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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.


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