When did you figure out your specialty? - page 3

Just out of curiosity, how long did you guys take until you found your specialty? And what was your specialty you chose. I want to be a NP someday and I was thinking about how long I should work as an RN before I began to... Read More

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    I knew that I wanted to work in maternity when I was 7 years old (all that I knew was I wanted to work with pregnant women and their babies). I got a job in maternity upon graduating from nursing school. My specialty is post-partum mothers and their newborns. Although I have floated to the NICU, L&D, and Peds, I like "home" the best!

    PinkNBlue and echoRNC711 like this.

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    Worked the surgical floor all my life. I knew I wanted to specialize somewhere one day but Maternity fell into my lap as they needed more nurses there and were willing to train. It was the most fulfilling thing I've ever done!
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    Started in a high-risk cardiothoracic ICU as a new grad, did that for about 3 years (Sounds short I know, but when I left I was a vet on that unit, probably could count 20 people who started AFTER me who had left BEFORE me! High turnover...)

    Anyway, now I'm doing what I've wanted to do since nursing school, in grad school for CRNA. I had an idea I wanted to do that when I started in college, but it was absolutely confirmed after my first shadow experience with a CRNA during my summer break after my sophomore year. And that decision was confirmed every time I've shadowed in the OR since.

    To the OP if you're still in nursing school I'd call some of your local hospitals (if you don't already have contacts there) when you're on break to see if you can get in to shadow in different areas you might be interested in (or to shadow with an NP). Many facilities are usually pretty good about letting students shadow (little harder to do when you're an RN!) Before I finished college I had about 30+ hours shadow experience in the OR which really helped in my final decision on a career path as an APRN.
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    I started out in the ICU, which is where I was an apprentice nurse all through nursing school. I thought it was where I belonged but looking back, I liked it because it fed my ego and my codependency issues....LOL. I wasn't allowed to continue working in critical care once I surrendered my nursing license for a horrible addiction to pain meds so I ended up at my current job, where I've been for 3 1/2 years. I am now a psychiatric nurse in an outpatient setting and I love it. I work for the state and we serve a population who can't afford insurance/healthcare. I am able to do a lot of patient education, which is my first love. I love to teach and this job enables me to work in the nursing field while providing education. I also work around a lot of substance abuse clients, which is good for me as well. It reminds me of where I used to be and I am able to have empathy for them. I understand their struggles. I plan on eventually going back to school and getting my Master's in Nutritional Science so I won't be around in nursing forever. But for now, I'm pretty happy :-)
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    There is the old line that when men make plans the gods laugh. Your note gave me a chuckle, too.

    I did critical care for a looong time and loved it, went to grad school for it. I taught students and was a clinical specialist, and loved that. Then circumstances landed me in field case management for work comp insurance, and I loved that. Then I did a few other things, and I loved them. Now I'm an independent business owner and nursing consultant, and I love that.

    Moral of the story-- don't think it's all going to be a straight line, never turn down an opportunity to learn something new, and get all the education you can because eventually you'll use all of it. Do what looks good at the time, but don't be too surprised to be...surprised.
    Last edit by GrnTea on Nov 12, '12 : Reason: typo
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    The first semester of nursing school I did a "day with the wound care nurse." I knew by the end of that day that wounds were my calling. I did my two years med surg to get a foundation and managed to get in part time at a wound care center. Last week I got my Wound Care Certfication and hope to be a full time wound care nurse soon.
    GrnTea likes this.
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    I realized in nsg school that I wanted to take care of the sickest of the sick- I now work in a high-acuity ICU and LOVE it!! When I go back to school it will be for my ACNP (ANP?). I want to stay in the ICUs as an NP
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    My specialty is the NICU. I knew it was right place for me the first time I set foot on the unit during my OB clinical rotation. I knew wanted to be a nurse since I was 5 yrs. old and alway new I wanted to work with kids/ babies. I am a May 2012 new grad and am lucky to be working in my specialty.
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    I knew after my first clinical day in the ED that emergency medicine was where I needed to be. Graduate in December and was offered a job in the ED at a local hospital a few weeks ago
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    I love love love all of your stories!! Love nursing because the possibilities are literally endless.

    I love the idea about shadowing a nurse. I'll have to try that over my breaks to see if this will help me find my niche. I also absolutely agree that it's not just a straight line, my end goal is to be a NP partnered up with an MD or DO and have a family practice.

    To one of the previous posters, what is an independent nursing consultant?

    What do you all suggest new grads that want to be a NP? Work a few years as an RN then apply. Apply immediately after I graduate to grad school while getting experience as an RN.

    Thank you for all of your contributions!!

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