first nursing job

  1. Many of my classmates already know what area of nursing they want to go into. Specialized right out of school. Either want to gointo OB, surgical, or ICU..... I personally want to work on a med-surg floor for a few yrs if not longer. I feel you will be able to really put your new skills to work, really prioritize nursing care, and really get good experience with assessment skill and learn so much more. But just the variety you will get with pt care. I was wondering if anyone had any pros and cons in their thinking
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   ShannonB25
    Hi janleb, this is a good question. I will be graduating in May also. I'm planning to work in some area of OB (maternal/child, postpartum most likely) while others in my class have gravitated toward other areas such as post-surg, ICU, ER, etc. I was just having a discussion though with one of my classmates last week about the fact that I'm so glad that there are nurses who WANT to work OR or post-surg, med-surg areas. I know these are personally not the areas for me, just as there are many in my class who refuse to work OB. That's the beauty of nursing, it takes all kinds and there are so many choices for us. I think that the fact that you want to work med-surg is wonderful. You will probably take on the challenge of that area very well and be content there. I don't see anything wrong with that at all. I also agree that you will definitely get exposure to all kinds of stuff there. It's supposed to be a great foundation area and learning ground for many. Good luck and congrats on your upcoming graduation! Shannon

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    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
  4. by   JennieBSN
    Ditto to Shannon's post. By the way, Shannon, did you get my e-mail? I wasn't sure if it made it to you or not...

    Anyway, if med-surg is where your heart is, and you really want to go there, then PLEASE, DO IT!! The med-surg floors really need all the staff they can get, and someone like you who has a positive attitude and WANTS to be there will be a real asset. I must admit, going into a specialty area out of school (NICU, then OB) limited my med-surg skills somewhat. I have no CLUE how to set up a tube feeding (on an adult), and am pretty rusty on changing wound dressings (although I really dig that kind of stuff...packing deep wounds is morbidly fascinating to me...). However, having worked high risk OB, I've seen just about everything in the med-surg/ER arena. It's 6 of one, half dozen of the other. I say if med-surg is where you want to go, GO FOR IT!! You will NEVER be bored, and your knowledge base will grow exponentially every day. Congrats on your upcoming graduation, and WELCOME!!!
  5. by   ShannonB25
    Kday,
    Yes, I got your email awhile back. It was wonderful! I checked my box to see when it was that I wrote you back. Looks like I sent your reply on 3/20. Feel free to email me anytime at boothshannon@hotmail.com
    I'm sure I will have a ton of questions for you as I will be going into OB as well.
    Take care,
    Shannon

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    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
  6. by   LauraRN0501
    Hi Jan,

    When I started school, it was my desire to work ICU. I had NO desire to work med/surg at all. As I get closer and closer to graduation (May, less than two months away!) I realize that I do not have the assessment skills I need and that I need lots of practice! I have decided to work med/surg for a year or so then cross-train to ICU. Every nurse I have spoken to has suggested at least a year of med/surg for the practice and exposure to more than you will get in a specialty area. I am not too confident in my clinical skills yet, which is why I have chosen the path I have.

    Good luck!

    Laura
  7. by   janleb
    Hi Shannn,
    My thoughts exactly!!!!!

    Originally posted by LauraRN0501:
    Hi Jan,

    When I started school, it was my desire to work ICU. I had NO desire to work med/surg at all. As I get closer and closer to graduation (May, less than two months away!) I realize that I do not have the assessment skills I need and that I need lots of practice! I have decided to work med/surg for a year or so then cross-train to ICU. Every nurse I have spoken to has suggested at least a year of med/surg for the practice and exposure to more than you will get in a specialty area. I am not too confident in my clinical skills yet, which is why I have chosen the path I have.

    Good luck!

    Laura
  8. by   CEN35
    well Jan, if that's what you want to do......go ahead and do it!!!
    When I finished school, everybody talked the same way, some OB, some L&D, some med-surg, tele, icu, ccu etc etc. I went to ER right out of school, and was told during school, there was no way I could do it, nobody would take a new grad into ER, etc etc. Well I must admit the 1st 6 months were the worst for me, and there were a couple times I thought myabe I wasn't cut out for it and should quit. I never did quit, and wehn I look back at that time 5 yrs ago, I am glad I didn't. While it's tough in my opinion, the first 6 months was a huge learning curve, and it dropped every 6 months or so. It took me two years, to get totally used to it, confidence? Boredom? Something? After the two years, it was fine, and now seems like a breeze.
    Bottom line is go for what your drive is, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win", "never say never".

    CEN35 (Rick RN CEN ER 5yrs)
  9. by   MollyJ
    janleb, I am a twenty two year nurse and I floated for 6 months before going to a step down unit which wasn't a very very high acuity place then to ER and ICU and now completely out of the hospital.

    What this board is never likely to show you are the nurses who went to the subspeciality area and got eaten up and left the hospital or nursing ne'er to be heard from again. They leave convinced that they were never meant to be nurses or that they are not very smart or a hundred other torments. In a 20 or 30 or 40 year career, a year or two spent on a med surg unit is a drop in the bucket and will never be a waste of time.

    Everything you do builds on where you've been and given that you cannot have all experiences, med surg is a great place to build a foundation. I draw on and remember what I first learned in my first year frequently.

    While working in the ICU's and the ED, in times of nurse plenty, we didn't hire new grads. In time of shortage we did. Well, we all know we're in a valley right now, not on a peak, and so those nurse recruiters will be singing the song, "Oh yeah, a sharp new grad CAN make it in the ED." In times of plenty, she would sing, "We really prefer to hire experience in the ED; get some experience, kid." This may be your first experience with being regarded as disposable, but it won't be your last. Nothing is more difficult, human to human, than watching a new grad with high hopes and great expectations get ground up in the ED. Don't be afraid to protect yourself and witness these boards. Plenty of folk are getting ground up on the regular units, but busy ED's and ICU's almost go into combat mode and all you have time to do some days is take care of yourself and your patients and certainly not necessarily in that order.

    Good luck. Whatever that first nursing job, try to find a good support system, be kind to each other and yourselves and always forgive yourself for being human.

    "I am a precious, worthwhile, mistake making person."

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