HELP! new grad from USA

  1. Hey I am a soon to be new graduate student that wants to work in the ICU or ER to be able to get that year or two of experience. The issue I am running into is that a lot of places only hire nurses in those areas with experience. Some places even require it in L and D. My practicum placement is med/surg. (Not by choice)

    So what's the solution? And what is the best field for a new graduate that wants to later on do travel nursing? Please please help me! I have no family in this field and all of my friends are just as green as me. Thank you!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from RobinK79
    Hey I am a soon to be new graduate student that wants to work in the ICU or ER to be able to get that year or two of experience. The issue I am running into is that a lot of places only hire nurses in those areas with experience. Some places even require it in L and D. My practicum placement is med/surg. (Not by choice)

    So what's the solution? And what is the best field for a new graduate that wants to later on do travel nursing? Please please help me! I have no family in this field and all of my friends are just as green as me. Thank you!
    If you're having difficulty getting hired into a specialty without experience, get some experience in Med/Surg. After a year or two on Med/Surg, you'll have experience and will have better luck getting into ICU or ED, possibly as a lateral transfer. I think Med/Surg is a wonderful place for any new grad to start. I'm not sure what specialties are best for travel nursing, but generally, get your first job where you can get it, and transfer to the specialty of your choice after a year or two. Travel in the specialty you love.
  4. by   RobinK79
    So I can travel in any specialty that I enjoy? And thank you so much for the response.
  5. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from RobinK79
    So I can travel in any specialty that I enjoy? And thank you so much for the response.
    Nurses can travel in several specialties (ICU, ED, OR, L&D, NICU etc.) Traveling is geared toward nurses who have specialized knowledge and training in an uber-specialized area. It is possible to travel nurse in med-surg, although it is much more difficult because the contract options are very limited. Regardless of your specialty, you'll likely need about two years in that specialty before you travel; therefore, if you start out in med-surg for a couple of years, then transfer to ICU, it will be four years total before you are eligible to travel as an ICU nurse.

    As far as finding jobs as a new grad, you'll have to apply for positions geared specifically toward new grads. Most hospitals have a system for new grad applicants. Instead of searching 'ICU nurse' in hospital job search engine, search 'new grad nurse' or 'nurse residency.' It's a waste of time to apply to 'ICU nurse' or 'ED nurse' jobs that aren't specifically for new grads, since the hospital likely channels all new grads through the same new grad application process. Most specialties (including ED, ICU, etc.) seem to have at least a small cohort of new grads each year. If your heart is set on starting in a particular specialty as a new grad, you may have to cast a very wide net. As Ruby said, I'd travel in the field you enjoy; if you start a specialty and find that you hate it, you'll probably want to change specialties before you travel.
  6. by   RobinK79
    Thank you so much. Your advise is very appreciated and helpful!
  7. by   Accolay
    I second getting a job on the floor somewhere and be the model employee for ideally 18 months. Do you really know what nurses do in an ER? Put another way, would you really trust yourself in an ER without any experience? Really really? On second thought, see if you can get hired into the float pool. My hospital will start training the float pool on the floors, then up to the ICUs. You can get around and see what you like. I dunno about the best field for travel nursing, but I imagine it would have to be a field that you enjoy doing, decided to be good at and get certified in- which requires usually about a year of experience to test (2080 hours).

    My area hires non-Level 1 trauma ER nurses as long as they have some experience. I really doubt you'd get into a Level 1 Trauma ER position without ICU or maybe EMT/paramedic experience.

    EDIT: adding that I'm very happy with my Level One Trauma teaching county Hospital. I think I would be bored out of my mind anywhere else. From what I have heard you may not have as much autonomy at private places. And you're going to see way more interesting stuff IMHO.
    Last edit by Accolay on Sep 1

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