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Choosing Your Place in the Workforce

You are a baccalaureate nursing student who will graduate in 3 months. You are aware that most of the acute care hospitals in the immediate area are not hiring new graduates although there are a few openings in a small, rural hospital about 40 miles from where you live. There are some openings in home health, public health, community health, telehealth, and case management in the local community as well. You need to get a job as soon as possible as you are a single parent and have accrued significant debt in your educational degree quest. Your career goal is to work in a high paced, skill intensive, acute care hospital environment like the ED, ICU, or trauma, but you have not yet achieved the specialty certifi cations you need to do so and there are no openings in these units for new graduates at present anyway. You enjoyed the autonomy and patient interaction that you experienced in your public health practicum as part of school, and the Monday to Friday work schedule of the public health nurses appeals to you since you have small children. The salary, however, would be significantly lower than if you worked in an acute care setting and you are not sure that this would be enough to make ends meet. Moreover, the orientation period at the public health facility would be fairly brief. Finally, you also have an interest in pediatric oncology, a specialty not available to you unless you relocate to a regional medical center almost 200 miles from where you currently live. There are opportunities for advancement and professional development there but it would likely be necessary for you to take a job on the night shift on a general medical-surgical unit fi rst, to get your foot in the door.


1. Determine how you will move forward in making a decision about where you will seek employment.

2. Make a list of 10 factors that you need to consider in weighting conflicting wants, needs, and obligations.

3. What evaluation criteria can you generate to look at both the process you used to make your decision as well as the decision itself?

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