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How do I decline a job I’ve accepted but not yet started to accept another offer?


Dear Donna,

I worked at an institution for more than 15 years then went on short-term disability, and my position was filled. When I was ready to return to work, they had no jobs available that fit my needs, and after six months, I was “let go.” I have been actively seeking work for more than a year and have not been successful. Recently, I applied for a position with my old employer and was hired. It is not a job I want; I accepted only because I was desperate to have a salary and benefits. The position does not involve much clinical work, it is more procedural and paperwork-heavy. Since then another hospital called and offered me a per diem position in the ambulatory surgery unit (my specialty), with the potential of becoming a part-time employee. I am in my mid-40s and do not want to lose my clinical skills. How do I decline a job I already have accepted but not started?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Marie,

It is fortunate you have not yet started the “procedural” job. If the per diem ASU position is what you really want to do, and it sounds as if it is, then be honest with the employer where you have already accepted a job — and do it today. Make a phone call and explain that you received an offer in your clinical specialty and it is too good to pass up. Thank them for the job offer and wish them luck in finding a good candidate. They’ll get over it. You have to do what is right for you.

Best wishes,


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By | 2011-05-17T00:00:00-04:00 May 17th, 2011|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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