Wanting to change specialties

  1. Hi all,

    I recently found out that the teen substance abuse facility I'm working in is closing and I will soon be laid off. I've worked there as an RN for 4 years and really enjoy it! However, I wish to find a new specialty to work in to expand my skills and see if there is something else I like. To make a long story short, after I graduated nursing school, I got married and pregnant very quickly and I was not able to work in the hospital pregnant (couldn't lift >10lbs). So I went on to work in home health and then substance abuse.

    How on earth can I get into the hospital as a non-new grad nurse without any experience?? I have applied and applied like crazy and haven't had any call backs. I'm interested in working maybe med surg, ortho, tele, or even dialysis (sounds really interesting!!) and then eventually maybe mother-baby (they require hospital experience).

    I know this anticipated transition will be hard at first and a learning curve but I'm motivated and willing. I think it would be great for my career and give me some new experiences.

    Thank you in advance for any input! Its SO appreciated.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    It seems like inpatient psych would be a good foot in the door. From there, you offer to cross-train to other areas.
  4. by   sunshineccc
    Good idea. I havent really wanted to go into (pure) psych but if it helps, I'd consider. Do you think there'd be enough training if I decide to cross-train to other floors being that I'm 6 years out of nursing school? I haven't done many skills aside from wound care and some IM injections.
  5. by   gcupid
    Quote from sunshineccc
    Good idea. I havent really wanted to go into (pure) psych but if it helps, I'd consider. Do you think there'd be enough training if I decide to cross-train to other floors being that I'm 6 years out of nursing school? I haven't done many skills aside from wound care and some IM injections.
    Psych facilities vary so much among patient population and nursing responsibility in my eyes. There were certain psych floors in which acutely sick patient's were admitted who needed iv abx, fluids etc. and then there are others in which they wont even allow psych patients to floor if IV is needed.

    Meanmaryjean offered great advice. Get your foot in the door and you may find that you enjoy all of psych and may even pursue psych nurse practitioner whenever u decide to advance if bored or desiring more money. Hospitals have to train employees to a certain degree otherwise they run the risk of losing millions for malpractice issues.

    I'm sorry to hear about your job loss in an area you love bc nursing can be very difficult to find a good fit. Getting into a hospital will allow you greater training. I'm pretty sure that if you want to float to another department or etc. you will be given the opportunity to do so after some time (6month to year). Life is pushing you in another direction, be excited about it.
    Last edit by gcupid on Jul 30 : Reason: additional info
  6. by   TheDreamJourney
    I agree with the above statements. I work in a hospital and you will be provided the training that you need to excel. My advice is also to apply initially to an inpatient psychiatric unit. Once you have your 1 year or more experience you can explore other specialties within the hospital. I've seen psych nurses in the hospital transfer to medical surgical units and other units. I think a position as an inpatient psych nurse will be a good way to get your foot in door. Good luck with everything!
  7. by   rmariee
    I agree. The best thing you can do is apply to lots of positions and at interviews show a passion and willingness to learn. I think a medical/inpatient psych unit is a great place to start.
  8. by   MJB2010
    One thing to consider about getting your foot in the door, my former hospital would not allow you to transfer until you have been on your unit in good standing for one year. Then it was allowed " as staffing permits" so if they are not short. One very difficult to staff floor and unit manager used to frequently deceive new grads by saying "start here and then when there is a spot we can move you". Then when they try to move they find out about the rule. Might be good to inquire about it AFTER an offer has been made, but before you accept one. That way you know ahead of time in case you do not like where you end up.
  9. by   Been there,done that
    Dialysis companies are begging for RN's. They would train you, that would open a door to hospital nursing in the future.
  10. by   ThePrincessBride
    Med-surg will open most doors but it also has the highest rate of burnout.

    As BTDT mentioned, dialysis is always hiring and there is a humongous need for dialysis RNs

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