Question for RN's about specializing...

  1. Hi. I am currently a 3rd semester Nursing student. I am very interested in going to the OR, ER, or the ICU. Many nurses that I work with have told me that if I want to specialize in an area like those, I need to go straight into an internship and learn that way. Others (mainly old school nurses) have told me to do at least 6 months med-surg to get my skills experience? Anyone have advice or experience with this issue? I am an older student (33) and I don't want to spend 6 months to a year on a floor that I don't want to stay on.
    Thanks!
    Tobi
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   GatorRN
    i went straight into icu after graduation. i have never had any regrets about my decision to do so, and have worked various critical care units every since. be it or, er, or icu that you decide on, be sure that the facility you choose offers the very best orientation that you can find. a great orientation, with the right preceptor, can make all the difference in the world to your success in nursing, in whatever specialty you choose. i say, go where your heart leads you!

    there have been many many threads about this very subject. go towards the bottom of the main pg (google-allnurses) and do a search for "med surg," you will find many threads offering many opinions.

    welcome to allnurses!
    Last edit by GatorRN on Nov 16, '06
  4. by   augigi
    The answers you get here will be the same- some saying do it, some say med surg would be helpful. You need to decide if you are capable and ready to enter a specialty as a grad, then find out if your employing unit offers adequate support and orientation for new grads. Noone else can decide that for you. I went (almost) right to ICU and loved it.
  5. by   ElvishDNP
    This is ultimately something to decide for yourself, but if you've found what seems to be your niche, you won't have anything to lose by going straight for it. The worst that will happen is that you decide it's not for you and you change jobs.

    I listened to all my instructors and started out on a med/surg floor. I lasted 9 months until I found jobs in my other loves, community and later OB. I say follow your heart.

    Best of luck!
  6. by   AfloydRN
    AS on " old RN"- I'm only 35- We were taught to go to med surg as well. The rationale behind it makes sense. Basically, you are taught how to organize and prioritize care. These skills are of utmost inportance in ER, OR or CCU. I guess it depends on your pre- hospital experience and what your personality is.
  7. by   P_RN
    I worked for years on the kind of floor new grads "learned the ropes" on. I can't tell you how many we precepted and guided for months and months, only after they were ready to go it alone, a great many would bail on us. If you do go to a "regular floor" for your first job, please at least pretend that we count for something.

    If you don't want to go to Med/Surg or in my case Ortho, then don't. You can try to go to a specialty floor. I wouldn't recommend it, but then that's just me I guess.
  8. by   TazziRN
    This is another thought that has been the subject of hot debate. I too went directly into the ER, but unlike most I wish I had listened to my instructors. Because I bypassed medsurg it took me a long time to learn what the norms are for chronic conditions, because I only saw the exacerbations. I also have no idea, once people leave the ER and are admitted, what happens to them after that.

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