lost about what nursing specialty to go into

  1. hi out there. is anyone totally lost about what type of nursing they should do? so we had clinicals last year at a rehab facility...no thanks. then we had med-surg clinicals and i feel like once you graduate everyone has to do med-surg, but i didnt like that at all. and i am a NAC or CNA, and i see the nurses on the med surg floors and just feel bad for them, they work so hard, and seem so unhappy. now i am in maternity, and i thought i this would be it, but it's not. i will be doing PEDs too and i am just hoping it is something i love or else?????? how has everyone decided on what type of nursing to go into?enguin:
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Curious1alwys
    I am a may 07 grad too and I have no clue either.

    Starting to think it isn't bedside nursing at all!

    I just figure it will come to me eventually. If not, it'll all just be eenymeenyminymo and trial and error.:uhoh21:

    the only thing I am worried about at this point is just graduating, lol
  4. by   BeccaznRN
    This is SO common among nursing students! Our class is graduating in December, and I bet that at least 25% of my classmates have no idea either. There's just so much out there and I think that a lot of students feel that once they choose an area, that's it and they have to stay there.

    I ended up choosing CVICU after doing an externship over the summer. I knew I was interested in critical care, so I spent my externship rotating to different adult ICUs, NICU, PICU, ER, OR, and L&D (I was interested in L&D as well - come to think of it, I was interested in EVERYTHING!) I chose the CVICU because the unit is combined adult and pediatric, so I figured I would get great experience that would allow me to do just about anything if I wanted to pursue advanced practice or go to a different specialty. Also, I know that any ICU environment is high-stress, so I wanted to do it while I'm young and can handle the stress a little better. That's just me.

    As an interesting side note, I worked alongside a nurse in the NICU that said after she got out of school she had no idea what she wanted. She ended up going to just about every area you can think of - NICU, nursing home, psych, med/surg, L&D, you name it. After 14 years, she finally decided on NICU. Even seasoned RNs sometimes have this dilemma!
  5. by   mom2cka
    I really liked neurology, which I didn't expect - in October, I start in oncology and am wondering if I'll like that one, too. But other RNs I've talked to haven't found what they like until trying a few things once on the job, and I guess that's OK, too - perhaps float if you can, until you find the right one?
  6. by   RNsRWe
    Please don't get bogged down into "what specialty should I go into"....especially before you've even finished school! Really, it's more than common, it's expected, that you won't know yet. And to be honest, if you DID have your heart set on a certain specialty and you couldn't get a job there for whatever reason, you'd end up crushed or very disappointed. Don't set yourself up for that. A friend of mine HAD to work in L&D, it was why she went to school. Couldn't get a job in any hospital around, however, for that unit, no matter what. So she's working elsewhere, but not happy because she isn't working at her first (only) choice. I feel sorry for her.

    Many times, people are absolutely sure what "kind" of nurse they want to be, only to find that it really ISN'T for them: either by experiencing the work in clinicals, or (worse) keeping blinders on about any other type of nursing, ONLY considering "the" choice, and finding that it isn't a good fit. More disappointment or heartache later.

    Throughout school, I found things I liked and disliked about EVERY clinical rotation, bar none. I wish I had a buck for every time I answered "I don't know yet, I haven't decided" when someone asked what field of nursing I'd choose!

    For what it's worth, I remember med/surg rotation as the ONE area I was sure I wouldn't spend a minute more on than I needed to. It wasn't for me, nohow. After graduation, I looked around and applied for positions, and after considering my options CHOSE a m/s floor! That's right, I had a choice of other places, but none of them screamed "that's you" so I thought to myself that I could just deal with m/s for a while and then move on asap.

    The truly funny thing is I LOVE the surgical unit: I love the patients and the situations and all. My co-workers are far from unhappy, they're QUITE happy. And most importantly, when I think back to WHY I didn't want anything to do with m/s in school, it's because it was still so early in my school curriculum that I wasn't yet comfortable with what I had to do. I felt at that time that there were too many tubes and drains and such keeping me from "being with the patient". What a riot! Now, I hardly see that equipment at all, it's ALL about the patient. And it's great

    So don't give it a second thought that you need to choose anything at all now. Learn everything, and keep your mind and options OPEN.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Please don't get bogged down into "what specialty should I go into"....especially before you've even finished school! Really, it's more than common, it's expected, that you won't know yet.
    I second this. Up until the middle of my second year, my plan was to get promoted on the MS floor i was working on as an aide until my OR rotation came up. And it clicked that's where i wanted to be.

