How do I decide on a specialty?

  1. I am a 1st semester nursing student doing my clinical rotation on an ortho/neuro unit. I am looking for advice on how to chose a specialty after graduation. I know I'll have several more clinical experiences, but I won't even come close to seeing all that nursing has to offer. I've asked my instructors and they tell me "you just know." I'm anal and want something more to go off of than my gut. I want to get a nurse intern position after this semester and would like it to be heading in the direction of my future specialty. Thanx!!!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   CarVsTree
    Try shadowing some nurses in specialties that you feel may interest you.
  4. by   Era
    Quote from purplegrape
    I am a 1st semester nursing student doing my clinical rotation on an ortho/neuro unit. I am looking for advice on how to chose a specialty after graduation. I know I'll have several more clinical experiences, but I won't even come close to seeing all that nursing has to offer. I've asked my instructors and they tell me "you just know." I'm anal and want something more to go off of than my gut. I want to get a nurse intern position after this semester and would like it to be heading in the direction of my future specialty. Thanx!!!!

    Hello. When your instructor say; you just know. Well, I must agree with him/her. I finished my training donkeys years ago and the first 18months was of a wide variety of specialties. I changed my mind so many times in my head what I'd like to specialize on. When you do your training on a certain specialty and it's yours.... you'll know. In the mean time, enjoy all variety.
    -x-
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    You will probably find your niche during school or in the first years after it. Just be open to all the possiblities and good luck to you.
  6. by   RNsRWe
    I changed my mind during and after EVERY SINGLE rotation I had in school! Don't give it alot of thought right now, it won't matter at this point anyway. Those who are more flexible about where they will go after graduation are going to be happier for it. Keep an open mind, open ears/eyes. I ultimately chose to go into the "catch-all" of med/surge after graduation, and now find that although I had no interest in that specialty before, now that I'm employed there, I LOVE it.

    Stay open to options. Decisions are WAY later.
  7. by   RN1263
    the other poster is correct about keeping an open mind!
    i have 6 mos. to go and am fairly certain now that i want to go into psych nursing.
    if you would've asked me in my first semester i wouldn't have said that.....back then, i wanted to do E.R. or ICU nursing!
    so, you will probably change your mind many times through out the program......AND THAT'S OKAY!
    i think it's a growing process.....frustrating?.....YES..... but necessary, if you really want to get into a field you'll like & that fits you! also, if you aren't sure when your done and you get into something and it doesn't fit you can change specialties.
  8. by   SOREFEETEMPTYSTOMACH
    I would guess there are positions that haven't even been created yet in non-existent units. technology is changing so quickly and hospitals are required to update services and staff to remain competitive you should have a wide choice, once you graduate. get some med-surg experience to build on. When you get hired the hospital will basically let you know what areas they have available. If you really want to get your feet wet, sign up to float. umpiron:
  9. by   ICRN2008
    I am graduating in less than a month, and my specialty actually found me! I did a clinical rotation in pediatrics thinking that I would never work with kids. However, I found out that I love it, and I am waiting to hear about a job at a children's hospital as we speak.

    I agree with everyone else- keep an open mind and take advantage of every opportunity given to you. Good luck!
  10. by   jannrn
    Here's another answer: Don't decide! See if you can get hired onto the float pool of a large hospital. That may be kind of challenging without experience though.

    I graduated in '92 and there were no jobs out there for new grads. Luckily I already worked at a hospital as a CNA in the float pool. I job searched for months until my boss took pity and hired me. I was orientated on the ortho floor for 6 weeks, then I started having mini-orientations to other floors until I was finally going to rehab, burn center, pediatrics, postpartum, medical, surgical, neuro-trauma, and the cardiac floors. it was nice to have my control over my schedule, and to never have to really be involved in any one units politics. I never had to take holidays (I was per diem) got 20% extra pay, could work as much or little as I wanted, and had a vareity of specialties to gain experience in. the nurses were always glad to see me because if I weren't there, they would have had a busier/harder shift!

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