Should New Grad Play it Safe or Take a Risk?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am a new graduate nurse and recently accepted a position in my hometown on a general pediatrics floor. I got a call today that I was accepted into a phenomenal nurse residency program in my dream specialty that I originally was not selected for. My dilemma is currently my license. I am an out of state nurse for the residency program and need to apply for licensure by endorsement. The state I am applying to is known for long processing times and I am terrified that my license will not be ready by the strict deadline. This is my dream job but I don't want to say no to my current job and then run into problems with my license. Do I play it safe or take the risk?

    Sincerely,

    Anxious and Eager


    P.S. Reading your book really helped me in applying for jobs and residency programs! I'm very fortunate to have two job offers and owe it all to reading your book!



    Dear Anxious and Eager,

    Congrats!! I'm so glad my book was able to help you land two great job offers.

    But now you have a dilemma- which job to take. Some would say "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Others would say "No, question, go for your dream! ". There is no absolute right or wrong, just what's best for you.

    I could tell you what I would do, but that doesn't necessarily help you. Your risk tolerance and your values (security, adventure) are highly personal and individual. You are the one who is going to live with the consequences, and no one can take that responsibility for you.

    But here's a few thoughts.

    It's your dream job, and it's a residency program. You don't mention the hometown position offering a residency, just a position. Residency programs are tailored to the learning needs of a newly licensed nurse and provide the support you need to transition to practice successfully.


    • Will you have regrets if you turn down the dream job? If you do turn it down, would you say your decision is based on fear? Or on an assessment of acceptable risk?
    • How much risk is there, really? You don't say how long you have to get your license. Try to determine if the amount of time is reasonable (low risk) or unreasonable (high risk).
    • Ask yourself the "What's the worst that can happen?" question. Then have a backup plan. What will you do if you turn down the hometown job and don't get your license in time for the dream job?


    Sometimes when making an important decision it helps to quiet yourself down through the excitement and nervousness. Easier said than done, but it could be that deep inside, you already know the answer. You just have to find it within.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jul 23
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,439; Likes: 4,307

    3 Comments

  3. by   Ldy76
    What you need to do is speak to the head of the residency program and explain your situation. If they cannot work with you then there goes your answer. You worked hard for your license.
  4. by   kbrn2002
    If you were accepted into the nurse residency they must be aware that they accepted you before you have your license in hand. If you have concerns keep in contact with the facility that you will starting the residency at to make them aware you are working on getting your license for that state and ask them if your start date can be adjusted if needed.
  5. by   Hoosier_RN
    Quote from kbrn2002
    If you were accepted into the nurse residency they must be aware that they accepted you before you have your license in hand. If you have concerns keep in contact with the facility that you will starting the residency at to make them aware you are working on getting your license for that state and ask them if your start date can be adjusted if needed.
    Or starting residency while in process of getting license. Some programs allow for this

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