I'm in my third semester of an ADN program and I really admire all of the floor nurses that are so good at their jobs. I want to enjoy floor nursing and I'm very disappointed to say that I just don't. I enjoy coming to the floor and getting my assignment. I check out the chart, recent labs and test results, diagnostic and consultation reports, I love getting the whole picture together and the pathophysiology behind what's going on with my patient. And then the shift starts and it goes downhill from there. I'm not as comfortable with people as I am with the data. (I've got a master's in science already). The thing is, our experience in nursing school is relatively limited to patient care experiences. My clinical instructor has mentioned that research nursing or infection control nursing might be good fits for me. I think I would love research nursing (I've checked out that board here), but maybe there's something else I'd like even more. But, how do I find something I don't even know exists? For anyone that's ended up in a smaller niche area, how did you find it? Thanks.
Oct 6, '11
I am in a fairly small niche nursing field. I am a full time rapid response nurse. All the nurses I know in fields like research or informatics etc are former skilled bedside nurses. I think it would be difficult to obtain a job in one of those areas without a strong patient care background. Usually the way it works is a nurse does patient care and develops a reputation for providing good and skilled patient care. While doing so there are opportunities to network and get to know people who work in the field.
I doubt many niche area would be open to a new grad or a nurse without strong assessment, time managment and critical thinking skills. Those skills are gained through direct patient care.
Oct 6, '11
OP, I strongly identify with your post. I've been an RN for 24+ years but it is my second career. While I love it and have no regrets, it took me a very long time to come to terms with the "what I do well/what I don't " ratio. In my case, I loved shift work and patient contact and the organization that bedside nursing required. However, I loathe crises and the lack of predictability of staffing and emergencies. I quit one job because they expected me to reduce dislocations. Without training.
I did my time in acute care but found my place in rehabilitation. As my joints gave out, I found a great home in case management. I get to use all my analytical and investigative skills with my nursing knowledge + a better schedule and no codes.
Nursing is a huge tent. There is a place for you. Hospital nursing is not for everyone or every nurse.
Oct 6, '11
When new nurses start working, it is overwhelmingly in bedside nursing.
In their bedside practice they will meet nurses from specialties they have never heard of.
You might meet the wound care/ostomy nurses, the transplant coordinators, case managers, lactation consultants, hospital based education nurses etc.
A lot of these positions are internal hires of experienced nurses. Some are actively recruited for these positions, especially ones who have an excellent reputation and good clinical practice.
It helps to get to know the right people to promote your career goals.
Oct 7, '11
Thanks to all of you for the replies. I understand that first experience is likely in a direct patient care area, and I'm hoping that maybe when I'm more comfortable I'll also enjoy it more. Sounds like I'll just have to keep my eyes and ears open and see what comes my way. (Assuming I can find that first job anyway)
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