New Grad RN: Home Health or Hold Out?

  1. Hi All,

    I recently (last week) had my pinning and am now a graduate nurse, preparing to take the NCLEX. Like most other new grads in this tough economy, I'm formulating a methodical plan for job-seeking that consists of networking with anyone possible, attending job fairs, and applying for all jobs I find (I have lists of every hospital, nursing home, and rehab in about a hour and a half radius!...I live in Massachusetts where the new grad market is horribly, horribly pathetic...its not uncommon for new grads from 2009 and 2010 to still not have jobs!)

    My student loans run out at the end of this month and I am in need of any employment to get the bills paid. In addition, I am attempting to save up for my wedding so I feel the extra pressure of needing some sort of an income.

    My question: through someone I networked with, I got offered a home health position for a little boy with very critical needs...he has a g-tube, trach, harrington rods and is suctioned as many as 150-600 times a day depending on his heath status. In addition, during times of sickness he is hooked up to a vent at night. Other than that he runs around, rides his bike and is home schooled during the day. The hours would be 7a-3pm 3x a week and the pay would be 25-30.00/hr. The mother feels confident that I could do the job, and also has other new grad RNs on staff (December grads.) I have been honest in saying that I would still seek other employment but would be willing to make a commitment to her to maintain a presence in his life since I know children get attached to caregivers (plus I need the money.) There are pro's and con's to the job...she also mentioned that one of her last caregivers left after two years after being hired into a pediatric ICU and working in an ICU is ultimately where I would like to wind up in nursing.

    Do I take the job? Training is involved of course, along with days shadowing current nurses...I know the current nursing market is tough so I'd like to take something while I can get it, however, I don't want to cut back the hours I would be available to any other forms of employment that I seek (most likely a rehab or LTC facility...)

    Does anyone have any opinions on this? I don't want to make a commitment to a family (and a little boy) that I can't/don't intend to keep but I also don't want to shoot myself in the foot by decreasing my availability to other employers from 7 days a week to four...

    Let me know what you think!!! I am interested in hearing others opinions.

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    About MBrickle

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 453; Likes: 218


  3. by   caliotter3
    Do not worry, the family knows that you can not support yourself on three days of work and that you will continue to seek employment elsewhere. Make this clear in the beginning. This is certainly better than nothing. When you interview for other work you will be able to cite this case as nursing experience. If you sit around the house doing nothing but job hunting, you won't have any nursing experience to speak of. I say take it.
  4. by   canchaser
    Take the job. You may possibly network with the Mom as I'm sure she networks with other special needs parents. Maybe if this is thru a home health agency you might be able to get more hours too.
  5. by   LoveMyBugs
    Is this through an agency or through mom only?
    If it is an agency is there an oncall nurse who you could call with questions? How long is the orienation?

    I did pediatric home health with a little boy very similar to the one you discribe only mine went to school and was developmentally around 9 months.

    I would have stayed with the case if I was getting more hours, but I ultiamtely left because of the agency that I worked for did not offer any training and sent me to cases without any sort of orienation. One case severe language barrier and the agency told me to "just read the nurses notes to get an idea of what to do":uhoh21:

    If you have orienatation and are able to shadow a nurse for a few shifts and have an emergency nurse on call number then take the job it is better than nothing, but make sure you advocate for yourself that you have enough training untill you feel safe
  6. by   Baboosh123
    I would say to definitely take this job! I was in the exact situation as you almost a year ago, living in NYC where the new grad market is absolutely abysmal. I was offered a home health position with a little girl with a g-tube and central line and snatched it up because honestly - who knew how long it would take to find a job? If the job market in Mass is anything like NYC, then you will probably be waiting for a while. It's better for you to take this position instead of possibly waiting for months for a hospital job. That way, when you do land those interviews, you have nursing experience that is on your resume. I also personally consider it a way for me to get my feet wet before totally jumping into the clinical field. My two cents.
  7. by   itri4vt
    Yes, take the job. You need money and you need experience. Waiting out for a "better" nursing job could likely be a long wait. I graduated in December and just took a HH job... so now I can add a nursing job to my resume and I can get trach, GT experience as well as learning to be ok with caring for a patient on my own right off the bat. I'm taking a vent class in a couple weeks so then I can add that to my list of skills. Then when I'm lined up against another new grad for an ICU position, who are they gonna take - the one with vent experience or no vent experience?

    Good luck!
  8. by   GooeyRN
    Take the job. At least this way you are gaining experience and some money. No, not enough to save up for a wedding, but hopefully enough to survive on. It will be something to put on a resume, and in 6 months you would be considered "experienced" and have a better time finding a regular job. If you wait, you may come up with nothing, get no experience, then be a "stale" new grad and have an even harder time finding a job.
  9. by   itri4vt
    Quote from GooeyRN
    a "stale" new grad
  10. by   MBrickle
    Thank you so much for all the's very valued. My initial concern was being the only one there in an emergency situation, but the mother seems confident that I can do the job...

    Yes, this is through an agency. During my training I would be hired as a PCA and then once I pass the NCLEX (hopefully later this month) she would get me hired through her agency. And yes, she did mention she could likely get my employment with another "trach kid" as she calls them.

    It's certainly enough to get my bills paid so I'm grateful for that...guess I'll go ahead and take it! Thank you to all for the great input :-)
  11. by   tothepointeLVN
    Take the job. Better employed than not. Even if it effects your newness for newgrad programs you can always "pretend" you've been unemployed when you apply.

    I've been eternally grateful for the job I took when I first got licensed. Other grads from my program took an extended amount of time to get hired so I came out ahead even with my job in a bad area with low low pay.
  12. by   LevitateMe
    I say take it, just make sure your comfortable with what your doing, the new cpr measures and what to do in an emergency. you dont want to lose your license before you get it. i went into PDN as an LVN of 6 years with no experience outside a clinic and at first i was terrified but now i can change a trach with my eyes closed. just make sure you are comfortable. Also make sure your ambu bag is never out of reach. there are also new cpr guidelines now so know those, i heard it puts compressions first i am taking a cert class soon, so i dont know all the details. also make sure you actually change that trach out at least once before you are left alone with the kiddo so you'll be more confident if it ever comes out while moms not home, and keep ky jelly handy just in case.
    good luck!