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New Grad Nurse: Help on Job Offer Dilemma


Hi everyone,

I got two job offers and need some advice of what to pick for a new grad nurse job. This will be my first nursing job!

Job # 1 is to work as a clinical abstractor for 6 months as a temporary position to help integrate a new EMR system for a big city well-known hospital. It is a 9-5 office job in front of a computer, no clinical skills, just analyzing data and inputting it from an old EMR system to the new one. No guarantee of a nurse position after 6 month assignment. Potential to meet nurse managers from the units I have interest and go from there. This is a big city well known hospital with level 1 trauma center. I am encouraged to apply as an internal candidate during my 6 months and go from there.

Job #2 is a local nursing home. Looking to hire new grad nurse and has 6 week orientation plus class days to learn about the nursing aspect. (2-3 days). It is for the 11-7 shift and must sign 2 year contract to work there. Whether i work full or part time; I must complete 2,080 hours/1 year. So if I work less than 40, contract is longer. Penalty of leaving in first year is $3,000. Lots of hands on clinic experience and I would learn the basics of nursing.

My long term goal is to one day work as an ED nurse, critical care, or pediatrics critical care and maybe eventually nurse practitioner.

What would you choose as a new grad and why? Thank you for anyone who responds! ;)

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

The one thing that jumped out at me was ---> Penalty of leaving in first year is $3,000.

I will not sign my life away to any employer for anything. My former employer would have paid a good portion of my LPN to RN schooling. The catch, they 'owned' me for 2 or 3 years, if I left I had to pay it all back. i was not willing to be caught in a postion I had to stay in because I couldn't afford to pay that amount back. Things change, things happen..while I loved working there, there was always the possibility something could change, go wrong etc. I'm sooo glad I didn't take their tuition assistane. Guess what, things changed..for the worse. And i couldn't get out of the place fast enough.

Think long and hard before signing away a year (or $3000) of your life.

Honestly, I don't think I'd want either..unless I was desperate for a job. If that were the case I'd go with job #1. You have a foot in the door of the hospital. You have a better chance of landing a positon as an internal applicant than a new grad who doesn't work for the facility.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

I would do #1 and network my rear end off.


Specializes in School Nursing, Telemetry. Has 2 years experience.

I'd be nervous about signing a contract that penalized me for leaving . . . understandable that they encourage people to stay because of all the training and time they put into getting you up to speed, but I'd hate to have that hanging over my head. When I accepted my RN intern job, we all signed what was referred to as an informal contract to stay for 2 years and it was made clear to us that it was the ethical thing to do to stay after getting 12 weeks of training on various units/classes/etc. and then getting hired on to units as full-time, but they did state that we were not legally bound to honor this.

I would take the first job and network while there. You will become a familiar face, you will know the EMR system inside and out, and it is probably very likely you will get something at the hospital.

eggyweggy, MSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

Job #1. Hands down. You can continue to apply for other positions during that six month period and you'll have a much better chance at a job in that system as an internal candidate. If you take the nursing home job, you're stuck there for two years or out of an awful lot of money if something better comes along. The fact that a nursing home makes you sign a contract with no tangible benefits for you (like tuition reimbursement or school loan payoff or sign-on bonus) is a big red flag, IMO. Plus, nursing home work is HARD. If you burn out six months in, you're stuck. And they probably don't pay well enough that you'd be able to easily come up with a $3000 payment for the privilege of quitting without some serious financial hardship.


Specializes in public health. Has 5 years experience.

Job#1. You need to get your foot in the door. You have more opportunity to advance and move around within the hospital system.