ER or Neuro...advice?

  1. Apologies in advance that this is long...

    The hospital affiliated with my BSN program offers a tuition advancement program - they pay for your senior year up front, and you agree to work for them for 2 years. You have to work the first year on nights, but that is fine by me - base + $4/hr differential and I can work the weekend option if I want. It has been my plan all along to try go this route because this hospital has a good reputation, *great* benefits, close to home, and I can use the help with tuition. I am already doing my clinicals there and like the environment/morale.

    The HR dept came to talk to us today about the program to try and get recruits. A few more specifics about the program were discussed. There are 8 units to choose from for this program - neuro/stroke, renal, ortho, surgical, pulmonary, 2 different cardiac units and ER. You note your top 3 choices and they have the final word on where you go - but they said 90% of the time, you get your first choice. The deal is though, whatever unit you get, you have to stay there for the 2 years before you can transfer. Now for my dilemma...

    Should I go for the ER?

    I was really surprised to see ER on the list - I had expected only med-surg type units. I would LOVE to work ER and planned to eventually work there or ICU for 3-5 years before going for my NP. I asked if there were special requirements for being accepted into the ER vs. the other units and they said there were none - they just had an extra long, extended orientation and preceptorship period to support new grads in the ER. Also, they request that you work as an intern there during your senior year (which would be great!) to help with orienting to the dept in general and to make the transition easier/less intimidating.

    I need to apply by the end of the month for this program, so am under the gun to make a decision. My second choice would be neuro - I have worked that floor and while it's not my dream job, the staff are fantastic. It would be a safer route (slower pace, maybe better for a new grad in terms of getting sea legs) - but maybe not as fulfilling? I didn't like ortho and have no experience on the other floors offered.

    I guess I am just worried that if I try to go ER, I won't cut it. I'm a straight-A student and have done very well in clinicals so far, but the real world is a heck of a different story and a mistake in the ER can be deadly. Should I take a chance and follow my heart or should I go the safer route?

    Thanks in advance for your insights/opinions/advice...

    Steph
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Gigglesforall
    I don't have too much to offer you, but congradulations that sounds like a great opportunity! I'm sure some of the experienced nurses can give you useful advice as to what to do, I think that would be a tough choice for me to make too. I'm in the same boat as you, I really want to work in the ER some day, hopefully not too far after I graduate. I'd say if the hospital and its staff is willing to spend the extra time in training you why not take it! Good Luck on your final decision!!!

    ~Jackie
  4. by   Ortho_RN
    If ER is what you want to do then go for it.. I personally don't think I would want to work ER straight out of school.. But that is me.. I think the ER would be great experiance... Go with your gut.. If they didn't feel new grads could cut it in the ER then I am pretty sure they wouldn't let ya go ...
  5. by   cpgrn
    Go for it if that's what you want. You will have help - it's not like they will throw you in there alone. Do what you want - everything is a specialty area now.
  6. by   RNonsense
    it sounds like you've already made your own decision there...

    Congrats and good luck!
  7. by   New CCU RN
    Go for what you want..... you will need to work hard and study on ur own time but you can do it... you have already made up ur mind so it seems and it is a great opportunity
  8. by   kcsun3
    Thanks, everyone, for your advice! I am really excited about the possibility of working in the ER. I am meeting with my clinical instructor next week to get her take on things (she also works at the hospital part-time) and hopefully, she will be willing to be a reference for me. Wish me luck - I'm going to turn in the paperwork next week and see what happens
  9. by   BadBird
    I used to work ER and loved it, you will eventually need ACLS, PALS too, good luck with your choice.
  10. by   kookie2003
    Hey kcsun3 I would really like to know how it is working out for you. I am a senior in highschool, and I know I have a long road ahead of me, but eventually i would like to be an ER nurse too. Any advice that anyone has for me would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks Guys!
  11. by   essarge
    How long before you graduate or are you just starting out?

    I worked in the ER for over a year and loved every minute of it. I am now working on the med/surg floor as a tech. When I was working in the ER, I thought that was where I wanted to be. I learned quite a lot and the adrenaline rush was awsome.

    I am now a tech on the med/surg floor and really like that also. On the downside, it is a much slower pace but, on the upside I have learned much more there. The nurses have the time to answer what/why they are doing things and the docs take the time to explain it more in depth.

    When I first started in school all of the instructors were stating "you should do at least two years on med/surg" and I was like "why...when I can get right into the thick of things?". Well, guess what? Med/surg is in the thick of things. These patients have everything going on with them. From cardio to diverticulitis and more. I think I am going to stay there for at least a couple of years and then maybe go to another unit. The pay isn't much different (if at all) and the experience is immeasureable!

    Good luck in whatever decision you make! I'm sure you will be fine wherever you go.

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