Skip to main content

The New Graduate Job Search - Part II

A random encounter with a student on the street outside my office inspired this one.

After usual greetings, the conversation went something like this:

Student: I have a job offer on a med-surg floor at the hospital where I've been voluteering.

Me: Great!  That's fantastic.

Student: Yeah, but I'm not sure I want to take it.

[Inside my head, there are two scenarios going on:

Scene 1 - Twenty something me who had a job offer in a market similar to this one yet turned it down, went elsewhere, then spent 8 months looking for a staff nursing job wants to say: "Dude, don't do it.  TAKE the JOB!"  Now, I have no regrets about my past choice but it would have made some things easier in the long run, like my student loans would be closer to being paid off...

Scene 2 - Echoing in my ears are howls of dozens of other students who graduated in December and have spent months looking for work.  They'd love to be in the same position.]

[Back to the street]

Me: So why don't you want to take it?

Student: Well, I really want to do anesthesia so I want to get into ICU right away.  Plus my mom's really good friend is an ICU manager at a public hospital here in the city so I think I might want to hold out and see what she can get me.

[Note for non-nurses: To become a nurse anesthetist, candidates are required to complete two years of work in an ICU before they can enter the masters (now sometimes clinical doctorate) program.] 

Me: I can see how you'd like to get into ICU right away, but are you willing to wait six months for an ICU job?  You could start working on the med-surg floor as soon as you pass the boards.  With six months of med-surg experience, you're a heck of a lot more marketable for any ICU position when compared to a fresh new grad.

Student: Yeah?  Well, still, I dunno.  I really think I want to hold out and go right in to ICU, see what my mom's friend can get me.

Me: OK, think about it.  Do you really want to work for your mom's friend?  I mean, think about what it would be like if you messed up.  Or would you even feel like you had room to make a mistake because of the relationship between your mom and your potential future boss?

Student: Oh.  I didn't really think about it that way.  So, taking the med-surg job would be better you think?

Me: If I was you, I'd take it.  You'll get to your goal a lot faster than if you wait for a new grad ICU position in the city.

Student: OK, I'll think about it.

Main message here: If you are a new graduate nurse with a job offer thanks to hours you put in as a volunteer, TAKE IT!  You will reach your future goals, especially if they involve graduate school sooner rather than later, faster if you do.


Popular posts from this blog

There Are Other Masters Degrees Besides a Nurse Practitioner - Part I

It strikes me that many students and nurses do not seem to know about the "other" masters degree options for nurses.  Everyone seems to want to be a nurse practitioner these days.  Now, that's great news for the primary care provider shortage, but we need nurses with masters degrees who can work in other positions and have other skill sets.
Let's review the other masters degrees in nursing.  Nearest and dearest to my own heart is Nursing Education.  Remember that really cool clinical instructor you had in your entry-level nursing program --that could be you!  Do you like precepting new hires?  Are you the person on your unit who unofficially keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest evidence?  Do you really enjoy patient teaching, whether in the hospital or community setting?  Do you just like to teach?  Nursing education is the right masters for you.  Skills learned in a nursing education masters cannot be learned on the job.  Curriculum writing and program developmen…

Why You Will Get a "Bad" Grade in Nursing School & Why It Will be the Best Thing to Happen to You

Perhaps you have been a straight A student all your life.

Perhaps you had one subject you struggled with, got Bs in it, but mostly As in the rest of your classes.

Then you started nursing school.

Most students quickly discover that nursing is one of the hardest majors at any university. Not only do you have a lot of time in class, your "lab" equivalent involves learning how to care for really sick people. Most nursing students spend between 24 to 30 hours per week in class --and THEN have lots of reading and other assignments they need to do to prepare for their "labs." After all, in a chemistry lab you probably won't harm or kill anyone due to the highly controlled conditions. When any health profession student is learning, there is always the risk for mistakes and it's why they are so closely supervised.

Inevitably, every nursing student gets their definition of a "bad" grade. For some, this is an actual failure of a class and that can happen fo…

Language Barriers and Your Patients - Let the Evidence Guide Your Decisions so You Can Comply with the Law

In almost every health care setting in the United States (US) these days, nurses and other health care providers are dealing with language barriers as part of care delivery more than ever before. In fact, most countries in the world run into some kind of language barrier issue in the health care setting. Global migration means more tourists and immigrants for every country in the world. 
In the US, language access--meaning the availability of interpreters and their services-- is a civil right. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also added new provisions for health care services providers around language access that are important for you to know. From CME Learning:
New rules on language access were implemented on July 18, 2016. These changes are sweeping in scope as they apply to “every [federal] health program or activity, any part of which receives Federal financial assistance.” Section 1557 is a “non-discrimination” provision that broadly prohibits discrimination in health care or health c…