Two Job Offers.... Which to Take?

  1. A few weeks ago I had no offers, now I have two. Unfortunately neither position is a perfect fit, and they both have their positives and negatives. I'm hoping some experienced nurses can chime in and give me some advice about which offer to take.

    A full-time position at a state psychiatric hospital

    State benefits and the ability to move around within the system as a state employee
    Job security (they are expanding their facility and basically guaranteed I would not have to worry about losing my job)
    I had great chemistry with everyone I met, and many people have been happily working there for over 20 years
    I have a degree in psychology and would probably be a good fit for a mental health nursing career


    Will shortly be responsible for 18 patients
    Will be expected to take charge duty over experienced LPN's (how could they not hate that?)
    Psych is not considered acute care experience
    The salary is about $5,000 less
    I've been having a hard time finding an apartment in this city, and it's not the greatest place to live

    A per-diem medical-surgical position with a magnet designated hospital system

    It is acute care experience, which in this economy is priceless
    Two months of full-time orientation, and they are very invested in the success of their nurses.
    I would be an employee of this health system, and eligible to move around
    They said they want me for a full time position, though none is available now. Said they would work to get me into full-time as soon as possible. And because it's med-surg and people move into specialties from there quite often, this could be very soon.
    I could commute to work. I also really liked the town this hospital is in.

    It's not a guaranteed full time position
  2. Poll: Which Job Should I Take

    • State Psych Hospital

      28.57% 4
    • Per-diem Med Surg at a Magnet Facility

      71.43% 10
    14 Votes
  3. Visit DemosthenesRN profile page

    About DemosthenesRN

    Joined: Jul '13; Posts: 17; Likes: 15
    from US


  4. by   KelRN215
    I would take the state position myself simply because there are no guarantees that the per diem position will turn into anything more. The per diem position can't possibly promise to be $5,000 more than the other job because you have no guarantee of hours as a per diem. You are the first canceled and when you are canceled, it is without pay.
  5. by   OrganizedChaos
    How far away are these jobs from each other? Since one is full time & the other is PRN would it be possible to take both & if you get a full time job at the hospital to take that then go PRN or resign from the prior full time job?
  6. by   The_Optimist
    You hotcake you. Congrats on your two job offers. You seem like a list person, so here this might help,

    Write your short term and long -term goals.

    Take finances out of it (you control money, not the other way around)

    What employer do you most have peace with?

    Where do you think you'd have the most satisfaction?

    Pray about it.
  7. by   BSNbeDONE
    If this is your first job, med/surg will give you a chance to learn nursing skills that you will probably not learn at a psych facility. If the PRN position is like most, then the pay is good because you're not eligible for benefits; not to mention your setting your own schedule. As a PRN nurse, you can sign up for fulltime hours, although you are amongst the first to be cancelled, floated, and/or placed on call. If you're eager to work, as one of the posters suggested, take both positions: work your fulltime position and have a foot in the door at the PRN position. I love working PRN! The pay affords me the ability to purchase my own insurance; the flexibility gives me the opportunity to be off WHENEVER I want to; and of course, I can sign up for fulltime hours and overtime hours if I chose (I make sure that THAT never happens).

    So, if you want to work fulltime but prefer the med/surg position, I would go with the PRN position and sign up for fulltime hours. That would give you the better of both worlds, minus the benefits. Keep in mind that signing up for those hours doesn't mean that you will get them. But if you turn the position down, there is no guarantee that you will get the fulltime position when and if one comes open, especially if the PRN position is filled by another who will take whatever until something better opens up.

    Good luck!!
  8. by   mmccluskey
    I'm guessing that you have limited experience at this point, based on your initial post, so my answer was geared towards the thought that med-surg experience is absolutely INVALUABLE at the beginning of your career. To be offered a position in a magnet hospital without a lot of experience suggests that the hospital plans to invest a lot in you, which is a great thing. One thing that I wonder is if you know anyone who works at either of the facilities you are thinking about? Some first-hand info about the workplace culture would be a great asset. Good for you, and good luck in whatever you choose!!
  9. by   SoundRN7
    If you can swing both jobs I would recommend that. Both positions offer the potential for valuable experience that can be used in any job the future.
  10. by   DemosthenesRN
    Thank you everyone for the comments and advice.

    I can't do both because the per diem position starts with 3 months of full-time work while I'm on orientation, and the start dates conflict.

    I took the med/surg and I'm feeling very confident about it. The recruiter told me that positions open up frequently enough that though she can't guarantee anything, chances are good that I'll be a full time employee very soon. And if not, I think that long orientation on med/surg and being a currently employed per diem med/surg nurse will help me find a full-time med/surg position with another hospital if that becomes necessary.

    Thanks again!