Where should I go when I graduate?

  1. Why don't I know by now what area I want to pursue in nursing? I currently work in case management for SSA and thought that initially I would pursue this area of nursing upon graduation since I now have 5 years with SSA, but now I'm thinking other areas. There's med surg/ICU/OR, or even psych etc in the floor nursing. There is research, travel, case management, insurance, etc. The opportunities for RNs are endless these days. I am graduating on Friday so shouldn't I know by now? I'm afraid I'll start in floor nursing and not be happy and end up wasting several years job hopping trying to find my niche. Just wondering if one area of nursing is especially easier, harder, more money, less money, more benefits, less benefits than others? Is there a "dream" nursing area? I really wish I could find a job as a case management in the VA federal hospital, however, I would probably have to start with floor nursing if I went to VA. Anyways, just wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy for not knowing where I'm headed.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   redshiloh
    One of the things that I SHOULD have done was get med-surg experience...I went straight into rehab(which I love), but you will have a broader experience base if you do med surg a while, THEN find your niche.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Everyone will tell you to get med-surg experience for at least one year. And that is a GOOD idea, especially if you are undecided. You can build from there. I did not start out in med/surg but then I was offered my dream job in OB 3 months before graduation, so I was lucky. I was put where I was for a reason. If you feel you are not sure, med/surg is a GREAT place to discover what interests you and to build a SOLID foundation on which to proceed with your nursing career. I wish you the best of luck and CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!!!
  5. by   nimbex
    congrat's. my advice, also comes from being management and selecting new hires;

    If you wish a solid foundation to then find out what you wish to do, choose 1 year of med surg.

    If your wish is ICU, than take the dive into thestep down units, much more challenging, harder work, yet much more experience twords ICU.

    Many places DO hire new grads into ICU, but be warned, to succeed you will need at least 12 weeks orientation, and know that it will take at least ONE FULL YEAR before you are comfortable. Your patient is crashing, your IV skills are mediocre, can't pass an ng tube past an ETT, don't know your lab values, ABG's, pathophysiology? Your patient and you are sunk! If you are lucky enough to find a facility to train you into ICU with an extended orientation, with a philosophy twords nurturing new grads, than take it..... only after speaking with at least the last 3 new grads hired.
  6. by   jfpruitt
    I was thinking about this too. What about travel nursing? My mom is retiring next year and loves to travel. I am young, single without kids and thought about packing her up ever so many months and just travel around the country. However, the downside to this retirment. I had planned on working at VA for the bennies, but doubt I could ever find a travel job with that good of bennies although the pay is great. Maybe I can find a travel job with VA????
  7. by   redshiloh
    I am with the VA because the benefits are pretty good, so it really is not a bad place to start. Travel nursing sounds fun, but get an experience base first.
  8. by   jfpruitt
    I plan on starting and ending my nursing career at VA. They have an excellent retirment plan and beenies. Plus, there "seems" to be lots of room for promotion. I hope so. I don't think I want to be a floor nurse forever.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    DO NOT TRAVEL AS A NEW NURSE!!! you have a big enough task just learning to NURSE that first 6 mo to a year. You would be taking on a HUGE responsibility you are not ready for if you travel. Travelers must be prepared to jump in, with VERY little orientation and FUNCTION independently as RN's ...I think you would be asking for it if you start out that way. Just my opinion.
  10. by   HollieRN
    What if you really don't like med-surg ... ??

    I want to be an OB/GYN nurse ... I'm hoping that once my consolidation comes around, i'll be able to do that, and then hopefully just slide into a job there ... the last semester of full time work there has to mean something, right?
  11. by   sjoe
    "Everyone will tell you to get med-surg experience for at least one year. And that is a GOOD idea, especially if you are undecided."

    I agree completely.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by HollieSRN06
    What if you really don't like med-surg ... ??

    I want to be an OB/GYN nurse ... I'm hoping that once my consolidation comes around, i'll be able to do that, and then hopefully just slide into a job there ... the last semester of full time work there has to mean something, right?
    '
    Hon, nope--- not really. It means little. See, to a hospital, you are more of a liability than an asset as a grad nurse. I am NOT not putting you down, it is just a fact. not that you CANNOT find a job as an ob/gyn nurse immediately after graduation. I did. Good luck.
  13. by   HollieRN
    Hmm ... Well i have three years left, so maybe i'll learn to like it by then. Thx for the advice

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