An aging population and expanded coverage have led to an unprecedented demand for nurses across the country. With the number of open positions far exceeding the number of available candidates, nurses will often have the upper hand when looking for new opportunities—leading many to decide between multiple nursing jobs.
“The national unemployment rate in 2017 for registered nurses was 1.4%, which contributes to a very competitive recruiting environment for employers,” says Marlene Napoli, a Managing Director at ES Healthcare, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “With healthcare facilities struggling to keep up, many of these organizations are offering expensive perks and unique incentives in an attempt to set themselves apart when hiring nurses.”
While signing bonuses and free housing are certainly nice perks to be offered during the onboarding process, these are not the only factors to consider when deciding between multiple nursing jobs. “They may satisfy your needs in the short-run, but they won’t stop you from looking for a new position in a year or two,” warns Marlene. “Rather than getting caught up in the flashy perks, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind when deciding between two offers. Instead, focus on the work environment and whether the position will contribute to your career goals.”
If you find yourself balancing multiple nursing jobs, here are three things to keep in mind as you make your decision:
Opportunities for career growth
To find success in an ever-evolving industry, your long-term career goals should be top of mind when deciding between multiple nursing jobs. “While flashy perks are certainly nice, they will not make you more marketable for future opportunities,” warns Marlene. “Look out for the offer that gives you more opportunities to build your skills, gain new responsibilities, and advance within the organization.” For example, the technology used, your number of direct reports, and other managerial responsibilities can make all the difference when you are ready to look for a job later down the line.
The people and overall culture
Company culture can refer to a wide range of factors, from a facility’s daily procedures to their stance on nurse bullying. As a result, it’s important to ensure you can see yourself being happy at the organization you choose to work for in the long run. As a result, Marlene suggests you ask the following questions when considering multiple nursing jobs:
- Would I work well with the person that I will be reporting to?
- Do I like the dynamics of the team I would be joining?
- Is a flexible schedule important to me?
- Do my values align with the organization’s overall goals?
Continuing education initiatives
A 2017 survey of 4,500 nurses found that 80% of millennial nurses and 57% of Gen Xers plan to pursue higher education. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’ll want to evaluate which position places a stronger emphasis on continuing education initiatives. This can include, but is not limited to: onsite educational programs, mentoring programs, flexible scheduling options for nurses balancing work and school, tuition reimbursement, and support to earn additional nursing certifications.