student question about entering nursing profession

  1. Alright, here goes. I've never done this discussion board thing before, so I hope this goes okay. I am an ADN student graduating in May. I would really like to work on a maternal child floor. However, I've heard from so many instructors and other nurses that I ought to work on a med/surg floor for a while first before going to a specialty floor. What do you all think?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   unknown99
    You should do what you want. However, chances are that you will not get on a mother-baby unit right out of school. Most want you to have med-surg experience first. It would be good for you to have at least one year experience on a med-surg floor anyway. You will learn so much.
    Hope that helps, and good-luck in whatever you choose!!!
  4. by   Darchild77
    Quote from lesley_girl
    Alright, here goes. I've never done this discussion board thing before, so I hope this goes okay. I am an ADN student graduating in May. I would really like to work on a maternal child floor. However, I've heard from so many instructors and other nurses that I ought to work on a med/surg floor for a while first before going to a specialty floor. What do you all think?
    I was a new grad wanting to start on the med-surg floor for experience, but I lucked into what I really wantedb. I have had no problems, and am loving it. If Ob is what you want , just go for it.
  5. by   Jolie
    Go for what interests you. Med/surg is great, if that's what you want, but it is not necessary as a starting point. Nursing is a difficult profession, even more so if you are working a unit which does not truly interest you. Best of luck as you start out!
  6. by   Cali
    You should definitely start in an area that interests you. Do you want to be stuck in a job that you hate just because someone told you that's where you shoud start. Many people will tell you to work Med/Surg for at least one year because other places will not want to hire you without that experience. Well that's not true anymore. I work Labor & Delivery and majority of the nurses started there right out of college. Most of them state that is all that they ever wanted to do and have never worked any other areas of the hospital. You have to do the job that is going to make you happy.
  7. by   llg
    I have been in the staff development field, working with orientees in NICU and pediatrics for years.

    Go where your heart tells you to go. If you take job you don't like, you will be unhappy with your nursing career and may never reach your full potential.

    It is a myth that people who work adult med/surg for a year of two do better. At my institution, I keep the statistics on retention and successful completion of orientation. The people who switch specialties after a couple of years have the most problems and the highest turnover.

    Unless the hosptial/unit where you really want to work requires previous experience, don't do it. Go where your heart tells you to go.

    Good luck,
    llg
  8. by   Brenda-RN,BSN, WA.
    I got hired in a mother/baby unit before I even took my boards as an LPN. I stayed there after becoming an RN, BSN. I have been there for 8 years now. I really LOVE it. However, I really wanted to work in Med/Surg for at least one year first just to get as much experience as possible. There were not any openings in Med/Surg when I applied, so I took the position on mother/baby. I do get floated a lot because I work on-call, and I really wish now that I had more experience. It is scary for me to get floated anywhere because I really don't feel like I know what I'm doing. My advice would be to work in Med/Surg first, then go where you really want to. It is not going to hurt you at all to have that experience under your belt. On the other hand, if you really waqnt to work in mother/baby, and there is an opening for a residency, then take it, just remember that your experience will be limited. Hopefully you will love it as much as I do. It is a very rewarding area. You picked the best career, you will find your nitch. Good Luck, and have fun!
  9. by   orrnlori
    I see a lot on this board about starting in med/surg. I understand why people say that but I don't necessarily agree with it. Go where your heart tells you to go. Nursing is hard work, enjoy what you are doing.
  10. by   nekhismom
    There have been studies done that say your first year as a nurse is the most influential on your perception of nursing and your staying with nursing. I can't think of any studies off the top of my head, but I will try to find some.

    Anyway, due to these studies, I would suggest going where you want to go. I mean, let's face it, if you go to a floor that you HATE, and you DRAG yourself to work and dread going, is that REALLY going to be a good experience for you? Is it going to make you want to continue to be a nurse? Personally I dont think so. If you want to do m/s, fine, do it. If not, don't. It's that simple. With the current nursing situation, you don't have to work in m/s before going to a "specialty" anymore. Take advantage of it.
  11. by   VickyRN
    Seeing how bad the working conditions are on MOST med-surg floors in my area, I advise my students to NOT work there after graduation. Afterall, I don't want my "babies" getting burned out of nursing in only one or two years after graduation (especially after working so hard during nursing school).
    I advise my students (who WANT adult-health nursing) to go to the cardiac step-down units, because these units have the sanest nurse-patient ratios and are very supportive to their nurses.
  12. by   lesley_girl
    I think I like you Vicky. I'm already burned out on a med/surg floor just from my clinicals and precepting. You sound like an awesome instructor...caring about all your little "babies". You must be cool. Thanks for the advice.



    Quote from VickyRN
    Seeing how bad the working conditions are on MOST med-surg floors in my area, I advise my students to NOT work there after graduation. Afterall, I don't want my "babies" getting burned out of nursing in only one or two years after graduation (especially after working so hard during nursing school).
    I advise my students (who WANT adult-health nursing) to go to the cardiac step-down units, because these units have the sanest nurse-patient ratios and are very supportive to their nurses.

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