OK for New Grad to Hospital Jump?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have a dilemma and I am unsure of what to do. I accepted a new grad ICU job at a hospital, but they aren't fully functioning as they still have to send patients out to other hospitals.

    I have a dream hospital that I did 2 clinical rotations at that has their new grad program opening up in February. I have a pre-screen interview with the director of med surg/oncology today. I know they will be holding an open house sometime soon but if it lands on a weekend I won't be able to attend due to enrollment in a critical care nursing class on the weekends.

    My ultimate question is, should I accept whatever job my dream hospital were to offer me, and hopefully transition into ICU in a few years. Or should I just stay at my current job now that I just started in December, get 1-2 years of ICU experience and then apply to my dream hospital? The dream hospital is magnet and pays new grads better. I also have a lot of student loans, yet ICU is highly coveted and I feel fortunate for landing a new grad position.

    Dear Dilemma,

    So you have been working as a new grad in ICU for one month but are pursuing a job in a different hospital because they pay better and are magnet certified?
    Your question for me is, "Is it better to stay in ICU in a smaller hospital or go to MedSurg in a larger hospital?"

    Both paths can lead to your ultimate goal which is ICU in the magnet hospital. But is it possible you are overthinking this? This is not a dilemma unless you make it a dilemma.

    For one thing, you haven't been offered a job. You will only be offered a job if you apply. It's possible you may not qualify for their new grad program because you've already been working in acute care.

    You didn't ask if it's OK to hospital jump at this early point in your career, but since that is a values-based question, it can only be answered with a values-based response anyway. Residency spots are coveted and you landed one. Someone else could have taken the spot, but you did. Hospitals invest a lot in each new grad. Just some things to think about.

    It's taking a lot of energy away from your current new grad job to be planning your time around your current job requirements, job fairs, and pre-screen interviews.
    As you decide, consider instead focusing on your job and learning all you can. It will pay off in the long run.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by Brian S. on Jan 19
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

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  3. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    You are a new grad in an ICU position that will give you valuable experience right off the bat in your career. That is very valuable career-wise. I'd stay there unless you got an offer to move to another ICU that gave you better experience and / or more pay. As far as loyalty to an institution I wouldn't have any. They are a business and will do what makes sense for them. You need to do what makes sense for you and if you get a better deal you should take it. Make sure that you take all facets of the deal into account but in the end it comes down to your career and paycheck.