2 job offers... now what???

Nurses General Nursing


Hello everyone! I have a dilemma and would like some feedback and/or opinions...

Currently, I work for a health system undergoing some major changes in the services we provide. In a nutshell, we are combining services between hospitals to save money. In my present position, I work as a staff nurse on a short stay unit. My background is primarily oncology/hematology/BMT (with a little outpatient surgery). Because there has been a major decline in our census, I have been job searching to avoid being laid off. The future of the entire health system is not clear, but it will definitely last in some form or another.

I have 2 job offers on the table and am completely stuck on which to take. I know the choice is ultimately my decision, but I do value the insight of others.

Job A is with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in my area on an inpatient medicine/liver transplant/oncology unit. The pay is very competitive, great benefits, 5 weeks of vacation, and free parking. I would have to rotate all shifts and work every other weekend. This position is 80 hours per pay and there is flexibility in scheduling, but I would be required to work some 12-hour shifts. The nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:4-5 on day shift and 1:6 on night shift with no guarantee of a nurse assistant.

Job B is with a large oncology practice with the system (12 offices) across 5 counties, and I would be floating between to oncology offices. This is a salary position for 80 hours per pay regardless of hours worked and would be what I currently make. The benefits are pretty good, 3 weeks of vacation, and parking is $50/month (on-site). It is Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:30pm, no weekends or holidays. I would be primarly administering chemotherapy. Everyone was super super nice at the interview and at both sites. The two offices are within 8 miles of my house.

Where I work now, I work Monday through Friday, 5 8's or 2 8's and 2 12's. No weekends or holidays. All outpatient and give a lot of chemotherapy and IV infusions.

I am sure the answer is obvious, but I am really in a bind... PLEASE HELP ME!!!

Specializes in Community Health.
VA for sure, I will add this perspective that I have noticed with many posts involving multible job offers to a few nurses. I wonder how reading these posts affects the hundreds of nurses out there that cannot even obtain an interview and ready to give up on the whole nursing idea? Quite depressing to read about nurse so and so asking a question that should be common sense along with her own decision. just my 2 cents,

I find it the opposite of depressing-it gives me hope knowing that jobs actually exist in this economy! And because she has two offers, both of which sound like pretty good places to work, whichever job she does not take is then available for an out of work nurse! It's a win-win situation, IMO.

OP-I would go with the VA position for all the reasons mentioned above. And congratulations! :yeah:

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

Well, personally I would go for job B for the better work hours, but then I'm a single mom with an 8 year old. In fact, I did recently (4 months ago) switch jobs for exactly that reason. It really depends on what you want though -- if I didn't have a kid, I might decide to go for job A.

Good luck with your decision!

You can't beat a VA job according to everyone I've known who ever worked for the VA. BTW, I'll be happy to take the job you turn down. Wow, two job offers! You're blessed this month!

I'm experienced and considering drastically changing my lifestyle to accommodate unemployment. I'm getting tired of chasing after work that isn't there. It is admittedly depressing to read about people with multiple job offers, although I don't begrudge them the good fortune.

Specializes in oncology.

In my defense... I have 5 years of experience with oncology/hematology/BMT and am an oncology certified nurse... I also have a BSN and am almost done with a MSN... I have applied for over 30 positions in the last 3 months... Yes, it is a tough job market...


You have to think ahead; a pension; not many employers provide much in terms of retirement in this day and age. What would bother me is rotating to ALL shifts and working every other week-end; no way no how, but then again, I am in my 50's and physically I just couldn't work all shifts. You don't work week-ends now; can you accept working every other week-end? Your lifestyle will change, based on the work requirements @ the VA.

What do you plan on doing with your Master's degree? Do you have specific career goals? This is something you need to consider.

Job B has nice hours, but salaried with no form of compensation for extra hours worked? If not...yuck. The traveling is another issue, as a previous poster stated. Traveling for work gets old after awhile. Do they reimburse for mileage? I have never had to pay for parking in the 31 years I have been a nurse. This is a bone of contention with me. $600/year for parking + the wear and tear on your car + traveling in the winter (don't know what your climate is like in the winter season) = added expense.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Weigh your options, and make your decision based on what is best for you. :twocents:

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I have to agree with what Scoochy said.

I don't know how close you are to retirerment but look at the benefits closely.

While the office job may be nice, I know that I promised myself that I would never work a salaried positon again (granted it wasn't in nursing) but you will not be compensated for all the extra time you would put in, and nurses are not paid what there worth already.

Personally I would go with the VA

Specializes in CMSRN.

At first Job B but now I think job A. The rotating shifts are hard on the system but felt it may be worth since there are many opportunities. Benefits seem great too.

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.
In my defense... I have 5 years of experience with oncology/hematology/BMT and am an oncology certified nurse... I also have a BSN and am almost done with a MSN... I have applied for over 30 positions in the last 3 months... Yes, it is a tough job market...

You have just as much a right to pose your question here as the nurses who need to vent about not being able to find work. Is this not, after all, "allnurses"? Sheesh. I can't believe you were taken to task for this.

As far as your question, I would vote for job B, only because of the rotating shifts and weekends required in job A. good luck in whatever you decide.

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

I'd definitely go with the VA. The VA is very hard to get into and they have awesome benefits...and you're always going to have a job...there's no shortage of veterans needing care. You'll just have to get used to those rotating shifts. My sis works for the VA....the rotating shifts are the only downfall...but still worth it.

I use to work at the VA in the 1990's. At that time, it was the RN's on day and eve shift who had to do the rotating shifts on night shift. The RN who worked and preferred the night shift stayed on the night shift. They never asked that night RN to do any day or evening rotating shifts.


Congrats on 2 offers. Well, I vote for the VA too for the reasons others have stated. Guess it depends on how important job stability/security/pensions/benefits/salary is to you (and your family). These days, most private employers don't do much (or do nothing) re retirement plan (ie. a 401k's ONLY advantage is the tax deferment, but YOU pay...very few private employers match and the few who still do, match only maybe 5%). A govt job will be stable and provide you with a great retirement package. Private sector employers get rid of employees almost at whim vs govt jobs where it's almost impossible to get rid of employees even in a bad economy (ie. not many worries about layoffs). Also, as the years go by with a govt job, you'll have opportunities for better shifts, advancements, etc. A lot of govt employees put their 20 yrs in and then retire with their full pensions and then move into a private industry job for their remaining working yrs. I've seen people in their early 40's retiring with full govt benefits & pensions (my own parents lol) for the rest of their lives and then they work another 20 yrs making additional money with their new jobs. Also, a lot of those govt pensions are 50-80% (many 80%) of your full salary (average of the last maybe 1-3 working years' salary). It's a pretty good gig. Also, with a master's degree in the works, you'll be eligible for all sorts of new positions within the VA system in a few yrs. BTW, new studies say that govt workers now make, on avg, 12% more than their counterparts (ie equivalent jobs) in the private sector. Private sector: no decent retirement, can get rid of you at a drop of a hat, health insurance is usually free & top of the line in govt jobs, etc. It seems like a no brainer to me! As I said, the work schedule is probably something that can be changed in a few yrs as you get more seniority (adding to that, your master's) and as you move up the ladder. Promotions and opportunities tend to be based on seniority, experience, and level of education. You're pretty well guaranteed to move up the ladder. (No messing around with office politics.) Overall, federal jobs (such as the VA) are the cream of the govt jobs. In either case, best wishes with whatever you choose.

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