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I have a conflict with a job I've been offered and a job I currently have and want to keep. What advice do you have?

Tuesday February 19, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am a new nursing graduate and have been offered my dream job. I was asked to start in a month, so I would have plenty of time to make arrangements. It is a part-time position, two nights a week. However, the orientation, which lasts more than three months, is full time. The problem is I have another part-time job teaching at a university. I plan to keep my teaching job, because I enjoy it and the nursing position also is part-time. The university has given me countless opportunities to grow, and I am very enthusiastic about my job there. To fully commit to the nursing orientation period, I need to ask for a delay in my hiring for at least a month. When I interviewed, I vaguely stated my situation, but I firmly told the nursing manager I would be more than willing to volunteer until they hire me. During this volunteering period, I could get acquainted with the unit, the computer system, charting, observe triages and everything not related with direct patient contact. Also, I could take any courses necessary for the unit. This way, the hospital saves money, and I gain time until the summer when I would be off until September, well beyond my orientation period. The nursing manager seemed extremely understanding, but I am afraid she will not extend the hiring date for that long, even if I am eager to work for free. I am extremely serious about this job. I am a very honest and committed person, but I want to have the job I feel passionate about. What advice do you have?

Needs a Delayed Hire

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Needs a Delayed Hire,

All you can do is ask. If the nurse manager says she will not hold the position, then you will have to consider what to do next and where the best opportunities are for you moving forward. If the emplyer won't hold it, is there any possibility you can be relieved of your teaching job early this semester to pursue this new opportunity with the intent of returning to the school in September? Again, it never hurts to ask.

You certainly can offer to volunteer as you say, but they may or may not go for that. However, because you did previously discuss it with the manager, you may have a chance to work things out. You won't know until you try. Express to the nursing manager your enthusiasm and passion for the position, and see what you can negotiate.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.