Quote from nsg2
I am about to graduate and have been looking for my first job as an RN. For the last 4 years, I have been in school on the other side of the state from where I'm from, but have always had hopes of returning home after I graduate. In my job search, I applied to a hospital in my hometown, as well as where I'm in school. At school, I was offered a position in PCU. Then a few days later, I was offered a position on the Orthopedic/Spine Unit back home. Neither position is my dream job as I ultimately want to be a pediatric nurse at my hometown hospital. However, I only had a short amount of time to choose, and I ended up going with the Ortho job back home. It pays better, is back home, and it's only a year commitment. I also thought it'd be easier for me to get into peds there later on if I'm already working there. But now, I can't help but feel I might've made a mistake. I have no real interest in ortho, and while PCU isn't my dream job either, I have enjoyed my ICU clinical, so that is more closely related to something I enjoy. I'm also worried I may not get as much of the skills practice I need as a new nurse in ortho. I haven't formally accepted the position back home yet, but I have told the recruiter I want the job and I had to leave a message with the recruiter yesterday declining the PCU job. Is it too late for me to go back and change my mind?
Your first nursing job is about feeling comfortable where you are -- both in your job with your manager and coworkers and in where you're living. I wish I had a few dollars for every orientee I've precepted through 2 or 6 months of orientation who abruptly left because she was homesick or missed her boyfriend or didn't like the new city.
You have so much to learn about being a nurse that you will benefit from almost any nursing job. The skills you learn in ortho are going to stand you in good stead for the rest of your career -- as will the skills you learn in PCU. You're learning the basics during your first year or two of nursing, and those basics will transfer anywhere.
I'd advise any new grad to choose based on where they're going to get the most support. If that's in their hometown, choose there. If it's in the school's city, choose there. If the ortho job has a supportive manager and staff, that's a fabulous place to start, even if ortho isn't your thing. You'll still learn about how to talk to patients, coworkers, families, management and ancillary staff, how to form and nourish work relationships, how to assess a patient in a couple of minutes while just telling them good morning (and how to prioritize which patient you take care of first based on that quick assessment), how to think critically and manage your time. You'll learn the same things in PCU.
Here's one more consideration -- what's your appetite for adventure? If your goal is to live in your hometown and you'll feel unhappy or deprived elsewhere, move to your hometown. If you stay in the college town, you may fall in love with someone who has no intentions of ever moving to your hometown or who is determined to move back to his hometown in the Middle East. I was happy moving to a new city again and again, and you might be as well. But if your hometown is where you want to live, start out there.