Help deciding between new grad jobs!

  1. These are all potential scenarios because I haven't had a formal offer yet but I have been told news is good and should get offers soon at some point. Here are the options..

    Burn ICU (hospital a)
    Cardiothoracic ICU (hospital a)

    Hospital a pays 65k base, 1,200bsn, 6,600night. Not sure if it will be for day or night and not sure which unit i may get offers from both, none or one. Job asked if i had other offers, informed them of offer from hospital b and they told me theyd do their best to give me an update asap. Id like to add that the morale/manager on bicu seemed to make me feel motivated and feel like id learn a lot. cticu seemed great because i love heart and it was my original goal coming out of school.

    Med-Surg (hospital b)

    Hospital b pays 72k base, 1,300bsn, 6,000 night. Also, not sure if it will be for day or night. This job is pretty much a guaranteed offer within the next few days. I enjoy medsurg but would prefer critical care. The question is whether the extra money is worth it and also i'm not sure if the morale would be as great as the other two options?

    Thanks so much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! (p.s. i have ~45k in loans but living rent free atm so the loans are my only bills)
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    About shadowness

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 111; Likes: 8


  3. by   hiddencatRN
    If you want the ICU I'd take that if it's an option.
  4. by   Snowbird17
    ICU and pick up extra shifts if you need extra money... Just my two cents. I would do cardio, but because burns are just not for me. If it's your thing, it's a great opportunity! You can never go wrong with a solid Cardio foundation!
  5. by   gizzy123
    I would recommend as a new grad to do med/surg first. Being a new grad alone is stressful. Without my year of med/surg experience I would be lost in my current job. Where do you live I need move there with those salaries! I work on pcu so I'm not critical care after 3 years here I still don't feel comfortable getting pulled to icu... Best of luck!!
  6. by   bankssarn
    Damn, where do you live that you're making THAT kind of money as a new grad?! I don't even make half that...

    I'd choose the burn unit.
  7. by   shadowness
    I live in a relatively high cost of living state so it is all relative. I am lucky in that I am not paying bills so it's a good time to pay off my loans. I'm happy most people are saying ICU though
  8. by   lisheng
    Looks like we're in similar straits...(wow at the pay). Honestly, I would go with what you love, as the difference is not too far gone that picking up extra shifts, overtime/can't make up for. How are the benefits?

    ICU looks like a good choise. I would go for it.
  9. by   Nurse ABC
    I second the med-surg. I have seen too many new grads crash and burn in a high risk specialty area without basic experience first. Also, an extra $7G is quite a bit considering there aren't always extra shifts to pick up, sometimes you get called off due to low census, and the fact you won't always feel like picking up extra shifts. It's good to have time off and not feel the pressure and need to get in another shift if you don't want to. Then when a critical care opening comes up in that hospital you'll have a good background and be making even more money than the other place. I just think under the stress and pressure of learning a new job it's easier to deal with less critical patients with everything else you have to learn. However, that's not to say it can't be done with a good orientation. Good luck!
  10. by   shadowness
    you guys make starting out in critical care seem impossible. i feel confident though... 7G is a lot but who knows if ill ever get into a critical care opening considering how bad the job market is here
  11. by   amarilla
    I suppose it really depends on which offers the better preceptorship, resources, support and opportunity.

    I spent my first few years in med-surg and float, thinking that I would spend a solid year or two learning and developing skills before trying to find my niche. It was a great idea, save for that (1) if you turn out to be a good RN for that unit, they may not want to let you go, let alone help you into another specialty (2) with few jobs hiring newer nurses, it can be oh-so-difficult to get OUT of med-surg. Yes, it was a great foundation and I learned a great deal, but I see that it can be a burden as well as a boon, given these economical times. JME.

    If the ICU job offers you a good preceptorship, I'd take it and work my rear off with the opportunity they're giving you. Good luck!
  12. by   hiddencatRN
    Quote from shadowness
    you guys make starting out in critical care seem impossible.
    It's not. Definitely not for everyone, but by the same token not everyone needs some time in medsurg before moving on to a specialty. You know yourself best- with a good orientation and a supportive unit, if you feel up to the challenge, go for it. Yes, $7k isn't insignificant, but ime it's actually not as easy to switch specialties as folks like to make it out to be. Going to a new specialty means you still need a lot of training, so you really shouldn't have much less of an orientation than a new grad is getting. I recently switched from pediatric emergency to adult emergency and it took me longer to find a place that wanted to hire me for adult emergency nursing than it did to find a job as a new grad- most places I applied felt I didn't have the right kind of experience. So....if you get an ICU offer now, I'd take it instead of hoping you'll get another offer in a year or so.
  13. by   serenitylove14
    Take the ICU position. It is harder to transition or get an offer for ICU positions then med-surg and with going straight to ICU you would be getting direct experience in your specialty. I would pick up med-surg shifts. Ive seen plenty of new grads start in the ICU i use to extern at and they did wonderful... I REPEAT.... WONDERFUL!!!! Dont be discouraged because your new. Plus ICU typically has a smaller patient to nurse ratio so that will give you more time to sharpen up your assessment skills!!!
  14. by   yourstrulyjmc
    As a new grad that loves the ICU too... I'm thinking med-surg first (for myself at least - here's why):

    1. It really teaches you to prioritize.

    2. As a new nurse in the ICU, it can be very easy to lose your license. Not trying to scare or discourage you at all, but these are heavy duty patients. Think of all the cardiac meds, drips, sedation, EVD's, hemodynamic monitoring devices, trached pts, etc.

    3. Also, I don't know how well prepared I am to deal with families in the ICU - ex. families who won't let go of a loved one who clearly needs to be on hospice care instead of prolonging their suffering. I feel like Med-Surg would give me the experience I need to deal with families and sensitive subjects like health care proxies, living wills, DNR/DNIs...

    Once you're working as a med-surg nurse for a year or two, maybe you can move on within that same hospital to the ICU. Hospitals usually just want 1-2 years of direct nursing experience. Once you have that, it'll open so many doors. Also, keep in mind that people are going to retire in 1-2 years time too = more opportunities for newer nurses. Try to get to know the nurse manager of the ICU in the med-surg hospital. They may hold a spot for you once something opens up. Let people know how interested you are in the ICU. Word will get around fast. =)

    Best of luck to you though!
    Last edit by yourstrulyjmc on Dec 10, '12