Is is a good idea to do a nursing extern in med-surg?

  1. Hello All,

    I am new to this site. I have been accepted to Research College of Nursing in the Kansas City MO area for their BSN program that starts in January 2007. I am leaving the corporate world after being on my job for over 13 years. I have never worked in a hospital, but I hear all the time that med-surg is such a horrible floor to work on, but it's needed in order to move to a specialty area in nursing. Also, I have spoken with a couple of RN's in my area who claims that it's good to do about a year of med-surg before trying to apply to something else. I have agreed to do a nursing extern in med surg while doing my clinical rotations to give me the needed exposure and experience. This way, once I'm out of nursing school, I can at least have that type of experience under my belt and maybe apply for other floors. Is this an realistic idea? In my area, nurses are needed so badly, new grads are going straight from nursing school to the ER and L&D, as well as ICU. Any sugguestions would be greatly appericated!
    Last edit by shoegalRN on Dec 6, '06 : Reason: grammer
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   tx2007
    I will graduate in May 2007 and have been a nurse intern on a surgical floor (we have seperate floors for medical and surgical) since June 2006. I was not thrilled at the idea of a surgical floor either but thought hey I can leave after I have done my year. I LOVE the floor where I work!! I get to do SOOOO Much and we are always busy!! We get preop and postop patients and we do ICU stepdown our floor holds 32 patients and we usually are FULL. I have seen so much in this 6 months already, we have cancer patients on chemo, we got most of the MVA's and gunshots (after they are stable of course), rattlesnake bites (3 in 6 months) I have seen way more than anyone else in my NS class. I plan to stay right where I am after I graduate. I would take the position it can be a GREAT experience.
  4. by   shoegalRN
    Thanks for your input, I really apperciate it! I have decided to go ahead and work in the Med-Surg unit as an extern at our level 1 trauma hospital in the city. They get everything, from gun shots, to car accidents. I can start as soon as I finish my nursing foundations and nursing assessment classes. That will be May 2007. The starting pay is 12.50 an hour and they will work around my nursing class schedule and clinical rotations. Also, in the summer, I can do the weekend option where I work two 12 hours days and will be paid for three. If I pull in at least 24 hours a week, I can qualify for benefits which is the big thing for me besides the experience. I'm sooo looking forward to this opportunity!
  5. by   tx2007
    that sounds like an awesome opportunity!! Good for you, I hope you like it. If nothing else a little extra cash will help and you can get your foot in the door of the hospital. It also looks good when you graduate that you have a leg up on all the other GN applying and usually get first choice of the positions.
  6. by   shoegalRN
    The only drawback is that I am in a 3 year commitment with HCA after graduating. The hospital I will be an extern at during nursing school is not in the HCA division. The recruiter understands this and says I can work there part time after graudation or PRN if I want. I do plan on working 5 days a week the first year after nursing school to pay back the student loans. I hope to eventually have a specialty in either the OR or L&D.
  7. by   Paleobug
    I just started working as a new grad a month ago on a med/surg floor. I have a two year commitment with the hospital because of the scholarship they gave me. I think that it depends on the hospital that you work at. My hospital floor is a good teaching floor. The nurses don't get more than 7 patients and the everyday average is 6. I really like working there. Other hospitals here in town are owned by the same company, and I would never work at one of them. At that hospital, the nurses are getting around 10 on day shift with no LPN. This why they are trying to strike.

    I think that a med/surg floor is a good foundation before going into other types of nursing. I might go into home health or the OR.
  8. by   hospitalstaph
    Hi,

    That's great that you have landed an externship so early! You may not realize how lucky you are, but I am also at a level one trauma center (in KC) and had to complete Fundamentals and Med/Surg (and have senior standing) to be eligable for an externship there. The pay is the same that you described, but since the externship is PRN, there are not benefits.

    I know alot of students land a PCT or CNA job to get some experience before graduation. Different from an externship, but still great experience and some extra cash!

    Good luck to you

    TL

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