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Got an interview for a med-surg position, current employer holding on tight.

TreehuggerRN TreehuggerRN (Member)

Specializes in LTC, med-surg..

With no acute care experience I feel the time has come to expand my horizons. I applied to a hospital in my neighborhood and got a call back to come in for an interview. I know the DON used to work at this hospital so I asked about working at this hospital.

"Oh, you don't want to work there...I was a nurse manager there and it's one of the worst hospitals I've ever been in. You need to stay here with me and help me run this place (then had to add) you're one of the best nurses we've got."

I asked some of my co-workers and got a different response. Several of them have family members employed there or know someone who is employed there and not one of them told me anything negative.

I know just because I've gotten an interview that doesn't mean I'm hired, but I hate the guilt trip being put on me. What would be worse is if I got this job and it didn't work out and I'd come back with my tail between my legs looking for my job back and it wouldn't be there.

Beside the advice to follow my heart and all that, anyone been in a similar situation?

See, she already put the doubt in your mind because you're already thinking of the new job not working out.

You'll never know now unless you try but at the same time, you have to make sure it's what you want too.


Specializes in Hospice, Adult Med/Surg.

Are you working in an ECF right now? I have tried that twice, and both times it was the absolute WORST experience that I have ever had as an RN. Shame on me for thinking it would be better the second time around. It sounds like your DON knows that she has a good nurse, knows that they don't normally stick around ECF's, and wants to hang on to you at all costs. I know what I would do, but I have been on both sides of the fence and know that med/surg acute care is the only job for me. At the last ECF, I literally didn't sit down at all for almost nine hours. I would go home and go to bed and wake up with charlie horses in every muscle in both legs. Acute care is stressful at times and it's not easy, but it's nothing like that.

Good luck with your decision. It sounds to me like your DON hates her job and is trying to manipulate you into staying because she feels like she has to, but I really can't say without knowing both of you.


Specializes in psych,maternity, ltc, clinic. Has 15 years experience.

Or maybe it was her clumsy way of telling you she values you . Go to the interview, ask questions, hopefully look around the place. Make your decision based on facts, and if you leave, give proper notice, thank your DON for the experience. People return to old jobs all the time and it doesnt have to be a tail between your legs situation.

But hopefully this will be a great new job for you!


Specializes in LTC, med-surg..

I've got it so easy at this job (most of the time) that I feel guilty taking a check. I'm like the nurse on stand-by, I've been a life saver to them more than once when there has been a call-in or a crisis on the weekend. I'm here at work now looking on the internet and they never give me any grief over it. The DON (who is a he, by the way) says that hospital is awful, but I learned from a co-worker his NM position was phased out and he didn't want to work the floor so that is why he left.

I know I would not make as much at this hospital, but I think the experience would be a lot more than I'm getting here. I'm wondering if they would let me work PRN?


Specializes in Hospice, Adult Med/Surg.

That might be a good compromise. Then you could find out if you like it without sacrificing your current job. I have been a nurse for 19 years, and I have never had a job like yours--it sounds great! Well, on one level, but I know what you're saying about gaining experience with a more hands on type of job. Also, sorry about my assumption that your DON is a woman. The DONs at both ECFs where I worked were women, so I guess I was visualizing them as I replied. I would definitely do as the pp said, go to the interview, ask a lot of questions, take a tour. If your DON's job was eliminated at the hospital and he wasn't willing to go back to being a floor nurse, then it could be sour grapes on his part and you might find that you love acute care. FWIW, I sure do!!:loveya:

NickiLaughs, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care. Has 12 years experience.

The fact that you applied tells me that chances are there's something that you're missing at your current job. A lot of people think they have the "dream job" because either it's easy, or great hours, whatever. I've learned the dream job is what you love, and no one can make that decision but you.

All you can do is go to the interview with an open mind, and why not look into part time or per diem before you jump from one job to another, to see if it's anything you're really interested in.

And nurses come and go from jobs all the time, no tails between the legs, if you put in a reasonable notice at your job and were a valued employee, they'd have you back in a heart beat and be thrilled.

Good luck!

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

Leaving your current job would solve that "web of workplace romance" issue nicely, wouldn't it?


Specializes in LTC, med-surg..

Leaving your current job would solve that "web of workplace romance" issue nicely, wouldn't it?

It's hard to leave something when it never started in the first place, isn't it?

Celia M, ASN, RN

Specializes in M/S/Tele, Home Health, Gen ICU. Has 26 years experience.

I'm a manager and whenever one of the outstanding nurses in one of my units interviews for another job or leaves I do get that awful "OMG, how am I going to replace them" knee jerk reaction. This is probably the reaction your DON had and is a compliment to you and a testament that you're doing a great job where you are. However I try not to convey that to them when I talk with them, I wish them the best because I know it is important for nurses to grow in their profession. I always tell these excellent nurses that I am sad to have them leave, but happy they are growing in their chosen career and that they would be welcomed back should they wish to return. In the past 6 years I had about three try something else which didn't work out and so they asked to come back. I welcomed them all back with open arms.

So go ahead and give it a try, if your DON has any sense and it doesn't work out for you, she'll put her personal feelings aside and welcome you back happily.

Good luck, Celia


Specializes in LTC, med-surg..

I called and actually got an interview this evening. It was the DON/NM and director of the rehab unit. They want me to come back tomorrow for a "peer interview." They did tell me to not expect I'd be making anywhere near what I'm making at my current job, which worries me. They commented on how nervous I was and I told them it is just my nature (and it is.) I have a prescription for Xanax but I really do not like taking it, though while my hands were flittering around and I was chattering like a fruitcake I realize I probably should have for this interview. I will for tomorrow's interview. They commended me on my enthusiasm. I was asked what team work meant to me and they said they really liked my response (I said something about building each other up and sometimes catching something else one of your co-workers missed and fixing it without announcing it over the loud speaker...) The NM said they actually had one applicant respond that teamwork to her meant that people would help her when she was behind. I guess that's not what they wanted to hear. I was so nervous when I left it was hard to catch my breath (I do suffer from panic attacks), but the people there were very nice and welcoming.

Thank you to all who have offered advice.

I also noticed that where I work now, the DON's attitude toward me is definitely different. I can't help that, I have to think of my own future and personal growth.


Specializes in Med/Surg and Critical Care Stepdown.

Remember, there are two sides to every story! Could she possibly been 'let go'? I went through the same thing when I left my last hospital. Manager wanted me to stay, kept making promises I knew she couldn't or wouldn't keep. I left and couldn't be happier!! When you interview, ask if it would be possible to shadow for a day or two. It gives you a good feel for how the floor operates, and an opportunity to 'quiz' current employees to find out if they're happy. And keep your "listening ears" on. Nothing worse than working with unhappy co-workers! Good luck.

If you feel it is time to go get that experience, then it is time. Do not second guess your judgement. Down the road, you will be sorry if you change your mind based on one person's biased opinion. Good luck with the new job.