Doctor office position: Concerns with informality, no HR department



I am an RN, BSN who graduated college in 2013 and worked in home care for the past year. The job wasn't for me- very understaffed, overworked, underpaid and unfair conditions. I left after hitting just about a year and have been looking for a new position for the past 3 months. I responded to a Craigslist ad for an Allergy/Immunology office who was seeking either an LPN or RN to join their team. Shortly after, they called me and I spoke (on speaker) with the doctor and his current LPNs for 30 minutes, at which point they asked me to come in the next day for an interview and to see if we would be a good fit for each other. I went in yesterday at 1pm and stayed until 6pm shadowing (and essentially working for free). I was barely interviewed, really not asked any questions.. Instead the doctor spent the entire time talking and trying to talk up the practice. They are a reputable office with good online reviews, but the whole process was so strange and informal. At the end of the day he told me he was interested and wanted me to start next week at their LPN rate of $25/hour. I was able to negotiate up to $27/hour at which point I shook his hand and he left for the night. We never discussed hours, benefits, PTO... It was all so strange and informal, and I'm a bit concerned about how small the office is and how there is no HR department. They want me to come in today with all my identification/nursing license etc. to fill out the paperwork, but I'm concerned that the job details are still so unclear and I never received a formal offer letter.

Is it like this with all small practices/ doctor offices? The entire office is the doctor, 2 LPNs, and 2 medical assistants, so there's nobody there who strictly deals with billing/ HR/ finances, etc.. it's all done in-house. Should I just be taking their word for everything or is this too fishy? Any advice would help. I'm typing up topics that I have which I would like to be covered on a formal offer letter from them (salary, job description, benefits, hours, etc.) but is it okay for me to fill out the employment paperwork and give them a voided check and everything this afternoon before I get that information? (The doctor will be away on conference until I start next week so I'll just be going through the other office LPNs today for all my info). I'm confused and still fairly new to all this, so any advice would be great!!

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Yeah that sounds typical. A small office isn't going to have an HR department.

psu_213, BSN, RN

3,878 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 14 years experience.

A private practice office is, generally speaking, not going to have an HR department, so I wouldn't worry about this.

I would, however, make sure that you know all the particulars (benefits, PTO, hours, etc.) before you agree to the job.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

4,475 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

Very typical for small offices.


1,526 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

It doesn't sound fishy to me at all. Just make sure you tell them you are not an LPN and expect to be paid more than one, and have your benefits spelled out in writing.


112 Posts

Has 7 years experience.

small offices do not have an HR department. They usually have an office manager though. I would ask all the questions you have when you go to fill out paper work. I would want to know all of those questions as well and maybe he just forgot to discuss those things with you! 27/hr is Great pay for an office! here in Virginia, you will be lucky if you get more than $18.00-$19.00/HR in a doctors office as a RN and LPN's are lucky to get $14.25-$15.00/hr in a doctors office! Good luck :)


38,333 Posts

Sounds like you are bringing a large employer mindset to a small employer. You should not expect an HR department for so few employees. Also sounds like you are on good footing in that you were able to negotiate your pay upwards, but is that enough for you or will you be dissatisfied? Do you know the going rate for office RN's in your area and is this rate at par? Sounds good from what I have seen reported for office work.