Help! Need some career advice, two job offers.


Specializes in L&D. Has 1 years experience.


I graduated in May 2012 and now I'm a BSN RN. After applying for many many jobs, I was offered two. During nursing school I had an intensive 6 month rotation on L&D unit- I loved this field and even became trained as a doula this summer. I was so excited to have an interview on this very L&D unit. It is a full time position and the pay is $21/hr. Unfortunately, my only other significant rotation was on an orthopedics unit. My experience in other fields is minimal.

I was also offered an outpatient float pool position, PRN, ONLY $16/hr (YES, $16/hr for my hard earned BSN, RN). Heres the thing:

I've heard as a new graduate, it isn't really good to start in such a specialized area as L&D. I want to go back to school in 1-2 years to get my FNP. Do you all think that the float pool (floating to family practices and speciality practices for 2 weeks-6 months of time) would be a more fulfilling/ appropriate experience before FNP school? Or should I take the full time hospital L&D job with benefits and a 4 month orientation? Ive been toiling over this for a week now and need to get back to the managers. The PRN float pool has had good success with new graduate RNs.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you all so much for the input!


Specializes in ER, Med-surg. 454 Posts

If I'm reading your post correctly, one job is full time and reasonably well-paid, while the other is PRN and extremely underpaid. Even leaving aside the issues related to specialty, that seems like it should be a big red flag re:the second job. It's very unusual to hire new grads to either float pool or PRN jobs, let alone both. New Grads need an extended preceptorship (several months at full time hours) to function comfortably on their own in a given specialty, and take a year or more before they reach competency. How will a PRN float job provide that kind of support?

You say they've had good luck with new grads in the PRN float position before, but have you met these happy, now-experienced employees or is that something a hiring manager told you? It's not impossible, but it does sound implausible. It may be that they're willing to hire new grads simply because many new grads are willing to work at bargain-basement prices and are less equipped to question working conditions, and because it's no skin off their backs if the new grads burn out or risk their licenses.

I say this because I was offered a PRN job as a near-new grad (had already been hired in a hospital job, and was out of orientation, but barely) by an agency which reassured me that I would be a perfect fit. It seemed like a great way to gain some additional experience, but I ultimately decided against it. With the benefit of hindsight and a few more years of experience, I'm SO glad I didn't take it and risk my license or my patients for an unscrupulous agency- they wanted me not because sending brand new nurses in to a highly independent job is safe or effective (it's not), but because I was too green to know better, and they couldn't hire more experienced nurses because of low pay and poor working conditions. Sadly, I think this is pretty common in nursing. Always remember that your license, your health, and that of your patients is more important than any individual job opportunity- no matter how hard a smiling HR director tries to make you feel otherwise.

Take the job with reasonable pay, benefits, hours, and support, in a field you're passionate about. If you become an FNP you'll have plenty of time in the future to work in other settings.


Specializes in L&D. Has 1 years experience. 15 Posts

Thank you so much for the advice! Its horrible that new grads are taken such advantage of. I appreciate it!


2 Posts

I would take the full-time L and D. You are clearly passionate about perinatal nursing and it will definitely give you good experience for family health, though not so broad.

I would advise against doing both PRN or Float Pool nursing right out of school. You want to spend 36 hours a week immersed in patient care right away so you can retain everything you learn. Float Pool nursing is for experienced nurses who have a broad range of skills and are ready to adapt to a different environment every day. For new nurses, routine and repetition is everything!

Good luck with the decision!


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience. 11 Articles; 17,099 Posts

Take the L+D position.... one can be cross trained to another unit later in career so could float to a Med Surg unit for taste of that life.

You might even decide to change to Women's Health NP.

Best wishes starting out.


Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience. 2,723 Posts

Go for L8D. The pay for the other in too low and potentially too part-time, on to of the fact that floating as a new grad.quite frankly, sounds terrible. Floating around part-time for a year doesn't seem like adequate experience prior to starting an NP program.


Specializes in L&D. Has 1 years experience. 15 Posts

I heard everyone loud and clear. I took the L&D job and feel VERY comfortable and satisfied with this decision. The nurse manager at the PRN job made it sound so wonderful and like such a good experience- it was sucking me in. I am about to start my new L&D job making MUCH better money than the PRN job- and it has an extensive orientation which i'm sure i'll appreciate!

Thank you thank you thank you :)