Need Career Advice

Nurses General Nursing


  • by Q.
    Specializes in LDRP; Education.

I am at a turning point right now in which I need some career advice. It's a convoluted story so let me try and explain it clearly.

Right now, I work in a clinic. I have been there full time now for a year and 3 months. I am part of the Internal Medicine department, and what I do, all day, is handle all the medication refill requests, samples, etc for the 20 physicians within that department. It's M-F, no weekends, no holidays, no call. I am also involved in the clinic by teaching patient asthma classes, and publish our phone statistics for the Physician Work Groups. I also LOVE my co-workers, and adore my immediate co-worker, who does the same thing I do. We both handle the medication refills.

I also go to graduate school full time; the college I am attending is 5 minutes away from work, and my manager allows me flexible scheduling to accomodate my class schedule in the evenings.

What has happened, recently, was a dramatic change in our department with the telephone nurses (which includes me). My partner and I have relocated our offices to the clinic Infusion Room, where we will be expected now to also assist with the clinic's infusion/injection needs. This includes patients from geriatric to pediatric. The other nurses who were there in our spot, were Travel Nurses, who handled all the foreign travel immunizations/counseling for patients. They got relocated to OUR old office, which we shared with 2 other nurses who did a completely different job. There is much dissention; we are not wanted in the Infusion Room, and the other nurses are upset that they have to work where we used to; they don't like our roommates, basically. So there is this big rift down the middle of our department, and it's really horrible right now. I don't want to do infusions and neither does my co-worker. We took the jobs we have to get away from patient care. Also, my only clinical experience is obstetrics. To suddenly have to hydrate a CHFer in fluid overload is very disturbing to me.

Well....there is a position open within the clinic; an educator role who is basically in charge of training new staff. This is somewhat in line with what I am going to school for: to be a nurse educator. The pay is about $2/hour more than I make now, is salaried, and expected weekend on call to support physicians who use our electronic charting system.

I also have a interview with our Medical College as a Research Nurse in the Birth Defects Center. I don't have experience as a research nurse, and I don't know the pay, but the Medical College here is very prestigious and tough to get in to; I hear nurses are happy there. I also have obstetrical background so this is definitely in line with my clinical experience/interests.

My dilemma is that, changing jobs, especially to something intellectually challenging like the research position might be tough to do during school. Also, I really, really love my co-worker at the clinic. I adore her, and don't want to leave her. Working with her is the most pleasant thing I have ever encountered. Also, my clinic job is very conducive for finishing school; it's not intellectually demanding and I am comfortable there. So, I guess, I don't know what I should do. I don't know if now is the time to make such a move. I DO know that both the research and the educator position within the clinic would be good career moves, but I am unsure if I am ready to make such a move, but they are very good opportunities; especially the research position.

I am very confused. The reason I was looking for a job because of the changes within the department, as well as other unsettling future type things going on. \

Please help.



859 Posts


It's nice to have options, isn't it? Even if they make things more confusing sometimes. I'm guessing from your dilemma that the relocation of all the nurses is more or less permanent and you haven't a hope in hell of changing it at this point, yes?

Both the educator and the research role sound like great opportunities. I have every confidence in your abilities to handle the additional intellectual stimulation, even with school, so I wouldn't weigh that factor as heavily as some of the other factors. Also, as much as you like your co-worker--take it from me, it's NOT a good reason to stay in an otherwise less-than-ideal situation.

When I have, in the past, come to a huge career crossroads like this, I literally sat down and made a pro/con list for each option. It may sound silly and obvious; but when, interestingly, although one option clearly had a much longer "pro" list than the other, and I still found myself resisting it, I realized that I'd known which answer was the right one for me all along.

I'm not sure there are any wrong choices here, just different ones. Keep us posted on what you decide.


250 Posts

:) hey suzy. you aren't around nearly as much as you used to be. miss your input. guess your busy. i think the educator position sounds good. but, what do i know. good luck in whatever you choose. you can always still keep in touch with your friend/coworker and i'm sure she wants you to be happy with your job. :D


829 Posts

Hey dahlin'!

