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Am I being too picky on a job or is it just bad luck?

Updated | Posted

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

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Sorry for all of my posts recently, I'm just struggling at the moment. I recently made a post about how much I disliked my current med/surg hospital job and wanted to quit. I have been in that job for a year and a half so feel I gave it a good chance. I tend to work night shifts weeks on end and it isn't sustainable for me anymore. I am looking into a position that allows me to have more regular hours. For over a month now I have been checking job postings every day and applying for any clinic position I felt was a decent fit. I have applied for 14 different positions and had three interviews. However, I am starting to feel really discouraged and am wondering if it is something with me or if I'm actually picking up some legitimate concerns for these postings.

The first position I interviewed for was a clinic for an independent company. The hours were good but during the interview, the manager stated the salary which honestly had me baulking. The price he listed was the lowest salary I have ever seen listed for an RN. It was $4.5 less per hour than I make now at the hospital as a newer grad, $2 less than at my community position. I ended up politely turning that one down.

The second was another clinic position in the community. Although it was listed as a clinic position, the hiring manager mentioned two or more times how I would make such a great community nurse doing home visits. I tried to as gently as I could mention I was just interested in the clinic, to which the manager stated that I would normally work in the clinic "but if the clinic is fully staffed that day we would need one of the clinic nurses to go out into the community." This wasn't at all listed in the job description. They also stated I would need to be available on call during some nights (1-2 a month) to answer phones about patient concerns and if I couldn't address it over the phone would have to drive out to see them in person. I am not sure if all of this is the norm for community nursing clinic positions, perhaps someone could shed some light. It also made $2 less an hour than my hospital job with little room for growth. I ended up turning down that position as well. 

The third position was for a hospital clinic. The hours were listed as 8 hours Mon-Fri on the posting. As we were interviewing the manager told me that although the posting said 8 hours, I was expected to be available for 10 hours should the need be there.  Another hospital clinic is being renovated as well, so they have been moved into the clinic listed. So there is double the number of staff with double the patients in a very small space. I am thankful to the manager for being so open, but it is giving me a bit of pause now too. I have heard people warning about the 8-hour shifts that then frequently transition into 10-hour shifts day after day week after week and the problems with being paid appropriately if the posting is listed as 8 hours. 

I told my parents about my struggles and they feel that I'm being overly picky. My mom mentioned that no job is perfect. While I do understand this, I am nervous about what I perceive to be possible red flags. When I do transition over I want it to be for a job I see myself staying for years, hence why I am maybe being picky. My parents can also tell how miserable I am at my current job which is making me feel miserable about my life. They want me to find somewhere else asap now even if it is temporary. I guess I'm just concerned that I can't find any job that feels like it would be a decent fit. I'm honestly starting to wonder if I made a terrible mistake becoming a nurse since my health has declined so rapidly since starting my career.  Any advice would be appreciated. Does it seem like I am honestly being picky? Or are there actual red flags in these interviews?

 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 42 years experience.

First, do not apologize for so many posts, as that is what this website is all about, Aliceozwalker.

Lastly, if you have the area, world, and time to be picky, by all means, do so!

No one can live another's life for them. Do what you need to do to be comfortable with your major life decisions.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Well, you are likely competing with many nurses who have burned out in acute care and are looking for those less intense settings. Additionally, those outpatient clinic jobs with the schedule that appeals to many typically do pay much less. That’s part of the trade off for getting those other perks. My organization has inpatient nurses two rungs higher on the pay scale ladder than outpatient ambulatory settings- that can mean a difference of up to $15,000/year. Yet they have no trouble filling those lower paid positions because people are willing to take the lower pay in exchange for the other things they get (fewer or no nights/weekends/holidays, fairly set schedule). It may be you need to do some research and see what is realistic for the setting in your area. 

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Short answer, yes, I think you're being too picky

3 hours ago, Aliceozwalker said:

I have heard people warning about the 8-hour shifts that then frequently transition into 10-hour shifts day after day week after week and the problems with being paid appropriately if the posting is listed as 8 hours. 

This seems like an incorrect warning if I'm not mistaken and sounds like they are mixing up the concerns of salaried workers into it. If you take an hourly position you must be paid for hours worked. You could make an innocent inquiry to the manager about how overtime is paid, etc. Then you'd at least know how they say they are going to handle it. But as far as I know you don't work 10 hours but only get paid for 8 because of what a job listing might have said.

3 hours ago, Aliceozwalker said:

I told my parents about my struggles and they feel that I'm being overly picky.

Not sure I would agree. I have no idea why it's fine for hiring employers to have expectations but workers are not expected to have any. I checked out a position I was interested in for which my experience would've been very useful. I asked for a raise over what I was currently making, hoping to settle on a not-outrageous raise. I was offered the position but they said point blank they weren't going to entertain my negotiation attempt. 😂. Okay, bye then. Now they are crying, wailing, about how they can't get people, spouting the whole "no one wants to work [because unemployment]" BS big business propaganda.

