pay and bennies are important, but the most important thing is working on a unit in an environment you love. A lot of really good new grads are struggling because they hate the work, or because the preceptor is awful or the environment is not new grad friendly. Nursing is so much different than anything you are exposed to in school! We all struggle for a myriad of reasons and being somewhere you hate makes the struggle worse. Those of us lucky enough to be hired right from practicum have an easier time because we already know the unit and the people. I didn't have to worry about my preceptor because I already knew she was God's gift to precepting. That makes a huge difference and is more important that you can imagine at this point. All that said, I probably would have taken the adult ICU in your shoes just because I was familiar with who would be training me and how the unit was run. But as stated if your dream is NICU, then you need to take that one.

I think it is great that you may have that decision to make, lots of new grads can't get even an interview, so two job offers means you must be an awesome nurse, don't worry about "what if I fail", I don't think that will happen!