Jump to content

First job as a new grad- wondering if I made the right decision

Specializes in Home Health.

I am a new grad RN and just passed my NCLEX in August and have been looking for a job ever since. I was lucky enough to actually get 2 job offers in the same week. One was a RN state job at a psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas, where I have been living for the past few months. The second was an RN job at a laser hair removal center in LA. I accepted the laser job because it paid $10 an hour more than the psych facility. So I just moved to LA with my family and started the new job but it's been a difficult transition.

After my first week in, I'm wondering if I made the right decision. This laser place seems more like a beauty place than a medical place and I wonder how much of my nursing skills I will be using here. I also am having a difficult time adjusting to LA. Maybe I need to give it more of a chance.

This laser place seems like an easy job compared to the hospital, but I can't help but feel like I could be doing something more meaningful with my nursing degree than doing bikini line hair removal for housewives of Beverly Hills....I feel bad for venting here because I know as a new grad, I should be grateful to even have a job. Maybe I shouldn't be worried about finding the ideal nursing job and just accepting whatever I can get right now, but part of me is wondering if I should contact the psych place in Vegas to see if they are still hiring. It is a lot less money, but I might be getting better experience there. I'm not sure which is more important. The money sure sounded good after being unemployed for so long! I was considering to just stay at the hair removal place and also do an online BSN program in the meantime so I still can feel like I am learning and possibly advancing in my nursing degree. So many different roads to go, just wondering which one is the best!

Does anyone have any input? I'm so stressed out and feeling lost! :idea: Is it better to go for more money or somewhere that pays less and will give me better experience? If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear.

Cuddleswithpuddles

Has 11 years experience.

Hi GypseyGirl,

Congratulations on your jobs! Welcome to LA too hehe.

What are your goals in life? What do you want to do as a nurse? Where do you see yourself living in the long-term, LA, LV or somewhere else?

congrats on becoming a RN and 2 offers! I think the above poster has some good questions you should be asking yourself. If it had been a med surg job vs hair removal than it might be "obvious" or if the it was a job on psych unit in a larger hospital where you could transfer to a different unit after a year would be great. I think it really depends on what you want to do as a nurse but I think you could get a good experience as a psych nurse - assessments, pt interaction, meds, handling multiple pts - that would all help you in a future hospital nursing job.

I don't know what cost of living in LV is like but 10 dollars a hour more might sound like an obvious choice but considering the high cost of living in so cal it really might not be much of an upgrade.

I think you should pursue the online BSN program and that its a great thing to advance your education. Having a BSN might help you get your ideal job as the next one!

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

Thanks for the positive thoughts! Long term, I'd like to do something more in public health or in preventive care. I've never felt all that comfortable in the hospital setting, even though they recommend that all nurses get a year of Med/Surge. I like more working at health fairs, doing educational kinds of things. I think I'm stronger in that area.

I am living with my parents here in LA and can walk to work, so that's why I chose this job! I was hoping to save some money and do this online BSN program. The ideal nursing job for me is one that I don't feel overwhelmed and totally stressed out, but still feel challenged. I used to work in home health as an LVN and I really liked developing closer relationships with my clients and having time with them. I think that's something that I never felt like I could have in a hospital setting.

N1colina

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in LTC, Family Practice, Meg/Surg.

Ohhh this is a tough one....lol. I would have trouble deciding as well. Both, money and experience were very important to me as well when I graduated. For me, I was in a doctor's office making like $6 an hr less than what I make in the hospital. So, I went with the hospital for more money AND more experience. But, if I were you I think I would have to really think about it. You are living with your parents, so you don't have to worry about the cost of living, but getting your year or two of experience in at the hospital might be more beneficial to you in the long run. Especially if you want to go on for your BSN. Most BSN jobs require at least 2 years of acute care experience anyway, at least in my area. Good luck to you! If you do decide to stay with the bikini wax job, at least you can save up all that money you're making and do something smart with it like pay for your BSN! :)

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

Ha ha, yes- money can be tempting! I might look into some new grad programs at hospitals in this area too. I think most hospitals do new grad programs every fall and spring, from what I've heard. There are pretty much no jobs in the bay area, where I went to school so maybe it's a little better in LA. Sometimes it takes a little time to give a new job a chance too, so I want to see how it goes.

You did the right thing. I also took a non traditional route for my first nursing job. When I could, I moved on. You will too.

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

I love nursing how there's so many different areas you can go into. I'm not sure if hospital nursing is really what I even want to do in the long run. There's many new grads who are unemployed for years after nursing school so I figure any experience as an RN is better than having a long gap of unemployment.

N1colina

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in LTC, Family Practice, Meg/Surg.

I love nursing how there's so many different areas you can go into. I'm not sure if hospital nursing is really what I even want to do in the long run. There's many new grads who are unemployed for years after nursing school so I figure any experience as an RN is better than having a long gap of unemployment.

You're absolutely right. I felt the same way about hospital nursing, and now that I am doing it, I KNOW it is not for me in the long-hall! It is too much...I'm just trying to stick it out for right now until I find something better! I just went with the first place that hired me, and it happened to be an extremely heavy Ortho/Neuro floor :uhoh3: which I hate.... so do what makes you happy!

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

I agree with you, N1! But that's the problem- we don't really know what will make us happy until we try out the job. With encouragement from my parents to "stick it out" and "be grateful to have a job in this bad economy," I've been trying to hang in there at the laser place. But I feel miserable so far. I felt like I went to school to help people, not try to sell them products that are overpriced and that they don't need. I'm also worried about liability issues of using lasers on people's faces and bodies without enough training. This place is busy and short staffed and I don't feel comfortable to do these procedures. And I also feel like I worked too hard in nursing school to be feeling this way...

