Doctors office or hospital first?

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    Hi! I recently graduated from Nursing school but I'm having a tough time finding a job. My background is in massage therapy and skin care. My heart is more in alternative health care and I would love to be able to work with a good integrative doctor. I have found a few in the area where I live and numerous ones across the country, but I know they don't readily take new grads. I am thinking about trying to get an internship for a while in one of these offices. However, my question is for experienced nurses working in the alternative health care field- what is the best route for me to go? Should I try to get a job in a hospital on a med-surg floor for a few years in order to get a good base, and then try getting a job at an integrative practice? Or would I equally benefit from getting an internship and afterwards applying to offices where I would like to work. I want to be able to gain knowledgeable experience that will benefit my patients and the practice in which I'm working. Working in the hospital isn't something I would be thrilled to do, however I am willing to do whatever is necessary to get where I want to be. I would love to hear your opinions on the matter, as I feel a bit lost on the best first step to take.
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    You sound exactly like me. I cringed at the thought of going to the hospital, I always said I wanted to be more than a "hospital nurse". I was a CNA for 6 yrs before my RN and had already had my fair share of "bedside care." My first job out of nursing school was at a federal health center (clinic) where I did everything from quality improvement to staff development to patient education and phone triage. I lasted all of maybe 5 months before I was itchcing to try my hand at the many "skills" I had learned in nursing school. I got a job on a neuro floor, progressed to a step down and then ICU. I most recently got a job doing utilization review with an insurance company with the potential to work from home. I'm glad to be getting out of the hospital and away from bedside care, but the critical thinking and raw medical knowledge I gained at the bedside will always be invaluable. Teamwork, establishing therapeutic relationships, and learning firsthand the workings of the American health system all have also been invaluable gains.
    I am hoping to now be able to develop my holistic practice on the side. I do not think my clinical understanding of the manifestation of disease processes and traditional treatments would be as strong, so my ability to appropriately complement the traditional treatments with my own holistic modalities might be more hindered. The highest understanding of the body and the cooperative healthcare system most of our clients partake in is essential.
    I recommend you work in a hospital for a little while, at least a year. It will also give you an appreciation for the "very sick" and how your wellness, prevention, and healing through holistic practice directly affects the progression to that end of the spectrum.
    Good luck!
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    Check out Allegra, they offer many online holistic courses for very reasonable prices and are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) and the ANCC. I am planning on taking a few myself. It's a good opportunity to continue to develop yourself professionally in your "true love" area of interest, holistics.

    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC | Continuing Education for Health Care Professionals


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