Career Advice?

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    Hello everyone. I have a question for all the office/outpatient nurses out there. I'm currently a 2nd semester Junior in the nursing program and I'm beginning to realize with every Med-Surg clinical we do that the hospital setting is not for me. I would love to work in a women's health clinic, peds office or outpatient setting of some sort. I know the majority of nurses say that you need to get your 1 year Med-Surg experience first, but I think that if you know that Med-Surg is something you don't want to do then why go through with it (I'm probably wrong about that). I guess what my question is, is it a good idea to go straight into office/outpatient nursing right out of school or is it even possible? The local hospital in my area has a 3-month internship for new grads. I was thinking about doing that first and then trying to find a job in the office. Is this a good idea or should I just tough the 1 year in Med-Surg out first? Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Quote from CocoChanel
    Hello everyone. I have a question for all the office/outpatient nurses out there. I'm currently a 2nd semester Junior in the nursing program and I'm beginning to realize with every Med-Surg clinical we do that the hospital setting is not for me. I would love to work in a women's health clinic, peds office or outpatient setting of some sort. I know the majority of nurses say that you need to get your 1 year Med-Surg experience first, but I think that if you know that Med-Surg is something you don't want to do then why go through with it (I'm probably wrong about that). I guess what my question is, is it a good idea to go straight into office/outpatient nursing right out of school or is it even possible? The local hospital in my area has a 3-month internship for new grads. I was thinking about doing that first and then trying to find a job in the office. Is this a good idea or should I just tough the 1 year in Med-Surg out first? Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.
    Well, let's put it this way. You can't go wrong getting that one year of med-surg experience and it will help you IMMENSELY in the office setting...

    That being said, the 3 month internship will also help you to get your foot in the door... even better would be a 3 month internship with 3 months of experience for a combined claim of 6 months of hospital experience... You could look at it as 6 extra months of school if you want. Only you'll get good money for it.

    Now here's my story. I did 4 months of med-surg and hated every second of it. Hated it so much I finally quit, not caring at all how it looked on my resume or what anyone thought about it. All I knew was that I could not stomach another minute of it. At that point I was so "traumatized" by 5 years of stressful pre-reqs and 2 years of nursing school hell combined with 4 months of med-surg and an illness that was seriously dragging me down not to mention a teenage daughter that had been victimized and a move to another house and town that I threw my hands up and just said NO to working for 10 months. At the end of that time I applied for 2 clinic positions. Both wanted me. Neither cared I'd taken 10 months off. Both thought it was great I had some med-surg experience. Both were also willing to train a new grad. Now don't get me wrong, they would have loved it if I'd had more med-surg, but it certainly was no deal breaker.

    Bottom line: Apply to a clinic as a new grad. Also apply for a hospital position or the internship if you like. If you get the clinic, great. If you don't, aim for at least 6 months in the hospital and then apply out to a clinic again.
    sistasoul likes this.
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    I worked in a cardiac cath lab, went to school on their dime, returned to telemetry and realized I liked the one on one contact. I ended up having several abd surgeries for endometriosis and couldn't lift in the hosp setting and that is how I ended up in a clinical seting.

    I worked Internal Med/Critical Care and loved every minute. Lots to learn from the docs and the procedures we did in the clinic helped with skills updated.

    Wish you the best.
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    I would go with your gut feeling. I will say that I think it is normal to not love the med/surg atmosphere during clinicals (I remember being sooo nervous during clinicals) but if you truly feel that it is a horrible fit for you look for a job in an office setting. The year of Med/Surg experience would definitely help you in whatever path you choose but it isnt worth it if you are miserable in your job! My first job out of school was in a big hospital in a big (rough) city on a BUSY cardio floor (kind of like Med/Surg/Tele floor on steroids!) I hated my job and had serious anxiety issues because of it. I held on for 6 months then transferred to a smaller hospital in the same network. Sometimes we just know something isnt for us and there is no shame in that! I wish I would have figured that out BEFORE taking the job at the big hospital! Oh well...it was experience! I say go with your gut and apply for office jobs. Then, like espritJolieRN said, if you dont land an office job, apply for the internship and go from there! Good Luck with whatever you choose!!
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    It may be different as I am an LPN, but my first job was in a clinic (which I've now been at for over a year) they offered a new grad program and I took it because I knew that I didn't want to work in a hospital or LTC. I think you should apply at lots of places and take a job that will make you happy.


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