I'd say you've received some excellent input from the wonderful people on this thread!
I know you are disappointed about not getting the job you wanted. I firmly believe that everything happens when it should... don't force things... if you know what I mean.
I agree that the first 3 months after graduating is full of disorganization and feelings of being overwhelmed. The cheat sheet idea is excellent! I've always developed some sort of one everywhere I worked. Can't survive without it! After about 6 months, you should notice that you don't feel so overwhelmed... you're still running around and confused at times but not as much as before. By the time 9 to 12 months has passed, you'll have a good routine that works for you and you'll feel close to comfortable. EVERY job is like that after just graduating. Moving from one area to another will be difficult for the first 3-6 months too, but not nearly as bad as it is for you now. Just think... you've actually made it through the worst part!
As far as working in the OB/Nursery/L&D areas... that's my specialty... the Mother-Baby Unit and NICU. In order for you to be a "stronger candidate" for the next position you apply for, you can start now to make yourself into the candidate that your next manager wants. You can think to yourself, "What would a manager want to see on my application/resume that would cause her/him to hire me?"
One suggestion is to receive CEUs in the OB/Nursery areas. You could subscribe to journals of those specialties and do the CEUs and send them in for credit. Then, you can show the prospective manager all your records of the extra education you've done. You can also put on your application that you are a member of some of these specialty organizations if you want to fork out the money. Can be expensive, but well worth it in my opinion.
Most importantly, make yourself a very good med/surg nurse while you have the opportunity. Study well and work hard at learning to organize your care. It's very true that you'll find a gazillion OB patients with med/surg problems. I can't tell you how many Moms I've cared for who also had diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, kidney stones, broken hips and legs, strokes, morbid obesity, asthma, mental illness, paraplegia, blindness, deafness, ulcers, needed central lines, have horrendous nausea and vomiting, malnutrition, drug and substance abuse, were released from jail to deliver their baby and going back right after discharge, etc. The list goes on and on. As you can imagine, ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE GET PREGNANT.
Take this time and learn all you can. Take advantage of the med/surg unit... soak it all up... because you will be a MUCH STRONGER nurse as an OB or Nursery or L&D nurse, for sure!!! You'll be able to share your knowledge with the nurses you will eventually work with and they will adore you for it!
Let me suggest some web sites to learn more about the specialties of Maternal-Child nursing. Maternal Child is basically broken down into Labor & Delivery, Post-Partum, Ante-Partum, Well Baby Nursery, Mother-Baby (which often includes post-partum and well babies along with a few stable ante-partums), and Intensive Care Nurseries. Level I Nurseries are basically well baby nurseries. Level II Nurseries are special care nurseries where there are mostly "growers and feeders" and a place to care for stable, older preemies. Level III Nurseries are the Intensive Care Nurseries where there are micropreemies, ventillators, ECMO, surgeries, as well as complicated older babies. They often have their own special care nurseries of growers and feeders too. Many Maternal-Child areas include Gynecological floors which are places for adult women... lots of hysterectomies, breast problems, etc. Lots of med/surg type stuff and loads of emotional care for women. Pediatrics is also included in a Maternal Child Division and that would include the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Here are some websites:
LETS BEGIN WITH AWHONN: It is the favorite of all the L&D nurses I know. It is pronounced "A-waan"...
AWHONN "Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses"
This is their main web site. They produce the journal "JOGNN" which stands for "Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing".
JOGNN web site
NOW FOR THE ONES NEONATAL NURSES ENJOY:
Neonatal Network is the journal of the Academy of Neonatal Nurses (ANN). It used to be the journal of NANN (National Association of Neonatal Nurses). Now NANN has their own journal (started this year) called "Advances in Neonatal Care". The Academy of Neonatal Nurses is a new association of about one year ago. I'm a member of both and will continue to be.
Neonatal Network Journal page
You'll also find on the Neonatal Network site that they publish a journal just for Mother-Baby nurses titled "Mother-Baby Journal". MOTHER-BABY JOURNAL IS THE FAVORITE OF THE POSTPARTUM, WELL BABY NURSERY, AND MOTHER-BABY NURSES I KNOW. I subscribed to it when I was a Mother-Baby nurse and enjoyed it very much.
Here is the links to NANN. NANN has been the specialty organization of Neonatal Nurses for many years... 20 or so I think...
NANN National Association of Neonatal Nurses
A SUGGESTION FOR EARNING CEUs IN THE AREAS OF NICU, WELL BABY, L&D, AND GYNECOLOGICAL NURSING:
There is a web site for "NCC" which is the National Certification Corporation. They are one of the places a person can obtain certification in a specialty after demonstrating years of practice (2 years of full time work) and passing a test. Whereas passing your NCLEX shows you have minimum competency in nursing... like passing the test with a "C", passing a certification test is like taking a test in a special area and making an "A" on it.
Anyway, you don't have to have your credentials to buy continuing education materials from them. They are EXCELLENT materials for learning about Maternal-Child topics. I have received my certification as a High Risk Neonatal Nurse. There are other certification tests a person can take too. It's an eye-opening site. The following link takes you straight to their online store for continuing education, but you can contact them and order by mail if you want.
NCC "National Certification Corporation" continuing education page http://www.nccnet.org/store
Their main web site is http://www.nccnet.org
I hope this hasn't been too much information for you. In the end, I'm just suggesting you think up ways to make your application look better than anyone else's applying for the job you want. You need to sell yourself to them... For instance, if your prospective employer sees that you have a FULL YEAR OF MED/SURG experience, that you SUBSCRIBE TO MED/SURG JOURNALS AS WELL AS MATERNAL CHILD AREA JOURNALS, and that you HAVE CEU credits that you did BECAUSE you WANTED TO rather than you HAD TO, they will look at you and say, "She is up to date in her own area of med/surg with CEUs and journals in that area along with a year's experience, AND she is interested enough in our L&D/OB/Nursery area that she has subscribed to our type of journals and did CEUs on her own... she is very interested in our area and should be knowledgeable book-wise too... we should hire this one and not let her get away!!! She sounds like the type of person who would stimulate our unit too!"
I know it will come true for you. Have patients and work slowly toward your goal... just like in nursing school
... you WILL succeed!!!