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Got an offer should I take it?

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by GaylordFoker GaylordFoker (New) New

I am having trouble deciding if I should take a nurse informatics job. My background is that I recently got my RN (ADN). I have been an LPN for 5 years working in mostly outpatient settings. I applied for two jobs when I was done with school: one was for working in the ER and the other was for a clinical informatics nurse position. I knew that I would get the ER job because I had connections and thought that the informatics job would have been somewhat of a long shot for me. That being said I ended up getting an interview. They were impressed that as an LPN I had experience with working with the IT department more specifically working with the informatics team with some of their projects. I more or less did a lot of schmoozing and networking to get my name out there because eventually I wanted to do informatics. I accepted the ER job before I got an offer from the other hospital system for the clinical informatics nurse position. The ER job pays $52,000 and the informatics job pays $68,000. The ER job is very close to home, takes me 10 minutes to get to work, I have shift work which means I would have a little more days off, but I have to work weekends and holidays. The informatics job is in downtown Pittsburgh which is a long commute every morning to beat rush hour traffic. But it's Monday - Friday, banker hours, no weekends, no holidays. I have a young family at home, one son who is 3 years old. I just need some advice on which I job I should take. Any feedback would be appreciated.

ikarus7401

Specializes in informatics for 10 years. Has 18 years experience.

If I were in your shoes, I would take the informatics job because in the long term, it will pay higher than the nursing job, specially once you have experience and if you prove to be a "valuable" member of the team.

Also, maybe your employer is one of those that lets their informatics employees work from home once in a while, so this is another possibility you'll never have as an ER nurse.

Of course, you didn't mention if your informatics job will make you do on call shifts, and that's the only negative thing that i can think about working in informatics because some hospitals have a really backwards way of implementing on call duties.

But obviously, my passion is not ER so if i had the choice between the two, the informatics job would be a no brainer. And congrats on your job offers. Not many are so lucky nowadays, specially when you hear that "you need a master's to work in informatics." :cool:

Thanks for the input. They do have a rotating call schedule. I'm not sure how bad that will be.

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

How far is the commute? How long will it take you?

If it were me, I would be trying to figure out a way to take both jobs, so that is why I try to pursue one job at a time. I suppose that the better choice would be the informatics job. You might be able to get the ER job again in the future with your connections (although probably a long shot), not so likely with the other job. Then there is the ten minute commute. For some, that would be the deal right there.

The commute will take about an hour and a half because of rush hour. It's an 80 mile round trip every week day.

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

The commute will take about an hour and a half because of rush hour. It's an 80 mile round trip every week day.

An hour and a half each way?!!!!!!! 5 days a week?! No freaking way!!!! That's 3 hours in your car each day. The cost of maintaining your vehicle and gas will be enormous. Not to mention you'll hardly see your kids except for the weekend. Take the ED job. Get the acute care experience. Informatics jobs will always be there. Your family time will not.

Money is important especially when you have a family but I think you also need to consider the direction you're trying to take with your career in nursing overall. Is there any particular field you're very interested in that would require floor experience as a rn? For example, is your long term goal to be a NP in OB? If so you may want more experience on the unit as a rn ( I know you have lpn exp). If you kind of don't have a strong passion for a certain field and you're letting the job market drive how your career goes (which is totally fine) then the informatics job seems like a good idea. :) it sounds like informatics is the direction you want to go anyway so then I'd say take it!

My career goal is to do informatics. I don't want to do patient care. The only reason I took the ER job was to more or less put it on my resume so that I could so something else later. I do not want to be a floor nurse for the rest of my life.

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

My career goal is to do informatics. I don't want to do patient care. The only reason I took the ER job was to more or less put it on my resume so that I could so something else later. I do not want to be a floor nurse for the rest of my life.

And you won't have to be but you need to seriously look at the impact this will have on your family.

You seem to be focusing on only one issue ( your goal to do informatics) but I'm not hearing you put any thought to any of the issues that your schedule and long commute will bring up.

In the end it's your life. Do what you think is best. I'm here to tell you from experience that that commute will be brutal. And wait until winter.

These are all good points. I appreciate all the feedback.

ikarus7401

Specializes in informatics for 10 years. Has 18 years experience.

They do have a rotating call schedule. I'm not sure how bad that will be.

I would call them, get clarification on the on call schedule. Are you responsible for all applications or just the ones assigned to you? And if you're assigned to all, if a ticket comes for an application that you're not an expert on, how is that handled? And if they tell you they have documentation, what if you can't solve the issue even with the documentation provided, what then?

Some hospitals have an on call rotation where you're in charge of all applications and you can imagine that if you get a call a 2am and you're in the middle of your sleep, and you don't know anything about that application, this can be very stressful, specially if they don't let you contact the person in charge of that application, and you have to solve the ticket no matter what. This is the worse case scenario.

Also, if you make the call to find about this, i would also ask, are people working for the informatics team allowed to work remotely, specially in the winter time?

Finally, if informatics is your end goal, maybe you can do this job for a year to have it on your resume and then look for other jobs closer to home. You have to know that right now the market is very competitive in the sense that every nurse out there is getting their master's in informatics and eventually it is your resume, against somebody that has a master's.

Thanks for the input. I have asked these questions during the interview. The way they made it sound that during the call rotation was that they have a very good support team that is willing to assist with whatever may arise. They said that working from home can be an option as long as it's a project that can be worked on at home.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

My career goal is to do informatics. I don't want to do patient care. The only reason I took the ER job was to more or less put it on my resume so that I could so something else later. I do not want to be a floor nurse for the rest of my life.

You may be able to do the informatics job later on. I know you called it a long shot, but if you already have some experience, it seems like you could transition into that field down the line at a hospital closer by. I feel like the hospitals where I live are always looking for people with an interest in informatics.

But if your passion is truly in informatics and this job would fulfill your long-term goals, I'd take the job and consider moving your family. Not sure what your home situation is, but I think that would be my move.

As others have said, that commute is going to suck. If you take that job, I don't think it would be feasible to stay where you are. You could move to split the difference. Or, frankly, you could get a year or two of experience while commuting, then try to take an informatics job closer to where you live.

Sounds like you've got most of the info you need; now it's about sorting out your priorities.

Again thanks for the feedback. Its nice to hear how others view and feel about the situation. Really makes the decision process a little more clear.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I drive 80 miles round trip, for my nursing job, but that is 3 day/12 hour shift. I don't know if I could do that 5 days a week (I did work an 8 hour shift that was a longer drive, but traffic was not bad. I grew up in Chicago where long commutes are commonplace, if your goal is informatics, I'd say go for it.

thmpr

Specializes in ED. Has 19 years experience.

It's a no-brainer, Foker. Take the NI position. :blink:

Edited by thmpr
Misspelled Foker