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  1. Hi...I'm in nursing school and I was wondering if you ever really know where you want to work before you graduate. I was working in NICU the other day and I honestly felt that this is where I need to be. Is this feeling usually right?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   TexasPediRN
    If you had that gut feeling that NICU is where you want to be, they I say follow your heart.

    If things change later, you can always go somewhere else.

    I think you can know what kind of field you want to go into while still in school. I knew the whole time I wanted Pediatrics, and right now am doing Peds Home Health. Some people dont know where they want to go, and what they want to do, but others do. Sounds like you have a plan.

    Sounds too like you found the NICU you like, so go for it


    Best of luck with whatever you choose
  4. by   nursemike
    Quote from nsgst05
    Hi...I'm in nursing school and I was wondering if you ever really know where you want to work before you graduate. I was working in NICU the other day and I honestly felt that this is where I need to be. Is this feeling usually right?

    I do think it's possible to have a pretty good idea where you want to be, early on. I think it's also possible to have no clear idea and wind up in the right place, anyway. In my program, we had one-day "rotations" in a variety of specialties, and I found them most useful just as a way to get a feel for what a particular job might me like. I came away from several thinking they might not be a bad way to make a living. In particular, I really enjoyed Home Health, ER, and ICU. I gained a lot of respect for Hospice nurses, but don't think it would be for me. I even enjoyed some of my off-site peds work, although peds in general confirmed it wouldn't be my first choice.
    I wound up doing bedside med/surg on the unit where I worked during school, which is pretty much where I expected to end up. But I do think it's a good idea to be as open-minded as possible during clinicals. It's a great chance to sample a variety of possibilities.
  5. by   bluestar
    As a student I wanted to work in ER and did in a summer externship then went staff after obtaining my license. Left ER long ago, but if you think you like a certain area go for it. There are many options. Good luck.
  6. by   jaimemds
    I would say that most nursing students already know what they want to do before school, or figure it out while in school. But, don't forget that you can burn out in your chosen field, so keep your options open.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I knew....OB was "it" for me. And 8 years after graduation, I still know it.
  8. by   KatieBell
    When I started school, I thought I would like to work in Pediatrics. That lasted for al of about 10 minutes in peds clinical (which luckily was my first clinical). I realized that I really was enjoying working in the ED, and persued that with a passion. However, all of my instructors totally tried to discourage this interest. They refused to let me do a preceptorship in ED, sent me to ICU instead and were delighted when I took an ICU job as my first job after nursing. Little did they know, it was a one year tour to get me familiar with drips for the ED!!!:chuckle

    I just saw one of my past instructors at a CE class. Oddly, she grineed at me and said, Well, I KNOW you are working emergency, but where?
    how things change. But yes, after my one interesting dip into peds, I found it and persued it....NICU may well be the place for you!
  9. by   Daytonite
    All through nursing school all I ever talked about was being an OR nurse. However, I got ill in my last semester of nursing school and required surgery and radiation therapy. I ended up doing a different kind of nursing and never got into the OR. I've been happy working as a med/surg nurse all these years and don't miss the OR. If you think NICU is for you then pursue it. The only way you are going to find out that it isn't for you is to get involved in it. The nice thing about nursing is that there are so many other specialties you can go into if you find that NICU isn't for you.
  10. by   SS0355
    I have a question. I'm about to enter LVN school. I am interested in NICU, and I wonder if LVNs work in that department. I'd appreciate somebody helping me out with this question.

    Thanks!
  11. by   nursemike
    Quote from SS0355
    I have a question. I'm about to enter LVN school. I am interested in NICU, and I wonder if LVNs work in that department. I'd appreciate somebody helping me out with this question.

    Thanks!
    At my hospital, LPNs can't work in any critical care units, but in the hospital where I did clinicals, LPNs were part of the team on the telemetry unit, which would be equivalent to our stepdown units. So I suppose it varies from one hospital to another, and probably state to state.
    In any case, I do think LPN/LVN can be a wonderful first step toward an RN license. The LPNs in my ASN program had a big leg up on the rest of us. If you look upon nursing as a career, rather than a job, there are plenty of ways to advance into just about anything you want. But more education will probably be a part of that process. I fully intend to pursue a BSN, as that, too, will add to my options in the future.
  12. by   SS0355
    Thanks for your response NurseMike. How about an uncritical department? Like the nursery?
  13. by   nursemike
    Quote from SS0355
    Thanks for your response NurseMike. How about an uncritical department? Like the nursery?
    Not sure. I think your best bet might be to contact hospitals in your area where you are interested in working. A lot probably depends on how much trouble they have finding staff. One problem might be that jobs like L&D, NICU, and nursery tend to be highly desired, so you might be competing with a lot of RN applicants. So it may take some persistence to get where you want to be.

    The hospital's HR office should have a copy of the requirements for various jobs, but the manager/director of the specific unit you're interested in may be able to tell you more. Don't be shy--pretty much everyone involved in hiring nurses is happy to talk to prospective employees.
  14. by   tlhubbard
    Quote from SS0355
    Thanks for your response NurseMike. How about an uncritical department? Like the nursery?
    In our state LPNs have quite a few restrictions in their practice. No IV pushes, no central lines, etc. So it does put them at a disadvantage with the higher acuity areas. The well baby nursery may be an option for you. Don't forget there are the children hospitals also, you can definitely get you fill of babies/children there.

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