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Don't Want to Burn Bridges

Nurse Beth   (152 Views 2 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

14 Followers; 88 Articles; 226,123 Visitors; 1,753 Posts


Dear Nurse Beth,

A little background about me: I spent over ten years in the military service and then chose nursing as a second career. After nursing school, spent less than a year (approx 8 months) in critical care and then switched positions/new hospital/different floor (women’s health/oncology/Med Surg...basically everything). I have been in my new position in July for approx 8 months. 

An academic (university position) offer in July may be approaching for me. The position takes me off as a floor nurse for approx 3 years as it is more of an course assistant/clinical assistant. This position isn’t guaranteed yet. But, I really need to start weighing pros and cons now. 

My dilemma is: if the position is offered and I accept - I don’t want want burn bridges at the new hospital (I really love this hospital). However, I would be passing up tuition reimbursement for the three years while I am employed by the university since my ultimate goal is to become a NP. This university offers an FNP, DNP and is a well respected program. 

But, I don’t want to destroy a great resume. I already have a red flag having left my first position in under a year (which I can articulate because knowing I wanted either FNP or WHNP - I wanted a less critical floor and more women’s health focused). Regardless - red flag. I understand. 

I also don’t want to let the new hospital I work for down. I really love the people I work for and with. 

I have also explored waiting out until next May (2020) and starting a WHNP or FNP FT exhausting my post 9/11 benefits to maximize more experience on the floor. Or staying as a FT floor nurse and shift to PT when an opportunity rose (which may not come because we have a small pool of nurses) and starting a reputable online/hybrid FNP or WHNP.

Clearly, any and all advice is needed, welcomed and MORE than appreciated!!! 

Dear Dilemma,

If I understand this correctly, and not sure that I do, the benefit of the university non-clinical position is tuition reimbursement. But you also have military benefits that provide tuition reimbursement to help with an FNP education.

Your question is, does it hurt your resume to leave the hospital for a university position? If you intend to stay at the university for 3 years and pursue your FNP, probably not so much. By the time you apply for an FNP position, your work history will be stable with 3 years tenure at the university.  

However, it won't be appreciated by your current employer if you leave after 8 months on the job, especially because you also left after 8 months on the previous unit. 

As far as gaining clinical experience, you are far better off in the hospital setting than the university setting. While FNP is a different role than RN, the clinical exposure will help you in the long run. 

Your long term goal is to be an FNP, so you would get there either way. If you go with the university, make sure your schedule will allow for school and clinicals. 

Best of luck in your decision.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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Thank you!!! After I wrote my lengthy question and hit send - I realized I could have organized my thoughts better for you. I agree and I think the best decision is staying with my RN position (which I do love) and re-visit if I decide a PT floor/PT FNP program start in the fall is best OR FT FNP summer 2020 is best for me. 



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