Granted it is rare, some people get more than one nursing job offer. If this is you, consider yourself lucky…and qualified. You wouldn’t be in this position unless you worked hard. The choice between various institutions can be tricky. I know this firsthand. After interviewing at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, Miller Children’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, I was in for a tough decision. I have broken my thought process down for how I eliminated some options and came to my decision.
During the final phases of most interviews, the nurse manager will give you a floor tour. Take this time to picture yourself on the floor. Is this somewhere you can envision yourself flourishing? Get a feel for nurse-to-nurse interactions. Are they supporting each other and talking to one another?
You can immediately sense a hostile environment. Does the floor support and nurture learning and asking questions? Does it feel warm and fuzzy or colder and more reserved? Everyone wants something different in their environment. Figure out what it is you want and search for that within your institution.
How did you feel walking onto the hospital grounds for your interview? Could you feel yourself working there? Where will you be happiest?
How did the panel make you feel? Did they smile, laugh, and put you at ease? Remember that the panel is who you will be working with or under. If you don’t feel supported by the panel, the risk for errors increases. You need to have support within your team!
WHAT DO I WANT AS A NEW GRADUATE NURSE
This is the hardest part. Remember that you are interviewing the hospital as much as they are interviewing you! What is it that you want? For me, I wanted a safe place to learn. I wanted support from the institution during my learning process. As a new grad, there is a huge learning curve. This was a priority for me. Figure out what your’s are and cross-reference them to your choices.
Is the position on the unit you wanted? Is it going to limit your nursing skills and knowledge right off the bat? For instance, beginning in the operating room requires an entirely different skills set than those required on the floor. This being said, the transition from OR to the floor in the future could be challenging. Are your shifts 12’s or 8’s? This can be problematic if a commute is involved! Is the position days or nights?
How far is the institution? What is your form of transportation? How long will it take and how much will it cost? If you have 12 hours shifts, a long commute may not be safe after a long and tiring day!
THE PAY, BENEFITS, AND DIFFERENTIALS
The absolute last thing to be considered (if the aforementioned didn’t yield a decision) is the pay and benefits. Working night shifts brings differentials. This means an increase in pay per hour. There is also an increase for weekend shifts. Who gives you better insurance? Are you supporting your family under your insurance too? These are all things to be considered.