Updated: Oct 17, 2023
Published Oct 12, 2023
I have a few nursing residency offers from departments and hospitals that aren't my top choice. The interview for the hospitals and department I want isn't until next week 10/18. The offers I have now have to know if I accept before the 18th. Can I accept the offer while I wait for the one I really want? Should I just take one of the offers I have not, I don't want to be greedy either.
If you can hold out for what you really want hold out.
You can accept, then back out as needed. Just make sure to back out respectfully if needed
It may be too late to chime in, but it was a question I navigated, so perhaps responding will help someone else.
First, have you requested extra time to make your decision. Accepting a job is not something to be taken lightly, and a future employer might recognize this and agree to giving you an extra week to make your choice.
Second, are you sure your first choice is really your first choice? This came into play when I was making a decision for my nurse residency. I was offered a position at a hospital I was barely considering, but at the interview and after talking to past and current nurses employed there, the position slowly inched it's way to my number one position. I accepted the position, still feeling unsure, but in the coming weeks the other two positions called off their search (I really wanted to start in L&D and one hospital emailed the day before the interview clarifying they were hiring to other units, but not L&D and the other facility pushed back the search and said they might be hiring new nurses in the January '24). I had been initially very tempted to hold out in hopes I would have another offer, but it's clear now that I made the right choice in accepting my first offer. The more I learn about the position and facility the happier I am with my choice, and if I knew coming into the Job Search what I know now about the unit it would absolutely be my first choice (the other facilities have experienced high turnover, whereas my unit has a large cohort of experienced nurses and thus the capacity to support, train and mentor me; furthermore, the retention speaks to a healthy workplace and high job satisfaction).
That said, if you know that your top choice is going to be the best fit for you, and you feel confident in their hiring process, it may be appropriate to hold out. This is a big decision, and I don't think you should settle. Nurses are in demand and hospitals are hiring, so I think it is safe to anticipate you will receive another offer (at your first choice or otherwise). One point to consider is new residency start dates and if by chance if you are not offered your first choice position does that set you months behind for the next round of application, or are there other options that will be available? At the facilities I've been looking at, residencies typically run biannually or quarterly each year. But, in the city where I went to nursing school it seems that some facilities accept new nurses on a monthly basis.
In a sense I would say to wait for what you want. I don't think you should accept knowing you really don't want to work at that particular place, plus it waste your time and theirs. Just put your best foot forward like you did in the other interviews
All the best in your Job Search.
Thank you all for your input. For future reference, in case anyone has this exact question. If you have more than one offer (not your top choices) you are waiting to hear back from another department in the same hospital. I highly encourage you to talk to the recruiter. The recruiter help me out a lot, from setting up interviews that where within the timeframe of other offers to guiding me on how to accept an offer while I waited for the one I wanted. They can help with extending the date you need to accept or deny the offer. So, Definitely talk to the recruiters. I ended up getting the job I wanted!
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