You have to be reasonable (in accepting that there are going to be tradeoffs), but you don't have to sign up for BS. You do already have a job and although it isn't going well, you're in a position to hang in there while you feel things out. 

Personally I think you're doing a good job hearing what they're saying and reading between the lines.

The other thing is, as a result of employers' lack of concern for loyalty I'd now have no problem taking a position and continuing to look for a different one. You could do that, too.

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

First, do not apologize for so many posts, as that is what this website is all about, Aliceozwalker.

Lastly, if you have the area, world, and time to be picky, by all means, do so!

No one can live another's life for them. Do what you need to do to be comfortable with your major life decisions.

Thank you Davey Do. From a financial standpoint, I am actually okay, I am still pretty young and living with my family. It's more from a mental and physical health standpoint that I want to leave so badly. I would actually be fine with staying on the unit casually, I just really want to find something else part-time that works.

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

1 hour ago, Rose_Queen said:

Well, you are likely competing with many nurses who have burned out in acute care and are looking for those less intense settings. Additionally, those outpatient clinic jobs with the schedule that appeals to many typically do pay much less. That’s part of the trade off for getting those other perks. My organization has inpatient nurses two rungs higher on the pay scale ladder than outpatient ambulatory settings- that can mean a difference of up to $15,000/year. Yet they have no trouble filling those lower paid positions because people are willing to take the lower pay in exchange for the other things they get (fewer or no nights/weekends/holidays, fairly set schedule). It may be you need to do some research and see what is realistic for the setting in your area. 

I honestly believe you are 100% right. I have seen a huge shift away from acute hospital medicine since the second wave of COVID. My other job, at a hospice, which I used to rely on to ease the mental load of the hospital job, is suddenly fully staffed for the first time in years even with the significantly lower pay rate than the hospital. All of the new nurses came from the hospital and said that they just got burned out from being short-staffed and the huge increase in acuity. 

I really don't mind working weekends or holidays, I'd even take a bit less pay as I am doing with the hospice. What I do mind is being paid significantly less money (more than $4.5 an hour difference from a starting hospital salary is just too much for me personally), working exclusively nights (as is my hospice job) or working in a chronically understaffed area. 

Clinics at the hospital seem to be the best solution as you work those regular hours and your pay is in relation to the hospital. That being said these jobs are hard to get though I am in the running for one that opens up in 6-10 months. Maybe until then I will just have to find something temporary...

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

1 hour ago, klone said:

Short answer, yes, I think you're being too picky

Thank you for your honesty. It is a bit tricky since I am in the running for a clinic position M-F 8-5 WITH hospital pay but it isn't for another 10 months (manager told me this when I expressed interest for the position). It's probably what is making me feel so picky in the meantime. I honestly should probably just find something temporary until that one opens up and I can apply. 😕 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

 (in accepting that there are going to be tradeoffs), but you don't have to sign up for BS. You do already have a job and although it isn't going well, you're in a position to hang in there while you feel things out. 

Personally I think you're doing a good job hearing what they're saying and reading between the lines.

The other thing is, as a result of employers' lack of concern for loyalty I'd now have no problem taking a position and continuing to look for a different one. You could do that, too.

Thank you, you raised some good points. I know it shouldn't happen but I see a lot of unpaid hours at a hospital setting  (people working through breaks constantly and aren't paid, if people stay overtime under an hour they often don't always get it, etc.) There is definitely a stigma about applying for overtime "too" much as well. As long as there isn't a negative culture around overtime pay in that particular setting, I would be fine with it. 

I'm definitely seeing some warning signs at some of the jobs interviews I attended. I do think your right since I actually have a good running on a clinic position at my current hospital (the manager said when an opening occurs in likely 10 months or so wants me to apply). It sounds like I should just look for something even semi-ideal and just settle with that for now. 

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Have you considered Psych Nursing. Many free standing psych facilities only have 8 hour shifts with overtime if you want it. At the facility where I work most new hires start on Pm or Noc Shifts and can apply and move to day shift in 6 months and everybody except Core staff floats. This is mainly to give you the opportunity to see what unit you might like working. We all work alternating weekends. 

Psych isn't for everyone but it is generally less taxing on the body and you have to have  excellent people skills and be a quick thinker, So there is that to consider,

Your first post reminded me of a position I took some 9 years ago when I was burned out on hospital nursing. The position said 8 hours Monday-Friday, Occasional weekends and Holidays and no mandatory overtime. The owner was not transparent and I ended up in a nightmare job on salary with tons of extra work so the salary came out to about $10/hr.  So go ahead and ask those questions and be sure it;s a job you want to take. You don't want to get into a situation you hate. This is just mt 2 cents. 

