new RN/BSN - where to work for the most experience

  1. I am a nursing student beginning my search for employment. I want to build my skills as a new nurse with the goal of returning to school for family nurse practitioner.

    Where do you recommend to start my job search as a new grad looking to build diverse and transferable skills? I have experience in long-term care as an aide and am happy to work in long-term/skilled nursing, but I am not sure I will get adequate exposure to build diverse skills.

    All feedback is appreciated.
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Volley88
    I feel that MedSurg is the best way to start. Your time management skills is one of the first things an RN should build up.
  4. by   vampiregirl
    I gained very valuable experience working LTC. LTC's vary though - the one I worked in had lots of interventions (IV therapy/ maintenance, TPN, g-tubes, ortho patients, respiratory patients etc) in some units. Assessment and critical thinking skills were encouraged. It was a steep learning curve and hard work, but it gave me a great foundation of nursing skills.
  5. by   DnvrOutdoorsRN
    I guess it depends on what you mean by 'most experience'. Do you mean just seeing lots of different things, patho, patient populations? If so, then Step-Down / Progressive Care is the way to go. Worked my first 2yrs at a high acuity med/surg step down unit. Saw everything from CT Surg to Oncology. I precept now in one of our ICU and would have been terrified to have started here. The only new grads our ICU seems to hire worked here for a yr as a CNA, part of their nursing school program.
  6. by   quasneinc
    I am just getting my prereqs done so I can apply to nursing school for next fall, so I have no experience. But a friend of mine who is a Nurse Practitioner was giving me advice and said to take the hardest jobs I could find first to get the experience and to jump in feet first. He said after doing the hardest job everything else seems easy.
  7. by   Accolay
    Pretty much anywhere in a hospital will be a good job for you. But have you considered psych? You'll definitely learn how to talk to people.

    But one question: how do you know now that you want to be a NP without having even worked as an RN? Just asking because I'm curious.
  8. by   LTC_LNHA
    Thank you for the feedback! I want to work as an NP as my passion since my first time is college is pathophysiology. I am truly passionate about caring for people. I look forward to being an RN with the goal of becoming an NP - I may change my mind completely after working a few years as an RN. RNs and NPs are very different roles.
  9. by   DaveICURN
    I've had this conversation with a few nurses and get mix reactions but...

    Go to the area you want to be in.

    I started in the step down ICU straight out of school after working here as a nurse tech/preceptor. I found out how the unit is ran and how the ICU nurses operates and built my skill set around my fellow ICU nurses. The conventional wisdom is to "Get your time management in Med-Surg for a year before you branch out.". However I feel this attitude is robbing new nurses of time in the area they want to be apart.

    Why is it necessary for me to understand how to care for 6 Pt. at one time, when my vent Pt and EOD are my main concerns. It would seem to behoove the nurse to choose an area they have strong feelings for, then as you say, jump in feet first.

    Best of luck in school,


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