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 adult ICU.

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.

Do you work for the VA? ...because a lot of the stuff you said is not true.

Health insurance is not free. It's inexpensive as opposed to the private sector, but not free.

The old pension program that allowed those types of retirements was cut about 10-15 years ago. There is still have a 401K type plan with a good match and a tiny pension, but it is not the retirement of years ago. It is still, however, much better than the private sector.

Promotions are not based on seniority and experience. You have to interview for upper level positions the same as anybody else does, and often there is stiff competition because everyone wants to stay in the system and have a better job. Level of education does come into play to some degree (as it does everywhere) as the VA is pushing higher standards of practice/educational preparation across the board...Nurse managers now need MSNs. BSN grads are preferred for bedside roles.

Specializes in Nurse Leader specializing in Labor & Delivery.
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 think that's really unfair. It's not the OP's fault that other nurses are having a hard time finding work. Should none of us mention jobs ever, for fear of hurting someone's feelings?

I would definitely go with the VA!

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

I would go with Job B, simply because I could never handle rotating shifts.

Specializes in Med-Surg/Peds.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with your question. I realize it is tough out there these days to get a job, but you have just as much right to ask a question as anyone. Anyway, this is tough. Working for the VA means excellent benefits, with the option to move up and excel, but that means rotating shifts and working weekends. Where as job B) means holidays and weekends off as well as decent hours. I guess it all depends on what you want for your future and your personal circumstances. I'm not sure what I would choose in your position. Good Luck!!

Specializes in Ltc, Hospice, Spinal Cord.

I would take the job at the VA, hands down. Not only does the VA have great benefits but you can use your current license to practice anywhere in the US once your a federal employee. And you would have job security, no such thing as layoffs! The VA also has outpatient clinics and there are plenty of opportunities to fine tune your career once your foot is in the door. Good luck!

First off congrats on your job offers, they both seem like they would be great and your years of experience and education are definitely reflected in the offers.... but i'm gonna give you my :twocents: anyways.

I would go with the VA position. I have heard wonderful things from people that work at a VA hospital, the benefits are obvious!

I would be wary of option B simply because you will be salary and alot of travel will probably be involved (btw, will you be compensated for mileage? or have a company vehicle?)

either decision sounds like a great opportunity...good luck with whatever path you choose to take.

Specializes in rehab, long-term care, ortho.

Its a no-brainer. Take the job at the VA!

the VA might be better but will you be able to handle rotating shifts.

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