Hppy

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

There IS life outside bedside nursing. Keep trying. I have seen nurses with zero experience get jobs in insurance/other non-beside positions. I have seen them do clinic nursing (for considerably less money). I have seen so many make their way out. I did it but admittedly, I had YEARS of experience before I jumped out. But what I want you to take away is not to lose hope. Keep on doing what you are doing; do your best. And keep trying in applying for jobs that interest you in the meantime.

I do wish you the best and hope you can hang in there a bit longer......just try not to be too picky in your search. If you do find a job outside bedside, give it a whirl and give it your all.

PS: You are not bugging *me* with all your posts. This is what this board is for. To interact, support and help one another. It's OK to express frustration and your desire to move on here. You are in a safe zone with me. Not to say I can't be a bit snarky when someone gets that way with me. But I have tried hard to change my snarky ways of late. I guess I am mellowing with age.

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 6 years experience.

14 hours ago, Aliceozwalker said:

Hi everyone,

Sorry for all of my posts recently, I'm just struggling at the moment. I recently made a post about how much I disliked my current med/surg hospital job and wanted to quit. I have been in that job for a year and a half so feel I gave it a good chance. I tend to work night shifts weeks on end and it isn't sustainable for me anymore. I am looking into a position that allows me to have more regular hours. For over a month now I have been checking job postings every day and applying for any clinic position I felt was a decent fit. I have applied for 14 different positions and had three interviews. However, I am starting to feel really discouraged and am wondering if it is something with me or if I'm actually picking up some legitimate concerns for these postings.

The first position I interviewed for was a clinic for an independent company. The hours were good but during the interview, the manager stated the salary which honestly had me baulking. The price he listed was the lowest salary I have ever seen listed for an RN. It was $4.5 less per hour than I make now at the hospital as a newer grad, $2 less than at my community position. I ended up politely turning that one down.

The second was another clinic position in the community. Although it was listed as a clinic position, the hiring manager mentioned two or more times how I would make such a great community nurse doing home visits. I tried to as gently as I could mention I was just interested in the clinic, to which the manager stated that I would normally work in the clinic "but if the clinic is fully staffed that day we would need one of the clinic nurses to go out into the community." This wasn't at all listed in the job description. They also stated I would need to be available on call during some nights (1-2 a month) to answer phones about patient concerns and if I couldn't address it over the phone would have to drive out to see them in person. I am not sure if all of this is the norm for community nursing clinic positions, perhaps someone could shed some light. It also made $2 less an hour than my hospital job with little room for growth. I ended up turning down that position as well. 

The third position was for a hospital clinic. The hours were listed as 8 hours Mon-Fri on the posting. As we were interviewing the manager told me that although the posting said 8 hours, I was expected to be available for 10 hours should the need be there.  Another hospital clinic is being renovated as well, so they have been moved into the clinic listed. So there is double the number of staff with double the patients in a very small space. I am thankful to the manager for being so open, but it is giving me a bit of pause now too. I have heard people warning about the 8-hour shifts that then frequently transition into 10-hour shifts day after day week after week and the problems with being paid appropriately if the posting is listed as 8 hours. 

I told my parents about my struggles and they feel that I'm being overly picky. My mom mentioned that no job is perfect. While I do understand this, I am nervous about what I perceive to be possible red flags. When I do transition over I want it to be for a job I see myself staying for years, hence why I am maybe being picky. My parents can also tell how miserable I am at my current job which is making me feel miserable about my life. They want me to find somewhere else asap now even if it is temporary. I guess I'm just concerned that I can't find any job that feels like it would be a decent fit. I'm honestly starting to wonder if I made a terrible mistake becoming a nurse since my health has declined so rapidly since starting my career.  Any advice would be appreciated. Does it seem like I am honestly being picky? Or are there actual red flags in these interviews?

 

No, you are not being picky in the slightest. You are about to have two solid years of Med-surg experience which, despite the mythical hierarchy in nursing, is VERY marketable and coveted to outpatient employers. 

The first one sounded like they are trying to take advantage of nurses desperate to leave the bedside that they will take anything. Yes, you may take a pay cut to work in out patient, but unless you work in a HCOLA with a HCOLA pay, you should not be taking an almost $5/hr pay cut from NEW grad acute care to EXPERIENCED nurse in an outpatient setting (unless that $5/hr is purely differential pay. Then that is different).

The second one was atrocious. On call at night? Being forced to go see patients in the middle of the night and be at their beck and call? Yeah. No. Good for you not letting them take advantage of you.

The third one...that doesn't sound legal, unless you are getting paid overtime or if it is salary. If it is salary, I wouldn't bother with it. If it is hourly...depends on the situation and how often you were forced to stay over. If I were you, I would ask if it were possible just to do 4 10s and have a three day weekend.