Should I take the peds job offer or hold out for adult?

Nurses Nurse Beth

Updated:   Published

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a new Grad RN (graduated in September) and have finally had some luck with jobs after months of applying! I just got a verbal offer from a pediatric hospital, but I ALSO just did a video interview for a different hospital that is general adult. I am really torn because I definitely prefer adult over pediatrics, but I don't want to lose my chance at a job (finally).

What would you suggest I do ? I am already planning on calling the second hospital to see when they could get back to me and, essentially, what is the likelihood of getting hired. The pediatrics position starts Feb. 24th and I have to let them know by the end of this week... the second position starts March 16th but isn't a definitive hire yet.

Dear Torn,

Call the first hospital and ask for a few more days' time for your answer. Tell them you are very interested, and could you just have till the beginning of next week to decide.

This gives you the weekend and a couple more days to think. Your plan to call the second hospital is good, and let them know you have an offer elsewhere. The thing is, they are not going to jump their timeline and promise you anything outside of due process, and definitely not before early next week.

You still are likely to end up in the same situation, which is "Which is better, a bird in the hand or a bird in the bush?" There is not a right or wrong answer because it's a matter of your ability to tolerate ambivalence and risk aversion. The pediatric hospital is a sure thing, and the second hospital is not.

One thing that tips the scales is that it's pediatrics versus adult, so it's apples and oranges. You strongly prefer adults over pediatrics, and pediatric skills are not all transferable to adults. They really aren't "little adults" and you would have a lot to not only learn, but unlearn if you later switch specialties.

Best wishes in your choice,

Nurse Beth

Author, Your Last Class-how to land your first nursing job...and your next!

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