Nurses are in high demand right now, especially in specialist teams. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 9% in the next decade which means it is a growing field. However, there are global shortages of registered nurses and other health care professionals, which means that when you start looking for a job, there may be multiple offers to consider. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing shortages were ongoing due to factors such as economic activity, waves of retiring nurses, and soaring healthcare demand.
Remember, this is a good problem to have as a candidate market means you are in the driver’s seat. Continue reading to discover the right factors to consider that will make the decision-making process less challenging.
#1: Look at the Culture
One of the most important aspects of working in an organization is the culture. It’s also something to highly consider when applying for jobs and deciding where you want to work. Positive work culture is indicative of a successful organization and strong multi-professional teams that work well together.
When you visit the hospital or office for your interview, observe how welcoming the organization is and how teams work collaboratively. Is there a core values statement articulating shared beliefs in the department? How helpful were people when you asked questions at the interview or when researching the job, and how are junior staff treated? What are the staff turnover rates? Spending time doing a little research about the workplace will help you decide on the right nursing job.
#2: What Are the Career Development Opportunities?
When you start a new job, it’s essential to have a development plan so you can learn the basics and be integrated into the wider clinical team. So think about other aspects of professional development, such as opportunities to do projects or access a mentor. What are the options for developmental secondments or promotion in the organization? There may be opportunities for specialist courses and programs too. These developments are essential if you want to progress with your career, so working somewhere that supports you is crucial.
#3: How Flexible Are They?
As nurses, we know that the work and shifts should focus on the patients and their needs. However, if you have children, care for an elderly relative, or can only work part-time, you may need to consider working specific hours. If you need to work flexibly, how willing is your new employer? Think about how this new job will fit into your lifestyle.
#4: What Other Benefits Are Available?
There is more to a work contract than your primary salary. Be sure to check the benefits that organizations offer their staff. For example, employers provide health insurance benefits, study opportunities, and on-site fitness programs. Others provide discounts at stores and entertainment venues. For example, if you’re offered a job with a higher salary but a lower benefits package, you may end up with less money in your pocket in the long run as some healthcare benefits can be worth thousands. Make a list of all of the benefits offered and weigh all the offers against each other to see the real breakdown. Check out the additional benefits when choosing a job and make sure they are helpful for you.
#5: Does This Make Sense for Your Career Goals?
Think about your long-term goals; will this career fulfill them? For example, are you working toward specific career advancement, or is your goal to have greater flexibility or work for a healthcare organization that is closer to home? Assess your goals and figure out how each new role will bring you closer to achieving them.
#6: How Innovative Is the Team?
Progressive clinical teams work in integrated ways as multi-faceted professionals. They have service developments, test new ways of delivering care, and get involved in research. If you get a nursing job that is on a team that is dedicated to continually developing and enhancing their skills, it creates a buzz and is an exciting place to work. In addition, there are opportunities to network and develop as a professional to help you grow your career as a nurse.
#7: The Pay
Salaries are essential, and they vary depending on the region and the type of job. The pay should not be the sole deciding factor when you have several job offers. Don’t be worried about a lower wage if you want a career change or if the department is a better fit for you. And if you can negotiate your pay and conditions, take the opportunity to discuss arrangements with your future employer.
#8: Go With Your Gut
When you have several job offers and evaluate the pros and cons of each, making that final decision is difficult. If something does not feel right to you, it probably isn’t the best fit for your next job. Go with that gut feeling if it feels like the perfect job in a place where you will be happy at work.
Once you have selected your favored job and checked the contract, you will need to accept the position formally. Be sure to contact the employers in the places you turned down to thank them for the offer so they can fill the job quickly. Then, all you need to do is arrange your start date and get excited about that wonderful new job opportunity to work with a brilliant team.
PACT, a Partner of Hartford HealthCare, Relies on Nurses
Nurses play an important role in ensuring PACT multi-specialty providers can provide quality healthcare services to patients. If you are a nurse and want to share in the PACT vision of delivering patient-centered and innovative healthcare, apply to one of our open jobs today.