First job offer questions

Posted
by JMC5678 JMC5678 (New) New

Hi everyone, new grad FNP here. Just wanted to reach out for feedback regarding my current job situation. Interviewed for a position in a community health clinic, and the benefits of the job were reasonable and what I expected. Received an employment offer, and a 12 page employment contract. The contract is very restrictive in regards to non compete, termination notice, and is open ended about travel between clinic locations which would potentially set me up for a 3 hour (total time) daily commute if the second location needed coverage due to illness, vacation, leave, etc. I have agonized for 2 days over this position, because outside of the restrictive contract, I really think the job itself would be a great experience. My gut tells me to walk, but because the job situation in TN is really tough right now, I'm second guessing my gut feelings. Sorry for the long post folks! I truly appreciate any of your thoughts on how you might handle.

TheBlackDogWaits

TheBlackDogWaits

Has 2 years experience. 208 Posts

I'm sure somewhere in that tight contract, there must be some mention of a probationary period, or an orientation period....

If I were you, I would take the job, and feel it out. It is quite rare to find a dream job, especially right out the gate... If, after 90 days, the fit is not a good one, and/or something more suitable has an opportunity for you, then weigh your options. Intuition is best suited for more threatening or unsavory conditions, I suspect. It's awesome to have it, but often times it is used to disguise other feelings, like a lack of desire or avoiding inconveniences.

There are ways to do this without burning bridges, too. Just be smart about it all and maintain your professionalism. Good luck!

Edited by TheBlackDogWaits

traumaRUs

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 164 Articles; 21,179 Posts

Have an employment attorney look over the contract. Best $300 I ever spent.

also do you get travel pay? Current govt mileage is $0.565 per mile. I travel extensively, about 300-400 miles per week so reimbursement is a biggie for me.

JMC5678

JMC5678

3 Posts

Thanks so much for your feedback, I truly appreciate it!

BlackDog, there is a 90 day probationary period. However, if I find that it is not a good fit for me after the 90 day probation period and choose to leave, I don't have any recourse. I'm locked in to a 90 day prior written notice, as well as face limitations from the non-compete clause. Short of my death, disability, or loss of license, that 90 days is set in stone. I did request an amendment for a shorter time span, which they flatly refused to consider.

I believe the reason I'm struggling so much with whether to accept or not is based on several things I know about the practice, and items I picked up on during conversation during my second (informal) interview. There seems to be a high turnover with the company, I've noticed 3 of the last 4 NPs hired left immediately at one year (I know this because I approached them for preceptor opportunities during my FNP program, and all but one of them are now gone!). Also, during a discussion with the CEO he casually mentioned scheduling and let slip that there have been "arguments" between NPs and front office staff regarding scheduling and I wondered if this could be the reason for the turnover rates.

Trauma, they did offer a mileage component for travel.

I know there are pros and cons to each job and I'm fine with paying my dues so to speak as a new NP. I'm not looking for perfection! I'm just concerned about going into a bad situation, if there have been "scheduling issues" and what seems to be a high turnover, as well as their lack of willingness to hear out or negotiate any issues I have with the contract. And Trauma, I agree that I should have an attorney look at the contract!

Thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

zmansc, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. 867 Posts

What does the contract state about the scheduling? I would second Truama's suggestion of at minimum having a lawyer look it over. I would also make a list of the issues you have already identified, travel reimbursement (both by mileage and in time for going to clinic other than your primary clinic), scheduling, etc. so when you go to the lawyer, you can have him/her add in appropriate verbage for these issues. Then take it back to the CEO. Obviously the position is of interest, so before you walk away, give them a counter and see what they are willing to do to meet you 1/2 way. They probably don't want another NP that only lasts a year either, so you have some leverage here.

chillnurse, BSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Internal medicine/critical care/FP. Has 6 years experience. 1 Article; 208 Posts

i moved from TN to ky for a better job area. U from east TN? thats where i moved from. knoxville area sucks, but cleveland and chattanooga have more jobs then even where i am in KY. i moved cuz of GF though. look into working around chatt, i had a few of job offers there for mega bucks

nursegreen

nursegreen

179 Posts

I agree with Trauma. At the very least I would not sign anything without having the appropriate attorney look over the contract. You have to take into consideration that the contract is in the best interest of the company and not you ( as you stated you went back to them and they refused to budge).

