I want to start off by saying sorry for yet another post about the Triangle area. I'm moving from out of state and due to COVID the hiring process has been remote/interviews via zoom which has made things pretty stressful. I've never even been to the triangle area before, so I don't know what I'm getting myself into, but from what I've read it should be a really great experience.
That being said, I have been a nurse for about 4 1/2 years. 2 1/2 years ER experience + 2 years geri inpatient psych. I'm moving away from psych, as I want to grow in my medical/clinical skills and the unit I work on focuses a lot on dementia, TBI's, movement disorders so I've developed a growing interest in neuro as well.
I was offered a position at Duke in Durham on a Neuro stepdown unit. The interview went really well, everyone seemed super nice. The unit will be in a completely new tower, so everything is nice and new and up to date. I'm currently working at Johns Hopkins so the whole teaching hospital/big name features are familiar to me, and I don't necessarily assume a "big name" is best.
- They offered me 27/hr base pay despite over 4 years experience. The differentials are great, but I would only be rotating so I don't know if that pay rate will cover my bills (I have *a lot* of student loans) It's hard to estimate how much I'll actually make a month when I don't know my schedule or frequency differential shifts.
- The recruiter mentioned their loan repayment incentive, which sounds great, but when I received my hiring packet it did not mention the loan repayment incentive, and when I reached out to my recruiter to make sure the incentive is still active, he never responded, which makes me anxious. They did offer a 3K relocation bonus and that was included in my hiring paperwork
- Parking is expensive, which I currently deal with now at Hopkins, but I'm also taking a big pay cut and the decreased cost of living doesn't take away the fact that I have a lot of student loans to manage monthly...
* Any Duke insight would be great. Do you think I could request a higher pay rate, or would that be futile? I see posts of new grads being offered 27/hr base back in 2017... so why am I being offered 27/hr with 4+ years experience? Do you think the differentials make up for the low base rate? Do you find you have opportunities to pick up overtime shifts? Do you get annual raises and is it worth starting out low with the hopes of getting more adequate pay over time? Is there room for growth/leadership opportunities? I don't want to sell myself short and be underpaid when I feel I have worked very hard to develop the experience and skills I currently have, however I am also willing to enter into a lower paying base rate if there is potential for growth. I was expecting a lower rate of pay, just want to be sure it's a fair offer.
Since being offered a position at Duke, I was also offered a position at UNC Rex yesterday for an ortho position. Still waiting for paperwork about specifics, but I've read UNC Rex typically pays more. They also have a loan repayment incentive and their relocation bonus is 5K (as opposed to Duke's 3K) UNC Rex has free parking. The manager was also very nice, and even mentioned possibilities of being qualified for leadership positions (which they do have open) based on my experience alone, which seemed promising. They seem like a fast paced unit, handling up to 17 post surgical patients a day, with a faster turnover rate.
- I'm not that familiar with ortho. I remember enjoying my ortho rotation in school and I'm pretty familiar with pain management and various levels of immobility, but not necessarily from a post-op standpoint. I'm not 100% set on neuro, but I do feel more intrigued by neuro based on my recent experiences, however I also don't want to rule out a particular area of nursing as I feel very open to enjoying many aspects of learning.
- I was hoping to live in either Durham or Chapel Hill, so driving to Raleigh would be a commute, but the parking is free and it doesn't seem to be too far from Durham.
- Still waiting to hear more about pay rate/differentials/incentives but I've read a lot about UNC Rex paying better. Is that the case? I don't want to pick a position solely based on pay rate, but I also want to be able to manage my bills without losing my mind (completely)
- There are multiple leadership positions open on this unit... is that a bad sign that it's an unstable unit? I don't want to work in a floaty/unsafe area and would feel more confident working in an environment with a very solid team. I know nursing can be transient, but it just threw me off a little...
- Does UNC Rex have the same benefits as UNC Chapel Hill?
I also had a really great interview with UNC Chapel Hill Neuro ICU, but that was a while ago and I was told there is a hold up from HR on hiring. Last I checked they said I'm still being "strongly considered" but still have the HR issue which is vague and has no known time frame, so I can't afford to decline offers in the meantime.
OK, whew, sorry that was so long. I really didn't expect back to back offers so I'm trying to decide which one is right for me.