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Which job to take?


I am graduating in the end of May and I have two lucrative job offers on the table. One is 16 hours a week, 2 weekends a month, every other holiday, and a 35 minute drive. I know the DON, she is friend of the family and can't wait to sign me up. The other is a little closer, 20 minute drive, 32 hours a week, every third weekend and every third holiday. I wasn't really looking for quite so many hours, but the thought of a closer drive and only having to work every third holiday is appealing. The problem is I would have to put both my kids in daycare for this one, costing me about $600 a month. I would still be making more money after childcare, but it makes me think about the problem of dealing with when my kids get sick and having more of a chance to have to call in if they are. Both facilities are nice. Just torn between taking the job with less hours that may benefit my family more (not having to call in sick if kids are sick, more time at home, but less hours =less money)... or the other job with more hours (more money, less time with family). Husband has a good job, so making more money isn't imperative at this time... but just thinking about two years down the road when they are both in school full time and I will be at home with no kids. Really just trying to hash it out and would welcome any advice. Thanks.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Are the jobs identical in terms of the types of patients, specialty, etc.? Will one job give you better orientation than the other? Will one job provide a better foundation for the types of jobs you may be interested in later in your career? Does one job offer a better schedule in terms of rotating between days and days, etc.? Does one employer offer better benefits than the other?

These are things you should be considering. It's not just the basic pay, commute, and hourly wage.

Both jobs are long term care with an emphasis on palliative care. My long term goal is to become a hospice nurse, and both positions would give me hands on with end of life patients. Both jobs are AM positions with rotating weekends and holidays. The position that is farther away's DON is a personal friend of the family. I have worked with her before and I admire and respect her. The position that is closer I am unfamiliar with the staff, but I did not get a "bad" feeling so to say when I interviewed. Both positions have very similar benefits. They are quite comparable to each other, making the decision tough.


Has 2 years experience.

How much orientation would you get with each job? How many patients would you have for each job?

A lot can change in 2 years so while it's great to be forward thinking, if at this time you don't need to work more than 2 days a week and can be more available to your family that's the route I would go if I were in your shoes. If the other person is a friend of your family, sounds like that will not change and in the future it may be a better fit for your needs. Money is important but so is time - especially with family and both of these positions will assist in moving you into hospice. Take the least at this point to gain the most.

chacha82, ADN, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

Just my opinion but if one job keeps your kids out of daycare, I'd take it. I worked with someone once who was let go because she had too many call-ins, it was a shame because she was very good at her job. She was just out too much, which makes me worried about daycare. It depends on the daycare policy, but many will charge you if you're late to pick them up.


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 3 years experience.

Don't think about 2 years down the road, when both kids are in school full time. What are the chances you will still be at your first nursing job after 2 years, when neither of the jobs you've been offered are actually in your goal specialty? In all honesty, by the time your kids are in school full time, you'll probably be ready for a change (and probably a hospice job, if that's still what you want to do). Life can change a lot in a couple of years. Take the job that makes sense for you and your family now. If you don't *need* the money and don't really want the hours, why be stuck with that schedule? You can probably pick up extra shifts once in awhile at the 16 hr job, and IMO, better to pick up when you *want to* than to be locked into the hours all the time...

ETA: If driving time is a factor, also consider that your total time spent commuting every week would actually be lower at the job 35 minutes from home. 35 minutes one way/70 minutes round trip, x2 shifts per week, is 140 minutes. 20 minutes one way/40 minutes round trip, x4 shifts per week is 160 minutes. So, it doesn't really make sense to work closer to home for the sake of shortening your commute if you're actually going to spend more time commuting overall. Just another thing to think about. I used to drive 50 minutes one way (up to 90 minutes OW in the winter), so I get why this could be a major consideration. Just don't get hung up on the relatively minor difference of driving 35 vs 20 minutes when you'd only be doing that 2 days out of the week anyway. Besides, that extra 15 minutes of driving would save you 16 hours of work each week, lol...

Edited by TheLittlestNurse

Thanks everyone! I decided to take the job with less hours. You all helped put it in perspective for me. Ultimately what it comes down to is the kids are only going to be little for a short time and I have the rest of my career to work full time. I appreciate the comments.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Good luck!