I got calls for 2 interviews- one at a California correctional facility, and one at a hospice place in Las Vegas. I am planning to do the interviews, although it's very tricky with my training at this new job and figuring out all the driving and transportation issues.

I am so tempted to just quit, but I am trying to give it a chance and also see what's out there. But why do we have to sell ourselves short as new grads just because the economy is bad? I don't expect my first nursing job to be a "dream" job, but I do want to learn and feel like I'm doing something significant. Is that too much to ask? What would you guys do? Sorry for complaining so much, just so stressed about this! :(

If I may add my advice, if you think aesthetic nursing is not what you got into nursing to do, take it from me, correctional nursing may not be your cup of tea, either. And as I stated in my last post, even then, you can and will move on. Best of luck.

BNice74, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience. Specializes in Mother/Baby; Postpartum, Newborn Nursery.

@ GypseyGirl:

I feel your pain. I started my first job at a hospital job this past summer. I worked 11 weeks on a very high acuity telemetry/cardiac floor then switched to postpartum. And haven't loved either one. Don't get me wrong, I love patient care, it's why I chose nursing but I do not like all the other stuff that is part of nursing: like the over-the-top charting, all the hospital policies and procedures, and most especially all those unrealistic goals. For example, they expect us to give excellent patient care, spend as much time as possible with the patients doing teaching, etc but make sure to chart meticulously, make pt satisfaction calls, and update the charting when the nurses prior to you didn't do something they were supposed to do. I often wonder if bedside nursing is for me but it's hard to talk about with others b/c like you said, we need to "stick it out" and "be grateful to have a job in this bad economy."

I had to sign a 2 year contract for this new grad program. If I break it I have to pay thousands of dollars. At least in my situation, I am not bored but my schedule is horrible. I have to work night shift and almost every weekend b/c I am new. Even though my contract says every other weekend, that is not the case. I have no work/life balance and I'm exhausted all the time. I don't mean to sound like a baby but it's so stressful and I feel trapped b/c management doesn't really care. The first floor I worked on was tough (medically) but it was a very supportive environment (d/t the staff and managers). I moved floors b/c I couldn't wait to work with the babies thinking I would like to eventually get into NICU but now I am working a crappy schedule with nurses that talk about everybody and managers that really don't seem to care about how bad your schedule is. They spend most of their shift auditing your charting to see what you missed and what you need to work on more.

The reason I found your post was b/c I was wondering if medical spas might be a good fit. I wondered about what a day in the life was like. I didn't even think it was mostly sales based, so I would love to hear more input. What spa do you work for? I know you can't say on this board but maybe we can private message each other.

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

Actually I have an update! I ended up quitting at the spa place because I really didn't feel safe with my license with what they were doing at the med spa. The psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas said they will still hire me, so I am going through all the paperwork right now. It's a lot less pay, but I think it will be actual nursing experience and hopefully will be better in the long run. Not all med spas are the same way as the one I was at, but I would definitely do some research before accepting a job. The one I was at had many class action lawsuits from former employees and former customers.

@BNice, I understand how you feel. I think there's so many areas of nursing that we can go into, so our first job might not be our dream job, but perhaps it will open more doors in the future. I am not sure whether the best thing is to stick out a job that we hate for "experience" or to dabble in a couple of different areas before finding our "niche" in nursing. Maybe it would be good to volunteer or shadow someone who does an area that interests us to make sure it's what we want before accepting a job? I'm not sure!

Hopefully the psych hospital will be a better fit for me. We will see! I'm happy that they still have the job available. I love Vegas so much better than LA :)

Hi GypseyGirl, thanks for updating your current status, about quitting the med spa. but I just wanted to ask you, since I am actually looking INTO changing my nursing career into the field of aesthetic nursing!!!

"Not all med spas are the same way as the one I was at, but I would definitely do some research before accepting a job. "

what did you mean by that? I would love to hear from someone who has experience with the aesthetic nursing.

any info or tips would be soo helpful! thanks in advance!

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

Well I would say that the place I was at did about 90% of the procedures of laser hair removal. It was not as glamorous as what you would think- mostly lasers on butt and bikini area. I guess it might beat emesis basins and bed pans though! I didn't stay long enough to really be able to give too much insight into that industry. But definitely ask around and do some research! Best of luck to you! I'm actually ending up probably going to leave the psych hospital I'm at right now. I was hoping this job would work out better and i've been there about 6 weeks, but the unit is really unsafe and staff keeps getting attacked by patients :( I was really hoping to find my dream nursing job out of school, but so far haven't been very happy with anything I've found so far. Maybe it takes a few tries to find the right niche!

ShantheRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc.

There's a fine line between finding your niche and being labeled a job hopper. Just saying. You gotta give a place a chance (which, IMO, takes longer than 8 weeks) before you dismiss it. I'm not being a dream killer or anything lol but considering how hard it is to find a job, use caution. There's no such thing as a perfect job.

GypseyGirl

Specializes in Home Health.

Believe me- I really don't want to be a job hopper. I have really been trying to give the psych place a chance, and have been trying to learn as much as I can there from my preceptor. I am just so scared though. There are about 20 patients for every nurse due to budget cuts and a lot of them are aggressive and act out on the techs and nurses. One girl was punched a couple of nights ago and sent to the ER. She had to work with that same patient again yesterday who hit her and he was threatening her the whole day. As a new grad, I don't expect my first job to be my dream job, but I don't know if it's worth going to work worrying about getting beat up by patients.

ShantheRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc.

Ugh.....I could never be a psych nurse :( I sincerely hope it works out for you. I applied to a state facility out of desperation and nothing gave me more relief when I said "I'm sorry, I've accepted a position elsewhere" when they called me back.

×

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.

OK