Nurses..plz help me with a possible life altering career choice!

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in psych, geriactrics.

hello fellow nurses,

i really need your help and advice about taking a job that may affect my livelihood. i am an rn that is sooo confused! please help, if you can!

back story: i have been working at a psychiatric group home for over a year as the nursing supervisor. the job wasn't great, the pay was lousy, and the hours sucked. but it was 5 minutes from home, i loved my patients, and my boss was a good friend of mine. i worked very hard at my job, was on call 24/7, but it still wasn't enough for the owner. they wanted me to work more for less and i became of tired of promises of raises and it getting better next month and next month. i got their state licenses for them, filled the facility with patients, and ran the nursing dept. but no thanks or raise or anything. so i found another job.

now, i am working at a hospital, psychiatric unit for 6 mths now, that is about 40 minutes from my home and the pay was double what i was making at the group home. but i have even worse working hours, i work 8-10 days straight with only 2 days off. but the hospital has great benefits, good insurance, decent pay, and good co-workers you can depend on. but the drive is long and the hours suck bad.

so, today, my old boss at the group home, calls and asks me what it would take to get me back. she has already offered me $25 per hr (more than i make now), m-f, become the don, insurance, and paid vacation. i told her everything would have to be in writing and it would have to start the day i do. but i fear that if i take this job back, even with the benefits, i will still be in the same boat i was in when i left. on call, stupid requests from the bosses, called in at all hours, lousy co-workers, and the owner still wanting more and more of me because they are "giving" me more.

i loved my patients and my boss, but the facility owner was too demanding and always wanting more than any one person can possibly give. but it was close to home, and they are willing to meet my demands. as with my current job at the hospital, i am the new person, and i get the crappy jobs and crappy hours with no say in how they work my schedule and i have been having to do 8-10 days straight with no time off and driving 40 minutes one way, 10 hour shifts per day.

sorry, it was so long, but i really need some advice and i am having trouble seeing past my options. do i go where i am at home and have authority but the owner treats me like crap? or do i stay at a hospital where i am nobody with no say in my career, just do what we say and let the tenured nurses set my schedule and when i can have time off or not. the tenured nurses set their schedule then i get what days are left. and yes, i have talked to my supervisor...she allows the nurses to set the schedules.

thank you all, and any advice would be great!!:yeah:

:nurse: frances, rn

Do a pro and con list, rate what is most important to you, and take the lesser of the two evils.

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

She offered you $25/hour? Or $25/hour more than what you make now?

Because I have to say, $25/hour is not worth the responsibility of being DON.

But $25/hour MORE, well, I can put up with a lot of BS for that much of a raise.

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

I definitely think you need to get these "promises" in writing, as you suggested. I also think you may need to sit down with this owner and let he/she know of your feelings regarding the way they are treating you. With all the hard work you have done that has clearly benefitted their facility for the better, there is no reason for them to be treating you so poorly. You said it yourself that your friend said "What can we do to get you back?" Well, here is your chance to speak your mind and make your OWN requests. If all this can be done, then I would definitely go back to your old job.. imo.

"Do I go where I am at home and have authority but the owner treats me like crap? Or do I stay at a hospital where I am nobody with no say in my career, just do what we say and let the tenured nurses set my schedule and when I can have time off or NOT. The tenured nurses set their schedule then I get what days are left. "

Look at the difference, there are way more CONS to the latter position and you now have the oportunity to FIX the con of the other! Just my :twocents: Goodluck in whichever you choose!!


Go back to the old job... 40 minutes in the car is costing you $15/hr x 2 per day $150 per week.. not to mention the gas money.

Don't take call. Turn your phones off. Tell them you will not be available 24/7

unless the place is burning to the ground. Hire charge nurses, or someone you can delegate your responsibilities to when you are off.

Good luck and please let us know what you decided and how it turned out.

Tough choice - do you really want to be a manager (been there, and I was NOT suited to it). You must be available if that is in your contract, so turning off you phone as DON is not an option.

But, if being director appeals to you, is your personality a leader? this is your opportunity. You need to really think about your strengths and weakness; desires and what level of committment works for you. My gut is all the reasons you left will still be there and you'd really have to be a dynamo to change the place. You won't be the owner, so you won't have total authority. But they must like you, to be trying to get you back. Beware and don't let that ego stroke influence your decision.

As you gain time in your new job, things should improve. You won't always be the newest kid on the block, although the drive will always be there. When I had a long commute I used the time to listen to books, or just enjoy the solitary quiet, and plan my day. It's all in the attitude. Personally, I think I'd stay with the new job, and keep looking for other opportunities. Let us know what you decide.

Specializes in ER, Trauma.

Stuck between 2 bad choices. Even with the new promises from the old boss, do you really think a lot will change there to make it a job you like? There are negatives with your new job, too. A 40 minuite drive may be long where you are, but that's to my next door neighbor in NM. IMHO you've limited yourself to only 2 choices and feel that you need to choose between them as "life altering." I'd tell them both to take a flying leap and find some better choices for myself. I'm not sure what you've used to convince yourself these are your only options, but I think you need to redefine that first. Good Luck.

Specializes in peds palliative care and hospice.

I am echoing what the others are saying on this one...I would be cautious of going much can a facility really change? And I (also) echo the question of pay...I got 25/hr + shift diff. as a new grad...They should be giving you more than that as a DON

Specializes in ER, Trauma.

Seriously, do you think the old job will give you more and not expect more? Make a list of why you think these are the only 2 nursing jobs in the world that you have to choose from. That's the yard you've fenced yourself into. If you can't find a way out yourself, get some outside advice. we try to help here but the medium limits us. Talk with a close friend, minister, counselor, Employee Assistance Program. Not making a decision will eat you up, and as presented, both jobs will too. Via con Dios

Specializes in School Nursing.

I tend to want to be optimistic on this (hopefully not naive), and think that maybe.. just maybe... they realized how much they took you for granted since you've been gone, and how much you really did for them! You have listed good things about the old job: loved the patients, boss is a friend, close to home... now the pay will be good and you will have insurance. If it were me, I may want to give the old job a chance, but would get it all in writing and have a little talk up front to make your thoughts and feelings known before you dive back in. I have a gut feeling you are leaning toward the old job. Good luck!

Specializes in psych, geriactrics.

Thank you all for your comments. I have a few comments for things that were said.

1) I live in Mississippi, where start pay for an RN is around $17 per hr, so $25 is very good.

2) There are no RN jobs available where I live...none! All of the hospitals are on hiring freezes and only open positions when absolutely in dire need of a nurse. That is how I got the current position. And there are only 4 hospitals in a 100+ mile radius of me, so there aren't many options to choose from.

3) Average DON pay around here is $22-$28 per hr.

Thank you all for the comments, maybe that will clear up a few of your questions!:redbeathe

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