a student wants to know how you found your special "place" in nursing

  1. Hi everyone! I've just completed my first semester of the nursing program, and I've been exposed to soooooo many different aspects of nursing, that I'm almost confused. I mean...one day I precepted with the hospice nurse and loved it. Another day I worked in the post-op unit and loved that. A majority of the semester was spent floating from Orthopedics, to Rehab and to Tele, and needless to say, I enjoyed working with patients and nurses in all those units. Next semester I'll be doing critical care nursing and mental health nursing, and then 3rd semester is peds and community health nursing. By the 4th semester I will have to know where I want to work b/c by that time I'll be precepting with a nurse! My aunt tells me that telemetry is a good place to start after I graduate, but at the same time, I've always been interested with pediatrics. How did all of you nurses and students find your special "place" in the vast field of nursing? It just seems there's so much to choose from!
    Thanks for your reply!
    -rona
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Ann4
    You just have to go with your gut feeling. I started out in oncology due to a wonderful nursing instructor whose specialty was oncology. But there are many fields that are good for new grads - pediatrics, telemetry, etc... You really can't go wrong. And if you find you're not happy with the specialty you've chosen, you can always switch to another.
  4. by   nursesrthebest
    I think a good way to decided is to work at at hospital part-time or prn. I was a unit sec at nite as a float, so I got to experience almost all the floors. Right now I am a multi-skilled tech in CTRU (open heart recovery unit), but I do float on the med-surg floors and units. Floating gives me an idea where I want to be once I finish my BSN.
  5. by   lisagh
    Good luck & glad you love nursing. Great to hear it! After being in 16 years, new folks help keep our enthusiasm up too.
    I think Med/Surg is good. Tele is like med/surg only more fast paced. Think you should start out in a general area. After a year or two of that, you can do anything with a good base & comfort level w/ your basic skills.
    If you can, it's good to work as an assistant during breaks or part time weekends while going to school. That can help you see areas that you like & help with those basic skills.
    Best of luck to you in whatever you do!
    Lisa www.georgianurse.com
  6. by   rninformatics
    You are right Nursing is a "vast field".
    You have plenty of time to decide and I would suggest you not make a specialty decision until you have completed at least one year on a medical-surgical unit. Med-surg will give you a basic foundation, expose you to a generalist role as a nurse and allow you develop your own specialty style. Once you have completed the first year of med-surg then you can decide which Nursing specialty you would like. The fantastic thing about Nursing is that you dont have to stay in one specialty area your entire career. I have practiced in Medical-
    Surgical, Oncology, IV therapy, Ortho, Rehab, Pulmonary, Hospice, Home Health and currently in Nursing Informatics. Each has brought professional satisfaction and its own unique set of challenges.
    signed RN vet x15yrs
  7. by   saphie
    Hello all! It's been a long time since I've posted. This topic hits close to home for me. I graduated this spring and worked for 6 months on a heavy medical floor. I am currently being oriented in the NICU. I would recommend starting in general medicine. There were a lot of days that I hated it but I tell you, I have learnt so much and have gained confidence that is really helping me. I have been complimented on my skill in this new job and that is because I spend 6 months bumbling around but had great nurses that didn't mind my 400 hundred question for the shift, that showed me ways to streamline and still give nursing care that is excellent. For me, I still haven't really found my niche so to speak. I like the NICU and will do it for a couple of years but I also would like to do ER and adult ICU. Take your time. But highly recommend that general med, you will be thankful later. Tara
  8. by   mustangsheba
    I guess I'm really old fashioned here, but I still believe you can easier find your niche and develop a broad knowledge base and assessment skills by starting on med/surg. Is it the trend nowadays for new nurses to specialize right off the bat? I may be way out of line here. You still have a while. I suspect you might be happy in any number of places. When the time comes to decide, go with your heart. You'll do fine.
  9. by   scalper437
    Well this is my first post but one in which I must reply. I graduated 6 months ago and found myself a job in a level 2 trauma center and have never looked back. in the short time i have got my acls, pals, tncc, and soon my cen. If you have a area that you want to be go for it and don't look back. If you know where you want to go then go there and during this time you can put the finishing touches on the skills that you have and learn while you go.
  10. by   sunnybrook83
    I really have to agree with above posts that say start out on M/S- You learn how to prioritize and get a basic background in just about everything! After a year of working on the floor, pick the specialty that interests you most at that point. Nursing is a great field because if you get burned out or bored with one aspect, there are always other alternatives out there. By the way, as a former (by choice) manager, the nurses who came to my specialty unit after working MS handled the stress much better than those who came right out of nursing school. By working M/S first, you learn you can handle anything! By the way, to those M/S nurses out there- your job is a lot more difficult than those of us in specialty units!! Hats off to you!

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