My biggest concern with a non-compete clause is that if the position does not work out, not only are you stuck but you are limited in your job options.

In my first position, the schedule discussed in the hiring process significantly changed once I started and of course created a lot of tension because it was a schedule I couldn't work but also needed my job. I was lucky in that I did not have a contract and was able to bide my time until something else came along.

PS: this company had and continues to have a high turn over with NPs.

Good Luck!

JMC5678

JMC5678

3 Posts

Thanks chillnurse. I'm in mid-TN, and seeing many west TN positions. Guess it's pretty saturated the further east you go. I have been giving some though to KY. How's the market where you are?

Nursegreen, your first position sounds much like what I believe this one to be! The contract non-compete limits me in both mileage, and by county, and it also leaves the schedule and my benefits open for modification or amending at any time. Basically the entire contract is to their benefit, which I expected to some extent.

I decided to do more vigorous research on this company, which I admit, I should've done prior to applying (learned a good lesson there) and I've found that in the past 2 1/2 years, there have been five other NPs they have hired, and subsequently lost. None have stayed over one year. I'm pretty convinced that I've made the right decision in walking away.

I have learned many valuable lessons during this situation, and I know going forward I will be much better prepared to ask the right questions and hopefully find a first position that is a better fit. I really appreciate everyone who has replied with feedback- thank you so much for your help and advice!

Edited by JMC5678

Riburn3, BSN, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 15 years experience. 3 Articles; 551 Posts

I graduate later this year as an FNP and have already received my first job offer. I will be working with an Internal Medicine physician where I live in Texas and it comes with a base salary of 90k and a 15% profit share (which may very well match my salary). Hours are 9-5 Mon - Thur and 9-12 on Friday with no call. It also includes full benefits typical to NP's. After a year of experience with him he plans to put me in my own satellite clinic where my profit share will increase.

traumaRUs

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 164 Articles; 21,179 Posts

Wow Riburn3. That is fantastic!!!

I'm not an attorney, but I agree with others who have said that you would be wise to spend a few hundred bucks and have a lawyer who specializes in employment law look it over. I have had some experience with employment contracts, and have been told that non-compete clauses are generally unenforceable unless you are actively soliciting and taking clients away from your former employer to a new employer. Some contracts have clauses that prohibit you from working for someone else within a specified radius, but an excessive distance in the contract can void the whole thing. One contract might specify that you can't take a position with another practice within a 10 mile radius, and that might be enforceable, while a contract that prohibits you from working within a 100 mile radius would not. I've also heard of cases where a judge has thrown out the non-compete altogether, stating that no employer has the right to deny someone the right to work in their profession, regardless of the contract, and place a burden of proof of financial harm on the employer.

A good employment contract that works to the benefit of both parties is always a better idea than a "one-way" contract that benefits only the employer. For instance, does the "notice" period only specify some minimum number of weeks/months that you have to give them, or does it also specify an amount of severance pay you would receive if your employment is terminated? You don't want to start a new job with a nagging feeling that you've just sold your soul to the devil. Have a labor/employment lawyer check it out. It might be just fine, or it might save you from a whole lot of grief down the road.

Riburn3, BSN, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 15 years experience. 3 Articles; 551 Posts

Wow Riburn3. That is fantastic!!!

Thank you. It only happened thanks to my experience as an RN for so many years and having established such a good rapport with this particular physician. When he found out I was graduating later this year I had an offer a day later out of the clue.