Med/Surg vs. Specialty nursing

  1. I am an ADN student and will be graduating this may. I was wondering if I should start out on a Med/surg floor, or if it would be okay to start in a specialty field like Labor and Delivery?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   inna
    Although this matter has been discussed in this BB a lot of times, I would recommend you go where your heart and interest is. It's true that you'll benefit a lot from a year in Med Surg floor..but with the current short staffing, less orientation time, and a lot of craps going on in the floor, I'd rather go right away to a specialty area (if they are willing to train new grads) Look at the nursing vacancies all over the country.. Med Surg is always on demand..and mostly being staffed by agencies, per-diems, travellers... Ever wonder why can't they retain staff in M/S?
  4. by   nursecrickett
    Quote from inna
    Although this matter has been discussed in this BB a lot of times, I would recommend you go where your heart and interest is. It's true that you'll benefit a lot from a year in Med Surg floor..but with the current short staffing, less orientation time, and a lot of craps going on in the floor, I'd rather go right away to a specialty area (if they are willing to train new grads) Look at the nursing vacancies all over the country.. Med Surg is always on demand..and mostly being staffed by agencies, per-diems, travellers... Ever wonder why can't they retain staff in M/S?

    Ok, I'll bite.....why??

    Crickett
  5. by   fergus51
    Cause their staffing usually sucks and their nurses don't get the respect they deserve and the orientation time is less... At least, that's my best guess from reading the start of the post..
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    this one has been done to death.

    if you ask me, MED/SURG IS A SPECIALTY, deserving of equal consideration and respect of any speciality.

    this from an OB/GYN "speciality" nurse.

    Do a search, you will find lots of threads on this one. best wishes to you.
  7. by   sharann
    [QUOTE=SmilingBluEyes]this one has been done to death.

    if you ask me, MED/SURG IS A SPECIALTY, deserving of equal consideration and respect of any speciality.

    this from an OB/GYN "speciality" nurse.

    Do a search, you will find lots of threads on this one. best wishes to you.


    Med Surg is a definite specialty. It is the ONE specialty where anything goes. You can see most everything there. I bet you won't be bored. MS nurses are tough as nails and can do anything after doing med-surg for awhile!
    I am too scared to go BACK to MS/Tele after specializing for so long. I don't think I have the stuff it takes.
    I would recommend going for Med/Surg
  8. by   orrnlori
    I KNOW I don't have what it takes to do med/surg. I'm glad there are those who do it, they make up the bulk of nursing in the hospital I work in. I am also one who thinks you don't HAVE to do a year of med/surg before you're fit to do other things. Will it give you a good background, yes it will. But if you don't think it's what you want to do then look elsewhere.
  9. by   fergus51
    I also don't think med-surg will necessarily prepare you for all areas of nursing anyways. It's true you learn organization and confidence, but that doesn't mean you'll do well moving to L&D or peds. It can help, but it isn't a guarantee. I think where nurses shine has as much to do with their personality as their past experience.
  10. by   rpbear
    I just started a job in L&D as a new grad. If they are willing to hire you then I say go for it. Almost all the nurses I work with started out as new grads in L&D they all say that is what they have allways wanted to do. It is by no means easier than M/S, I would say it is harder! You have to know EVERYTHING about you specialty and it is very overwhelming as a new grad.

    I would say check out many units, talk to the managers and ask about orrientaion, support, classes that are offered, and what is expected of you durring orientation. I am expected to do many assignments, computer programs, and several modules on all aspects of L&D on my own time. It takes a lot of dedication if that is what you want to do. Look for a long orrientation with the option to extend if you are not comfortable yet. Also look for a unit that will give you one preceptor (or maybe two) that will be with you the whole time not a different one each day.

    Good luck!
  11. by   Ortho_RN
    The only thing that bugs me about these conversations is.. Someone always says one area seems to be harder than others... I think that is bull... EVERY area in the hospital in hard in one way or another.... Just b/c you work ICU, doesn't means its harder than M/S, or Peds, or Maternity or Telemetry.... And that works with all SPECIALTIES!!!.. I think every area of nursing is a specialty.

    I'm a new grad, started on an Ortho unit.. A specialty yes, but to me it is also a M/S type floor... Our patients have numbers of things wrong with them. And when the census is high all floors become catch alls....

    Good Luck in your choice.. You will work hard and learn alot no matter where you go.
  12. by   NYCRN16
    I dont think you have to start out in med/surg, (I started in ER) and this varies according to the different parts of the country, but around here L+D is the HARDEST place to get into as a new grad, but if you can find a place that will hire new grads go for it!
  13. by   Renee' Y-Y
    OK, I'm going to jump in here. I am a critical care nurse by experience...but have been doing general education for about the last year...non-clinical (yeck!!). I have accepted a position as a med/surg educator...starting in a couple of weeks. What education & training needs do you think that these nurses need the most? I want to do well & provide what they need...I'm not out to make a bunch of critical care nurses. I realize that med/surg is a challenging area to work, just like any other area has it's own unique challenges. As a critical care nurse, I always thought med/surg was the hardest place to work. I thought I had it pretty good only having to manage 2 really sick patients, but only 2 patients just the same.

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