I've been an RN for 22 years. My daughter is starting nursing school this fall and here are some of the things I'm telling her:
Look for a hospital that offers school loan repayment: Some hospitals will repay those loans and pay your regular salary for a certain # of years of work.
Try to get a job as a tech in a hospital or nursing homes during the summer, and shifts during the week that work on your schedule.
You want a hospital that offers classes for new grads besidesjust the working on the floor during your "orientation" like Critical care classes, EKG interpretation class, ACLS. Some hospitals have a 6month orientation that would include all your certification classes, computer charting specific to that hospital etc. Basically, the longest orientation you can get.
Med-surg may suck, but it will lay ground work that would be priceless as you go to critical care areas. It is that reason our hospital never hired new grads into the ED. In the ED you are expected to know how to do things....ng's, foleys, artline set up, chest tube set ups, central lines, retention enemas, blah, blah.
So good luck, gather the info now so your not pressured as graduation gets closer. You'll be worrying about board exams and all that.