New Grad Offered Director Level Position?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    What is the shelf life of a new grad?

    I just got licensed at the age of 40 and will be offered several options of administrative/director level nursing positions at my current employer, but my ultimate goal is to travel. The travel aspect won't happen for at least 5-10 years, but I also don't want to experience myself out of an entry into the hospital to get the experience
    I need to travel. What would a hiring manager think if they saw 'director of nursing' for someone who is freshly licensed (within the year) as the last position held and now looking for a floor job?



    Dear New Grad Offered Director Position,

    Great question. To build your career so that you end up traveling in a few years, you need to start acute care experience now. The shelf life of a new grad is about 12 months.

    Taking an administrative position at this point will backfire in the long run if you plan to practice clinical nursing.

    Typically administrator/director level nursing positions are not given to new grads, so I would question the organization making such offers.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth



    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Apr 11
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

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    5 Comments

  3. by   Daisy Joyce
    Something is very wrong with a facility that hires a new grad for DON.
    Run away.
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from Daisy Joyce
    Something is very wrong with a facility that hires a new grad for DON.
    Run away.
    ^^THIS X 1000^^

    Run from any company/facility that is willing to make a new grad a director. Way too many red flags.
  5. by   kristier
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    ^^THIS X 1000^^

    Run from any company/facility that is willing to make a new grad a director. Way too many red flags.
    I think it might help if you were more specific about potential problems you see, rather than just saying "Run" and "red flags". I mean, I can definitely see some problems that could develop- like experienced nurses refusing to take direction from a new grad, for one. But we all want to learn from these discussions, and generalizations don't help anyone. Looking forward to hearing from you and anyone else who has an opinion or experience. I have had a couple of jobs that I know I could have done much better at with more experience behind me, but that reflects more on me than the company I worked for. What are you saying about a company specifically? Thanks!
  6. by   Daisy Joyce
    Because good facilities have the resources to attract and retain experienced nurses with a wide background and many clinical skills to be DON.
    You can be at the top of your class in school, but nursing school doesn't teach you the art of healing. It teaches you how not to kill a patient. Learning how to heal takes many years of hands on practice, on actual patient's, and you will make mistakes and stumble along the way.
    New grad simply doesn't have these experiences and skills.
    Facilities know this.
    So if they are so badly off that they can only get a new grad, or so cheap that they will only pay for a new grad, I promise you are not walking into a good facility. You are walking into a facility where your
    hard-won license is in jeopardy every single day, they'll probably overwork you because you haven't learned appropriate workplace boundaries and will be an easy mark for bullying from the bosses ("we thought you were a !Team Player") and the inspectors will be up your butt constantly from not having the resources for your staff to give adequate care.

    Please. Don't take this job.
  7. by   not.done.yet
    The reason a new grad in a directorship is concerning has to do with the level of experience in setting priorities, understanding the multifaceted and multilayered complexities of our collaborative yet segmented work environment and the clinical implications of any number of issues that may arise, from problems with physicians to problems with patients and their families.

    A new grad does not belong in a directorship in pretty much any setting. A company wanting one in there is interested in the RN behind their name only, not in having an actual leadership-prepared nurse to keep things on the legal and ethical straight and narrow. That is why people say to run.

    Get into acute care, as Nurse Beth stated. Then, one day if you do have a Directorship it will be a real one and not a front for a facility looking to check the regulatory box. There is a reason that nursing leadership is needed. They provide valuable checks and balances over how businesses want to run things versus what is good for the patients and reasonable for staff. In any case, it won't give you the experience you need to advance your career, as a traveler or otherwise.

    Congratulations on graduating!

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