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Great job, bad schedule or OK job, great schedule?


I currently work on a medical-surgical floor. I'm ready to move on to something more acute.

I just interviewed at a top-ranked Hospital for a cardiovascular Intermediate Care Unit. The job sounds fascinating, challenging, and a great career move. But it's night shift, every other weekend, and every other holiday. As someone that is thinking of having kids, this schedule sounds miserable.

I have also interviewed for cardiac med-surg unit on another top-ranked Hospital. But the job is not at their main location. It is day shift and every third weekend, which is what I'm looking for. But the work doesn't seem as exciting or as great of a career move.

Advice? If offered both positions, do I suffer through a bad schedule to get some great experience? Or do I go for the okay job with the good schedule and feel like a normal person for once?


Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance.

If your gut says you'll be happier with one job, it's probably correct. It seems like you'd be happier with the less desirable schedule. If you become a parent, you can negotiate schedule changes later with a current employer. Keep in mind that if a unit only has night shift open to external applicants, it's may be because the day shift jobs there go to people already working there when one opens up. Unless you're pregnant today, you have some time to change shifts. What you can't change is past time spent in a position that isn't right for you. I'd recommend taking the job you want. It'll open doors, including future positions with schedules you like better. Keep in mind that it's not horribly unusual, and definitely not inappropriate, to ask for schedule changes after a major life change. For example, the reasons I've seen people cut down to part time hours include: first year after baby born, sick spouse/child/parent, accepted to difficult grad school, and so on.


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