Quote from hotdog19d
I'd just like to be able to find it so that I can show a member of the faculty at my school that is pressuring me to spend a year in med-surg. I really don't want to and anything that would help me justify my career choice would surely help! I know that one single study isn't the be all, end all answer, but it can't hurt either.
What specialty are you considering? Perhaps the literature of that specialty would provide you with some justification for your choice. While you probably won't find the comparisons in the retention rates that you seek, you might find articles that discuss orientation programs within that specialty and the retention rates and/or general success of new grads in that area.
As someone who has worked with orientation programs in a children's hospital (and kept the statistics), I can tell you that our retention statistics are better with the new grads than they are with nurses who work in adult med/surg prior to switching into peds. Informally, I have talked with at least one other major children's hospital that has seen the same thing in their stats.
That data has not been published.
about those findings is that people who get comfortable in adult med/surg have trouble switching to peds because they have to go through a stage during which they feel uncomfortable and "incompetent." Their sense of security may suffer dramatically as their old "rules of thumb" no longer apply. It feels as if the rug has been pulled out from under them. Some people hate that feeling and run back to their old jobs in order to maintain their sense of competence and comfort. It's a shame as many of those nurses would have made great peds nursing if only they hadn't spent a couple of years on adult med/surg first.
Of course, some people have no trouble switching from one specialty to another.
Another thing to consider is the type of orientation and post-orientation support you will receive. As a general rule, the orientation programs for general adult med/surg units are the shortest because it is assumed that school prepared you well to work on such units. Specialty units tend to provide more as they realize that nursing schools spend minimal time on each specialty. The added orientation and post-orientation support that may be provided by a specialy unit may help the new grad transition to the RN role.
Another thing to consider is: What is the background of the people giving you advice (either way)? For example, some people who were successful at switching specialties may wrongly assume that everyone can do it easily. Some people who know you as a student and also know the orientation programs available from your potential employers might have valuable perspectives on what would be best for you. etc.