    Another girl in class planned on LTC, but changed her mind to Mental Health after doing her MH rotation.

    Another one had her heart set on Maternity, untill she went to the ortho floor.
  8. by   augigi
    I agree - don't worry about it too much. What I set my heart on in school is NOT where I ended up, and I couldn't be happier. Try as get as many varied experiences as possible, and you'll find your niche. My graduate program rotated us to different areas, and it was great to find out what worked for me. You can't know until you work there, and it's easy to move around.
  9. by   SoulShine75
    I know what you mean. Everyone seems to know where they want to go...surgery, ICU, ER etc... I've only had 3 rotations. One was at a LTC facility...no offense, but no thanks. I've worked at a LTC place as a CNA and it definately takes a special kind of person for that job and it isn't me. The second rotation was on the rehab unit and I especially didn't like that you have to fight with PT just do do regular vitals on your patient. We're on the women's unit this semester and so far I like it a lot. The nurses are all really helpful, the unit is very nice and the focus is on women's issues mostly and I have loved all my pt's so far. You get a lot of different demographics and a lot of different patients so you aren't as likely to get bored easily. I always thought I wanted to do labor and delivery but I haven't had that rotation yet so you never know, I may hate it.
    I think once clinicals are over for good you'll have a better idea of where you feel you fit.
    Good luck.
  10. by   semi-fly
    What about shadowing different nurses in different specialities to see what peaks your interest? I understand you have clinicals in specific areas, but (to me) it doesn't hurt to see how everything is done or what is involved in the speciality. Another thing you could try is talking with your instructor, maybe have a sit down and ask if she can help point you in the right directions based on your wants and/or needs.

    I am not even a nursing student yet and I am already thinking about this. How bad is that? To date I've thought about working in Dialysis, ICU (NICU, PICU), CCU, and even Psyc. (I blame the movie Awakenings for that) but considering I haven't even been where you guys/gals have been. It's just a bit of wishful, if not mistaken thinking.

    Hope this helps.
  11. by   nurse4theplanet
    I envy those who knew what type of nurse they wanted to be even before they were in the program (you know the type.) It took me forever to feel like nursing was even the right choice for me because I didn't really get excited about one particular area. I was able to rule out a lot of areas quicker than I could pinpoint any particular area. So I took a general personality test and really started to examine my personal interests, habits, and behaviors...and now I know...ICU.

    I love a challenge.
    I have to be constantly moving and thinking.
    I have an insatiable(sp?) appetite for learning/knowledge.
    I enjoy high acuity/critical patients.
    I enjoy control...which I feel I have because we do total care/no aides.
    I am terrible with names (so a 9 pt assignment on a med-surg floor would have me going in circles by the end of the day)- I like to get to know my pt's and their families.
    I like to observe the dying process (we get alot of DNRs, etc.)
    Lots of opportunities to teach!!!
    You see everything!!!!!!
    etc., etc., etc.
  12. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from semi-fly
    What about shadowing different nurses in different specialities to see what peaks your interest? I understand you have clinicals in specific areas, but (to me) it doesn't hurt to see how everything is done or what is involved in the speciality. Another thing you could try is talking with your instructor, maybe have a sit down and ask if she can help point you in the right directions based on your wants and/or needs.
    Hi, semi-fly

    Just as a tip, or fyi, you'd be hard-pressed to find time in a nursing student schedule for shadowing anyone anywhere. Between lectures, labs, skills work, written assignments, clinical time, studying (and hey, families work in there somewhere for most of us) you're lucky if you get the mandatory work done on time. As for sitting down with instructor, it's a GREAT idea, but probably only at the very end of the program. Before that, she'd tell you what we've been saying: you'll change your mind 16 times before you decide anything concrete. I actually DID sit down with my advisor (also an instructor for the final lecture series, which we hadn't reached). She basically said that everyone was in the same boat, that even those who are "sure" of where they're going oftentimes change their minds before taking a job--or immediately switch, and that we'd go over that kind of decision-making stuff in the last weeks of the program. We didn't really, lol, but I heard her loud and clear: don't sweat it, long-term goals are not a priority now. Finishing school is

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