Wow, what a heap of steaming crap they've handed you on a silver platter, huh? I would ask WHY they made such a move, but I imagine I probably neither want to hear nor would I understand the answer, so never mind.

If it were me, well, the research position just CALLS to me. In a big way. I mean, yeah, you could do the training/educating thing, but actually, I think doing that would pigeonhole you even more. If you take the research postion, that could and probably WILL open so many more doors for you than to remain at the clinic, especially since the medical ctr. is prestigious and competitive. You never know who you'll come into contact with in such a job. The clinic job would stagnate you. You would basically see the same people, day in, day out. You'd get bored. You'd get frustrated. You'd feel stuck.

This, of course, is simply MHO, but I feel that knowing how you enjoy being intellectually stimulated and challenged, the clinic job would be okay for a while, but it would just bore you in the long run.

Also, stargazer makes a VERY valid point. A VERY valid one. Never, ever, ever stay at a job you hate b/c you like the co-workers. I tried that. Twice. Sorry, just ended up being miserable anyway. I know it sounds cold and harsh, but to pass up an opportunity like the research position b/c you like your co-worker just isn't a good enough reason, IN MY OPINION ;).

So that's my take. Let me know what you decide. I'm nosey. ;)



603 Posts

I work in research -- I love it. It is very often a flexible job (so your school might work into it). It IS a lot of paperwork. It is fun to be on the cutting edge. You will have some patient contact. You may be the one to tell your MD what's in the protocol (they are too busy to keep up with all of them)


859 Posts

Susy, I changed my mind after reading Shay's post. Take the research job. :D


6,620 Posts

I vote research because it sounds interesting and you can still hang out with your coworker on off time.


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

You guys are freaks!

Anyway, yeah Stargazer the change is permanent, as permanent as anything in the clinic. In 6 months it will change again.

The educator position in the clinic also is a direct report to the VP of Nursing, so that is somewhat attractive........

Shay, the change was made mainly for our old roomates, the nurses who handle all the patients on coumadin. They are expanding, taking on more and more patients, so the Travel Nurses were moved in there to help them during their downtime. (travel has decreased quite a bit). They COULD HAVE helped from the infusion room, where they USED to be located, but I guess they resisted, so now they are forced. In the meantime, my co-worker and I, in the blink of an eye, went from no patient care to patient care.

I will have the interview with the Medical College next week. I suppose it will help when I have more information on that.



219 Posts

Susy K,

Good to hear from you again. Sooooo, what do you want to do?

I have turned down more than one "good opportunity" to do what I really liked doing. Once I took a "good opportunity" and regretted it because it was not what I wanted top do. My wife makes lists but I have never been very good at it. If you think it might be fun to do the research thing, give it a try. Not because it is a good opportunity, but because it might be fun. If the educator job sounds like fun, give it a shot. But if the thought of leaving your best friend behind is more than you can bear, well maybe that's a clue. Good luck, girlfriend, Gary


648 Posts

During grad school, it is awful nice to have a 9 to 5, I can leave it behind sort of job.

How much more time do you have in grad school. If it's short--18 months or less--I might just tough it out.

Just an opinion.


577 Posts

wow, difficult one!

I love teaching, the way you write and express yourself here on this BB, shows me you'd be an excellent teacher, Suzy!

On the other hand research is very interesting too, great challenges to be part of the future of nursing in some ways.

What ever you'll choose, good luck! Renee


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

Thanks for all your input. I have all my interviews next week.

On Monday I meet with the VP at my clinic for the resource coordinator job.

On Thursday evening I meet with the Director of the Birth Defects Research Center.

And that same week I have a final for my stats class.

And then the FOLLOWING week, fall term starts.


And wouldn't it be funny if I get offered NEITHER job and am still in the same situation? :chuckle

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