I Turned Down My “Dream” Nursing Job

You read that right!

Hello all! Well, it’s true. If anyone has been actually reading my posts throuhgout the years, you would know I absolutely love pediatrics. Life is taking me another direction. This all happened in January, and I have just been holding out and giving myself time to process. If you are interested, keep reading! This is a long post so just brace yourself…

Application Process

I began submitting online applications for nrse residency positions with the hospital system last November during my first semester senior year. The application took a decent amount of time to complete, just because I made sure to complete everything completely. I was immediately met with a lot of disappointement as I recieved immediate rejections from the automated system. This was pretty frustrating, but after a few days, I recieved a email stating they were considering my application. I ended up being selected to be interviewed for the Pediatric Nurse Residency and Emergency Nurse Residency!

Nurse Residency Application Summary

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Professional Recommendation
  • Personal Recommendation
  • Short Statement


Alright, now we are getting to the real part of this post. The interviews. Both interviews consisted of the same questions, I simply tailored my asnwers to that cohort. I also made sure to ask each residency the same questions in case I received an offer from both. The questions were all behavioral. I made sure to ask each cohort about conitnuing education opportunities, staff dynamics, etc. Unfortunately, both interviews were not a pleasant experience on my part.


Let’s start with the pediatric interview. The pediatric interview consisted of all of the managers from the Children’s Hospital: NICU, PICU/Peds Intermediate, General Peds, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Pediatric Surgery. The interview was extremely unprofessional. The PICU manager was proceeded to pull out celery and crunch loudly during my interview and when I looked at her she said “What? It’s lunchtime!”.

The other managers seemed to condone this apart from the NICU and really did not seem like they wanted to be there. I had the impression they were simply “filling slots”. Anyone that knows me personally knows I was hoping to become a PICU nurse, because that is my favorite area to be when volunteering with Child Life. Sadly, the NICU was pulling hard for me and even offered to open a slot for me despite having filled their positions! I respectfully declined and noticed the interview pretty much shut down as they all gave the General Peds manager a look like “Well, I guess she’s yours”. After that the interview shut down. Needless to say, I walked out of the interview unsettled.

Emegency Department

Moving onto the Emergency Interview. I interviewed with the Assistant Manager (who is actually the Supervisor now) of the Adult Emergency Room. I was immediately impressed, because after mentioning that I am a Monitor Tech/Unit Secretary/Patient Sitter, he was said “I know you!”. The interview went well and I realized how much of an ER nurse I actually am during that interview. 😂 I did become a little nervous during the interview, because he had actually printed out resumes and just paused for about 2 minutes and stopped talking. I politely waited and after what seemed like an eternity, he said “I was just taking everything in. You have accomplished a lot for being 20”. I was so embarrased, so I just said thank you. 😂


Well I recieved an offer from both cohorts! Pediatric General (Peds Med-Surg) and Adult Emergency (Level 1 Trauma Center). This was a hard decision to make, but I have listed out my thought process when considering both.

  • I have a passion for the pediatric population.
  • All I know (past jobs, etc.) is pediatrics.
  • I completed part of my nurse externship there AND I volunteer there so I know my surroundings.
  • I hate hunting down the doctor for a simple order for Tylenol.
  • I know that floor is very boring at night and I will not get skills practice.
  • “Red flags” from management during interview. (!!!!!)
  • Did not feel appreciated.
  • No opportunties for growth aside from cross-training to be a pediatric float pool nurse.
  • I volunteer there and notice the managers spend more time in their offices than on the unit.
  • Floor nursing seems too routine for me at this stage in my life.
  • Overall, they just left a bad taste in my mouth.🤷
  • I completed part of my nurse externship in a small emergency room and enjoyed it.
  • I LOVED my day in the trauma bay for externship.
  • I get floated to the ER for work sometimes, so I have a general idea of the teamwork, patient ratio, etc.
  • I will never be bored.
  • I love having the provider “right there”.
  • I love the unpredictability.
  • Many opportunities for growth (trauma bay, certification, etc.)
  • I have heard nothing but positive things about management and did not pick up red flags…
  • I have noticed management out on the floor.
  • I felt appreciated during my interview.
  • I am not really an adult person, but I can tolerate it in the emergency setting.
  • I can always work my way to the other side into pediatric emergency and pediatric trauma!

My Decision

After a lot of consideration and talking with my family, mentors, past and present clinical instructors and of course lots of prayer. I decided to go with


I cannot believe it. It has been months since I accepted the position (assuming I pass NCLEX) and I cannot believe I am going to be an ER nurse. I would have never thought because my personality is not typical ER. I am absolutely TERRIFIED, but hoping this opportunity will help me get where I want to go.

Never settle for something you want if you won’t be treated well. MANAGEMENT IS EVERYTHING!! I absolutely love my kiddos, but I refuse to be stuck in a stagnant environment.

Thanks for reading!



7 thoughts on “I Turned Down My “Dream” Nursing Job

  1. I’m sorry I’m just now getting time to be on here. OMG I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! I too loved my day in the ER. It can be very exciting. I’m in a pediatric surgery unit. It’s floor nursing but at the same time we get all kinds of patients. My friends stayed in the units we teched in. One is post part in and the other is heart failure. I felt as though I would get bored with something so routine as far as patient diagnosis. I have enjoyed work and I’m seeing so much even with most of our surgeries cancelled due to Covid. I can’t wait to read another update from you! I hope everything is going well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome its sounds like your pediatric surgery unit is a great experience! In my home town, I volunteered on all the pediatric floors ad the surgery unit was pretty diverse. As I mentioned, I recieved an offer on a peds med-surg unit that I externed on and nightshift workflow was pretty depressing.😂 Hoefully one day I can end up working with peds where management appreciates their employees. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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