How did you choose your first job?

  1. Hello! I am in a 14-month accelerated second-bachelor's-degree nursing program - which means I just started nursing school in May and will graduate in just over a year. So while I am just getting "initiated" into nursing theory, etc., I am also trying to think about what I'm going to do when I get out of school. (My head is spinning... :spin: )

    How did you decide what area to start out in once you graduated? I know a lot of people go right into med/surg so they can build their skills sets, and other people go into a specific area that they felt called to do all along...but what about everybody else?

    Also, how much were you influenced by sign-on bonuses and the like? Does it make sense to work for a year at your second choice hospital so you can then move to your first choice and get a better pay rate? Etc., etc.

    Thanks for any tips you can offer!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Morguein
    Hi! I honestly didn't know where I wanted to start out at. All I knew is that I wanted to end up working in pediatrics. I'm a new graduate and I've got a job lined up working in CCU which I start in August. Originally, I was going to go into Med Surg, but I ended up going on an interview for CCU and was totally impressed with the department. They were clean and very organized. I had a good feeling with the staff. They seemed to be very realistic as to my potential working there as a new graduate. They said that I could learn the job, but that there would be days I would go home crying. I was told, it would take at least a year before I would feel totally comfortable working there. So, I was given a pretty good picture of what to expect. I like challenges, so I felt this would be a good opportunity for me.
    When you go through clinicals, you may get a sense of what your calling is. Peds was mine. I also liked maternity. When I went on my interviews, I didn't care about the bonuses they were offering. As a matter of fact, I ended up choosing a hospital that doesn't give out bonuses. I looked for other things like: is the hospital staff happy; how long have most of the people worked there; is the floor well stocked; is it clean; are the shelves, equipment organized; how is the patient satisfaction there; how long is the internship; how many preceptors will I have; what kind of schedule can I expect to have; will I have to sign a contract with them; etc... Going through clinicals, you will get to work in several different hospitals (usually). This is a good opportunity for you to observe how they are run, and to make notes, and decided if you'd want to work there in the future. I hope this helps. Good luck with school. I know you'll do just fine.
  4. by   shay
    My first job was where I did my senior year internship. I knew the staff, they knew me, they had an opening....it was pretty much a no-brainer.

    'Course, that didn't turn out too well 'cause the preceptor they paired me with was an evil troll. BUT THAT IS ANOTHER SUBJECT ENTIRELY.

    I would just go with your gut. Go to towards the area you're most drawn to. I trusted my gut on my SECOND job and it was a good decision. One of the best units I ever worked on.
  5. by   live4today
    My first job was at a satellite hospital which is a "sister hospital" to a much larger hospital in the area where I lived at the time. That hospital only had a "General Med/Surg" unit with 57 beds, and a seven bed ER/ICU combined unit. The worst patients were sent to the larger facility downtown. This hospital happened to be located in a suburban area that needed a hospital of any kind to care for patients on that end of town. I enjoyed working there. Great staff! I'm glad I became grounded in Med/Surg before branching off into other specialties....as I eventually got to do. I was a damn good traveling nurse who could walk into any hospital and get to work without any orienting whatsoever......because of my Med/Surg background, and I had only worked Med/Surg less than a year before traveling. I would professionally advise every nurse to experience Med/Surg nursing as you will NEVER know TRUE nursing until you've been driven in circles in that area of nursing. :spin:
  6. by   MelissaCT
    I always wanted to work in L&D, it is the only reason I became a nurse!

    I'm starting July 29. Take boards the 26th. I planned it that way so I wouldn't have to work and study @ the same time.
  7. by   NurzofFaith
    Karen,

    I just graduated in May of this year, took my boards the 13th and passed!!!

    I worked as a patient care assistant through out nursing school. I chose to float to various floors during that time and it allowed me to get a feel for the different areas. When I got to the final semester of school, I started touring hospitals and interviewing for internships. I had narrowed it down to 3 areas and focused on those. I toured 5 hospitals and interviewed in 3. I had a list of questions I wanted to ask and I tried to be very up front with what I wanted and with what the hospital expected of me. I didnt ask about salary or bonuses until I did a second interview.

    I looked at it as all the money in the world wouldnt matter if I was unhappy in my job, so that is what I went on.

    Best of luck to you You have already gotten some great advice!

    ~Channa
  8. by   oh-agnurse
    I basically chose the job that would give me the experience. Several hospitals declined offering a position because I didn't have one years exp. How can you gain the 1 yr. exp. if no one will hire you?

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