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Choosing between husband and 2 beautiful poodles or ICU job

Nurse Beth   (841 Views | 9 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

19 Followers; 115 Articles; 238,148 Profile Views; 2,169 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

Help! I’m faced with two job offers and I don’t know which option to choose. One puts me closer to home and pays well, and the other provides awesome training to several ICU’s and the ER and pays less.

I graduated with my ADN in 2017 and I finished my BSN in 2019 while working full-time on a PCU. I was suppose to train to the ICU but after 2 years of waiting/trying (and being told by my manager that I “fell through the cracks”) I finally left and decided to pursue ICU training elsewhere. Below are my options:

Option 1:
- Small 20-something bed hospital 1 mile from my home
- ICU training (However, it has been explained to me that it is more like a PCU/telemetry unit).
- Training consists of working with a preceptor for 3-6 weeks
- Pay is $34+/hr; 48 hr/2 weeks
- Night shift; block schedule

Option 2:
- Large 400-something bed hospital 2.5 hours from my home in WI
- Float Pool ICU training (Trauma 2 hospital)
- Training consists of attending classes with a cohort of new hires, completing ECCO, and working with a preceptor while being trained in the SICU, MICU, and ER
- Pay is $29/hr; 72 hr/2 weeks; $2500 bonus
- Day and night shifts; block schedule
- *would rent a room with this option and return home on my days off

Option 3:
- Take neither and keep applying to major hospitals in the Twin Cities, 15-20 minutes from home.

I almost feel like I’m faced with choosing home and family (husband and 2 beautiful poodles) or being more ambitious and advancing my career so that many doors in the future potentially open for me. Can you give me advice on how to make this choice?

Thank you

Dear Ambitious,

What you want most in your next job is ICU training and experience.

Option 2 has that, but it's 2.5 hrs away. There's a lot of challenges that come with that distance. In theory it sounds manageable, but there are times your employer will expect you on site outside of your regularly scheduled shifts. It might be for hands-on training, say if your facility buys a new IV pump, or for a staff meeting, or for vacation coverage when block schedules are adjusted.

It's too bad, because the training sounds wonderful- ECCO and a cohort, like a fellowship. If you and your husband are realistic as you can be about a distance work arrangement, and you embrace the whole experience, it could work. But is it necessary?

Since you live close to the Twin Cities, I think that's where your answer lies. Your husband and dogs do factor in, and your lifestyle has to be sustainable. You don't want to choose an option that would leave you feeling guilty, torn, or anxious.

The other problem you have was created when  you quit your job before landing a new job. You can't choose option 1 merely as a stopgap while looking for your keeper job. You would burn bridges and probably not feel good about the decision. 

Best wishes in your decision.

Nurse Beth

 

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14 Followers; 4,212 Posts; 32,769 Profile Views

Just me but I think Option 2 sounds like a spit-shined opportunity to participate in shambles. Days and nights in 3 different areas, merits/requires a sign-on bonus? Taken together those are red flags.

While there's nothing inherently wrong with choosing to work somewhere like Option 1, it doesn't sound like it will meet your goals at this time.

Keep looking.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

16 Followers; 3,894 Posts; 42,518 Profile Views

Option 2 would leave me cold.  Way too stressful.  What does your husband say about it?  It would be necessary to bring him on board because too much stress and turmoil can be hard on a marriage.

Option 1 looks way more attractive to me.  Less exciting but more sustainable.  You would still be gaining valuable experience.  Down the road when circumstances change, you will still be well-positioned to jump on whatever opportunities arise.

If Option 1 just isn't ringing your chimes enough to commit to it for a year or two, then I recommend you keep looking.  Good luck!

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,952 Posts; 173,077 Profile Views

Choose the husband and the dogs -- especially  since you're so close to the Twin Cities.  Keep looking for the  ICU job in  the Cities.

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RN-to- BSN has 6 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in SCRN.

264 Posts; 4,971 Profile Views

choose option 1. The other option is way too far. 5 hrs of commute a day, 3 days a week? Rent a room?  Not worth it.

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772 Posts; 9,357 Profile Views

Always prioritize personal life quality over work.

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466 Posts; 1,452 Profile Views

Option 2 sounds insane.  $5 less + the expense of renting a room.  2.5 hours is a very long drive.  It just doesn't sound sustainable for very long.

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500 Posts; 6,974 Profile Views

What is the endgame?  I could see option #2 working, but not as a long-term arrangement.  Married couples do choose long-distance relationships for career advancement in many fields, and it can work in some circumstances. If this ICU residency is something you really want, you and your husband have to decide what this time apart will look like.  

You have to be realistic that you might not make it home some of the times you think you will, either because something else comes up at work, or you're too tired from your shifts, or inclement weather, etc.  While you might be prepared to spend the next year or two just eating, breathing, and sleeping nursing, will your husband be okay with your absence?  What will you two do to keep your relationship strong?

Are you thinking you'd take this job and eventually your husband would relocate closer?  Are you thinking you'd take this job, and eventually you and your husband would get a place half-way between, so you would both have long, but not insane commutes?  Are you thinking this job would be just to get a year's experience you'd use to try for an ICU job closer to your current home?

The more you can flesh out the answers to questions like these, the better you'll be able to picture what your lives will be like in a new job, and the clearer your decision will be.

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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

2,327 Posts; 38,329 Profile Views

If it was me I would choose my family and personal life over work!  Take the closer job and then if  you really want ICU you can keep looking.  But do a real soul search do you truly want ICU as not everyone is cut out for it.  Do you handle stress well?  For some reason ICU is a status symbol for some nurses of making it. 

But personally I think ICU is overrated, but that is just me.  But there is no way I'd take a job that's hours away from my family and pets, no way!  My family and pets are my world, work is just work. 

Plus taking the ICU job is a pay cut, hours away, then having to pay for a hotel or air B&B, just no.  Pay is important and it would take a lot for me to go backwards in pay.  You aren't taking a pay cut for a leisurely job like at a clinic, but for a very stressful job.  It doesn't make sense to me, but it's your life.  The only way I'd even consider a pay cut would be for a less stressful job with a better quality of life.

 

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40 Posts; 1,659 Profile Views

My opinion is you will come to regret the 2.5 hr commute - it will take too much away from your life and you only get one of them!

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