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NA vs RN job offers

Posted

So, I"m an old new grad (will be 60 this year) and am contemplating 2 job offers. I have ADN (attending WGU for BSN-expected May next year or earlier). I need to insure a 20, 18, and 24yo in addition to myself and my husband, possibly the 26yo but I think he has dropped off by now (and he lives in another country anyway).

PreCOVID this was not a saturated area. Lots of RNs were furloughed in March but weeks to a month ago elective surgeries began up again and people are getting called back. I have heard through the grapevine that there are hundreds of applications for RN jobs now in this area.

Job A: is as an NA about 7-10 miles from home (depending on which bike route I take), pay is mid 16s with shift differential on top of that, short stay med-surg and float, previous employer (so I know all the bennies), health insurance for the whole family (current providers), D/N rotating, 0.6. RNs are unionized and can't remember about NAs.

Job B: is 82 miles away (one way) brand new medsurg unit, D/E (no nights), 0.5 but first 10-12 weeks are fulltime for orientation, health insurance providers may not cover the area we live in, pay is $35, RNs are not unionized. Parking is reported by HR and NM to be a real pain. Winter is a concern. They have offered $5-10K for relocation but I'm not sure I would do that.

I'm actually leaning towards the NA job due to health insurance, ease of commute (Winter is no joke) and hope to wait out job openings closer. But in this climate (so many furloughs), and due to my age, I'm worried if I don't take an acute care opening I may not get the chance again.

Edited by harvestmoon

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Double check the practice norm in your state. In some places, it's problematic for licensed nurses to work as CNAs. (They can certainly do the work as it's part of nursing, but formally working in an unlicensed job seems to be problematic.)

Do you love being a nurse so far? I am 44yo, a pharmacist and thinking of career change to a nurse

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

21 hours ago, harvestmoon said:

So, I"m an old new grad (will be 60 this year) and am contemplating 2 job offers. I have ADN (attending WGU for BSN-expected May next year or earlier). I need to insure a 20, 18, and 24yo in addition to myself and my husband, possibly the 26yo but I think he has dropped off by now (and he lives in another country anyway).

PreCOVID this was not a saturated area. Lots of RNs were furloughed in March but weeks to a month ago elective surgeries began up again and people are getting called back. I have heard through the grapevine that there are hundreds of applications for RN jobs now in this area.

Job A: is as an NA about 7-10 miles from home (depending on which bike route I take), pay is mid 16s with shift differential on top of that, short stay med-surg and float, previous employer (so I know all the bennies), health insurance for the whole family (current providers), D/N rotating, 0.6. RNs are unionized and can't remember about NAs.

Job B: is 82 miles away (one way) brand new medsurg unit, D/E (no nights), 0.5 but first 10-12 weeks are fulltime for orientation, health insurance providers may not cover the area we live in, pay is $35, RNs are not unionized. Parking is reported by HR and NM to be a real pain. Winter is a concern. They have offered $5-10K for relocation but I'm not sure I would do that.

I'm actually leaning towards the NA job due to health insurance, ease of commute (Winter is no joke) and hope to wait out job openings closer. But in this climate (so many furloughs), and due to my age, I'm worried if I don't take an acute care opening I may not get the chance again.

Do you live in the states? (You mentioned a bike route of 7-10 miles). Any way, as a previous poster was saying, here, RNs are held to the highest degree in their possession no matter what your job title is. So, if something happens while being employed as a NA, you'd still be expected to perform as an RN. If you have a car, take the RN position and start gaining experience. You can always apply closer to home as positions come open...and you'd be bringing back with you some level of RN experience.

Another thing to consider also is that employers tend to 'question' the time lapse between licensure and RN employment. Even if you don't work as an RN, the clock is ticking before new grad status runs out...something to think about...especially at your age (since you opened that door).

21 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Double check the practice norm in your state. In some places, it's problematic for licensed nurses to work as CNAs. (They can certainly do the work as it's part of nursing, but formally working in an unlicensed job seems to be problematic.)

Yes, I have read that here but when COVID hit our state our instructors told us to expect to work as NAs until the market opened up. I will check the nurse practice act to be certain though. I do have personal knowledge of other RNs working as NAs (known to the organization as they are trying to transfer internally to RN positions (and so far the jobs have not been there so they are still working as NAs)).

17 minutes ago, BSNbeDONE said:

Do you live in the states? (You mentioned a bike route of 7-10 miles). Any way, as a previous poster was saying, here, RNs are held to the highest degree in their possession no matter what your job title is. So, if something happens while being employed as a NA, you'd still be expected to perform as an RN. If you have a car, take the RN position and start gaining experience. You can always apply closer to home as positions come open...and you'd be bringing back with you some level of RN experience.

