Advice needed desperately from my fellow nurses...plz read


I am an rn currently working on a geriatric medsurg unit and I have been there a while and it has not gone well. The hospital is severely understaffed and there is no room for advancement. I have been stuck on nights for years now and there are nurses ahead of me waiting for a day shift position as well. I despice my job and dread going to work. I have to do rn work and help my aids because we are solo short handed. But the job has decent benefits and is 30 seconds from my house so I could walk to work.

NOW, I have been offered a position at a home health agency but the catch is that it is only prn. The job sounds great and the director says they hire their full time nurses from prn nurses only so if I want a full time spot, I have to start out prn. The pay is decent and the people are nice. They say I can have all the hours I want but that is still no guarentee. And the driving to the homes...some of the homes I would visit would be as far as 2 hours from my home.

So, I have weighed my options and can't decide. Do I stay full time with benefits, at a job I hate with every fiber of my being and no room for advancement?

Or do i take a job that has a perfect dayshift schedule but no benefits and no guarenteed hours, with a long coomute?

Please any advice would be greatly appreciated!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

Are you willing to drive two hours in inclement weather conditions? Are you able to wear down your vehicle and spend staggering amounts of money on gas, some of which might not be reimbursed by the agency? Are you ready for a job that may not end when you go home? Home health nurses often end up taking mounds of paperwork home to complete.

This is just some food for thought. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

Commuter has some very valid points. Have you thought about changing specialties or looking for a day position at a different hospital? What about Ambulatory surgery if you want days? Just some other options.

FranD, RN

2 Posts

I have put in hundreds of applications and this is the only offer I have gotten. I live in rural Mississippi and there are NO jobs at the moment, much l. s a nursing job. There are hundreds of unemployed nurses and the day shift nurses are not letting go of what jobs they have.

I talked with my husband and we thought of buying a small, cheap car just for the HH driving but my biggest fear is losing benefits and guarenteed hours.

We can survive on his check but i want to supplement our income. I am so afraid of making the wrong decision. I feel, in my heart, that i cant keep going in my current position because of upper management looking for any reason to fire people. That is why I am down 2 aids now, because they were fired for something that counseling could have corrected and saved their jobs.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Consider cutting your hours on nights a bit and take some per diem work anywhere, anywhere, even the HHA. It might be better than you think, although what the Commuter says is all true. If you get some per diem elsewhere, you get your feet in the door. And maybe just cutting your hours a tad would give your head a rest.

Specializes in Assisted Living Nurse Manager.

I used to commute an hour each way and was spending approx 500.00 a month on gas. That didn't include the oil changes and wear and tare on my car. I had decent gas mileage of 30 miles to the gallon or more. After 8 months I found something in my town, the driving got old. Make sure that is something you really want to do. A two hour commute is a long one.

Good luck in whatever you do!

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

Keep your current job, esp. if you need the "benefits," such as major medical. If they are looking to fire people, and you get fired, at least you will get unemployment benefits while you look for something else. When a home health company claims they only "hire full-time from our prn's," it makes me think they don't want to offer benefits, and they want you to be "on call" frequently, and run your car to death. If they claim you can have all the hours you want, why on earth can't they offer a regular, full-time position?

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

I wouldn't leave, I'd find a way to make it bearable. Volunteer for a committee, start a QA project, work up the clinical ladder, study for the med-surg certification exam, start your own independent research and write articles to submit to nursing magazines, or write an educational nursing blog based on your experiences, lol, anything. That might reignite your interest in your work, help you grow professionally, and get you noticed at the same time.


7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

I've always been suspicious of recruitment offers that promise the sun, moon and stars. They freq don't seem to be realized when it's the time to do so. Seems like you have the proverbial "bird in the hand ..." dilemma. Some little inner voice is telling you to be careful, so you must be questioning what you're hearing too. Home Health has many issues to be considered so you really do need to think about it and look before you leap. Good luck.


388 Posts

Specializes in Med/surg, Tele, educator, FNP. Has 16 years experience.

Been there, done that. Not worth it. It will only be good for awhile, then you will hate driving so long. A least I felt that way when I tried it full time as a prn. Take a two week vacation from your current job and take the pen for a two week trial run and see how you feel. You never know till you try it. I know some nurses that absolutely love it. You never know..?

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uRNmyway, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,080 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

I agree with other posters. I work in Home health now. I would choose bedside med-surg over home health any day, any time. ESPECIALLY if you have full benefits where you are currently. I would keep looking, perhaps do as others have said, take some vacation time, and go to hospitals, meet NMs, whoever you can. Networking is important to find work. And it is a LOT easier to find work when you are already employed.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

The benefits are worth some misery until the right job with benefits come along. One single illness or injury that is unexpected is financially devastating.