Anyone heard of a a study that new grads had better retention in specialties?

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    Just curious if anyone has heard of this. I hope this is in the right forum!

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  2. 17 Comments...

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    I have heard this, I don't remember where, but I do believe, it because of all the new grads that go to med-surg, a bunch of them leave, or the ones I have known that graduated did anyway!
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    i have not read any studies but perhaps it is because they don't have to unlearn anything..they can concentrate on the new knowledge

    HOWEVER...don't rely too much in 'studies' too often the results are predetermined by the researches

    look back 20 years and you will find studies that would tell you the exact from what they are determining now
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    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.
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    I had not heard that, but it makes sense. The knowledge base for a specialty area would be more focused and indepth, instead of trying to learn a little bit of everything. The meds , treatments etc in each area would be more repetetive, making them easier to remember, and probably better understood. I think sending a new grad to med-surg would just be overwhelming and confusing, and when you do move into a specialty area, you would have to start all over
  7. 0
    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.

    My speculation 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.
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    I'd really like to go in to Surgery right away. My instructor strongly recommends that I work med-surg for a year before I "specialize". But really I don't think that I am specializing. I haven't decided what area of surgery I want to work yet, just surgery. Her biggest argument is that if I don't like surgery then when I start somewhere else they'll expect me "know things" being an older nurse. But I don't see how that doesn't work both ways. Either way your still getting into something new, why should I spend a year doing something I don't like? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me I guess.
    Last edit by hotdog19d on Apr 22, '07
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    If you know what you want to be when you grow up - then just do it. You can spend a year being miserable and hating your job or you can spend that 1st year learning and loving your job.

    Just make sure wherever you go - you get a good solid orientation with room to expand if necessary. Make sure you get a mix of hands on with classroom and that you are matched with a preceptor that is willing to teach, guide and help you through the process.

    Being a nurse that 1st year is scary - it's even more scary when you are faced with going to a job you loath everyday. Make the choice that is right for YOU and don't worry about what others think. You are your own best judge of how you will do when you graduate and start into nursing, regardless of the field.

    Good luck to you!!!!
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    I attended a panel discussion a few months ago on new grads, and someone there referenced that article! I wish I had it also. Must nursing instructors I've had seem to know about this, too. Of the four hospitals where I interviewed, only one wanted me to get med/surg experience. I'm going directly into L & D after graduation. Honestly, if I didn't get a job there, post-partum, pediatrics or NICU, I would have returned to my first career (engineering). I honestly have not enjoyed a moment of my med/surg clincals. Yes - I've cared for some wonderful patients, but med/surg is not my thing.....
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    I think you should follow your hear no matter what others tell you because YOU will never know until you try. My instructors are very open about us specializing and actually there are very few of my class mates that are going into med-surg.


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