Another thing to consider also is that employers tend to 'question' the time lapse between licensure and RN employment. Even if you don't work as an RN, the clock is ticking before new grad status runs out...something to think about...especially at your age (since you opened that door).

I have only had my license for 6 days so far 🙂 so I'm not terribly worried about time yet, but yeah, that is in the back of my head. I do live in the states but prefer to commute by bike to decrease my carbon footprint (and waistline :)).

There are brand new RNs working as NAs in hospitals here, known to the organization (as they are seeking jobs internally as RNs) and if I take the NA job I will probably do the same when I'm within a month or so of getting my BSN.

I am continuing to look for RN jobs within a 100-mile radius but the pickings are really slim. I have heard reports of 300 applications for newgrad RN positions when they open).

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I wish I had your energy. I live under three miles from my job and I drive still. I have a bike, but there is no where to secure it, plus the halls inside the facility are literally so long, that I have logged my commute distance within four hours of reporting to work. So, I think I'm good, although my waistline still needs work.😁

I think having RNs to work as NAs is, well, OK if they are paying you all as entry-level RNs until they have the time to give you a proper orientation to your new role. This pandemic is unprecedented and employers are having to regroup. However, for licensing purposes, nurses answer to the ones who have the power to revoke your license. No employer has that power. So you'd still be responsible if something goes awry. If they required me to produce a license and offered me NA wages, I doubt I'd take that position. But that's coming from an employed experienced nurse with no family to consider when making my decisions. 😉

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

52 minutes ago, harvestmoon said:

There are brand new RNs working as NAs in hospitals here, known to the organization (as they are seeking jobs internally as RNs) and if I take the NA job I will probably do the same when I'm within a month or so of getting my BSN.

I am continuing to look for RN jobs within a 100-mile radius but the pickings are really slim. I have heard reports of 300 applications for newgrad RN positions when they open).

This should be required reading for all those subjected to the "nursing shortage" myth. (Yeah, I know that there are regional differences, but overall it's a bunch of hooey...)

Edited by Jedrnurse
spelling

So I have am about to start a BSN nursing program. Is it even worth it if there won't be jobs opportunities afterwards?

Closed Account 12345

Has 14 years experience.

Edit: Oops, ignore my response. I didn't realize this was an old post when I replied!  Curious what you ended up choosing 🙂

If you are the financial provider for your family, including multiple adult dependents, I would take advantage of the generous relocation bonus and go practice as a nurse with a living wage.  It's also nice that the nursing position doesn't require you to flip between days and nights (brutal).

You've invested a lot of time and money in nursing school; you could've worked as a NA with a 6 week certification program. Regardless of your job title, and assuming registered nurses are allowed to work as NAs in your state, you will still be legally accountable for practicing at the level/responsibility of an RN since you are licensed.  That is a huge liability when you're not able to respond appropriately to situations as an RN should based on your hired role.  I.e. Chest pain patient with dyspnea, and you as an RN are aware of the situation, but you as the NA can't respond with initiating standing orders for oxygen, IV, nitroglycerin, aspirin, ECG, etc. 

If you, as an RN, work a $16/hr job now, you're shooting yourself in the foot for future pay when you switch jobs. Why offer you $35/hr at your next job when you'd clearly settle for $20? I think you'd also have a harder time finding RN employment down the road.  

If you're willing to work as a NA instead of RN, I wouldn't recommend investing another minute or dollar into additional nursing education.  Nursing assistants don't need BSNs.

82 miles one way, on top of long nursing shifts, in a place with harsh Winter road conditions is a bad decision.  Working as a nursing assistant who has to flip flop between shifts is a bad decision.  Relocating to an area that offers you an RN job that meets your family's needs is the best choice in my opinion.

Edited by FacultyRN

I actually chose the NA job. The 82-mile RT job did not offer health insurance that one of my kids could use and the offer turned out not to be solid - it is prospectively for November. Relocating would be all but impossible right now.  We just moved internationally 4 years ago and the kids have jobs and school possibilities here. I'm now providing health insurance for the family and everyone has a dentist appointment next month (first time in years). I'm still applying for RN jobs and now branching out to applying for clinic, SNF (I was just applying to TCU), and office RN jobs. I'm also reaching out to my manager to see what it would take to get an RN job at the hospital I'm working at. I start BSN on Tuesday with WGU.  I'm pretty confident I'll eventually get an RN job - I may never work in the ED (as I had hoped) but I volunteer there (level 1 trauma) so that might have to do.  

I also got a job as an RN doing COVID testing, patient education, and testing clinic coordinator and I'm hoping that will boost my resume a bit.

In this economy there is no way I could turn down a secure job with health and dental insurance.

CactusNurse

Specializes in Med Surg/Peds. Has 17 years experience.

Keep applying. Do not accept a NA job when you are an RN.