Dear new grad... - page 3

by smurfynursey

6,235 Views | 35 Comments

Dear new grad, I am sorry (sort of) that you did not get your dream job in a hospital and you are here instead. I know it may come as a shock, but not everyone starts in the ICU/ER...nor does everyone want to. Just because I... Read More


  1. 1
    I am a potential nursing student, and I'm a little confused. What is so awesome about working ICU/ER? I imagine that if I become an, ICU or ER would be the last places I'd want to work until I had a little more experience as a nurse. I think I'd much rather start out in LTC or a non-ICU floor in a hospital. Or even doing something like working in a clinic or home health. Then after I felt fully competent in one of those areas, I'd consider ICU.
    nguyency77 likes this.
  2. 3
    Quote from alotusforyou
    I am a potential nursing student, and I'm a little confused. What is so awesome about working ICU/ER? I imagine that if I become an, ICU or ER would be the last places I'd want to work until I had a little more experience as a nurse. I think I'd much rather start out in LTC or a non-ICU floor in a hospital. Or even doing something like working in a clinic or home health. Then after I felt fully competent in one of those areas, I'd consider ICU.
    Please understand I'm not poking fun, just telling if like I see it. In my study group, everyone ended up in a totally different area than they thought they wanted originally. I just knew I would retire from an Adult and Pediatric Cardiology Step Down Unit that hired me during school as a SNA. I worked there 6 months until getting pulled to ED, and have been in ED ever since. Since the hospital was a University Affiliated Hospital, I was able to get my BSN there as well. You never know what you'll love, and it's best to keep an open mind.

    Everyone I remember having an interest in a specific arena, all went into a different area and thrived.

    I mean real diverse, just from my study group:

    Ped Wannabe--> Adult PACU
    ER Wannabe---> PsychMHNP
    CNM Wannabe--> Pediatrics Sports Med.
    CCU Wannabee--> Home Health
    And the girl who graduated number one in my class, who tried to IV successfully 3 timed in school (never a flashback) is now the Head of a PICC team at our University Hospital (she's also still a snotty..., that's another thread

    Keep your mind open. I want this Awesome Profession to blow your hair back! Not burn you out! There is a place if you originally wanted to be a Nurse- you just got to find it.
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Dec 7, '12
    alotusforyou, T-Bird78, and joanna73 like this.
  3. 1
    Quote from alotusforyou
    I am a potential nursing student, and I'm a little confused. What is so awesome about working ICU/ER? I imagine that if I become an, ICU or ER would be the last places I'd want to work until I had a little more experience as a nurse. I think I'd much rather start out in LTC or a non-ICU floor in a hospital. Or even doing something like working in a clinic or home health. Then after I felt fully competent in one of those areas, I'd consider ICU.
    I have friends who appear to have fantasies of wheeling patients off to surgery, as they run alongside holding the patient's hand and reassuring them that "Everything is going to be okay!" The ER and ICU are interesting places that require a lot of thinking, but like you I would rather get some experience before I insist on working either of those areas.

    When (and if!) I finish nursing school, and (if) I pass the NCLEX, I would be more than thrilled to go work in the SNF where I was employed at as a CNA. I think I would like doing LTC. Corrections and addictions are other areas I'm interested in because they seem to be unpopular, and therefore where the need is greatest...

    Some new grads turn down jobs because it "isn't their dream job" and because of their huge egos, but I honestly hope and pray for those sorts of people as my job competition when I graduate. Leaves more for the rest of us!
    alotusforyou likes this.
  4. 1
    My loans are paid after 2.5 years of working, and I have savings. I had a job before I wrote my Board exam, and moved away from home for the job, which I enjoy. Many of my friends who sat around waiting for their "dream job" eventually got desperate and took whatever they could. But they still have huge debt, and one year of experience to my 2+. To each his own, but my point is....their method really wasn't very practical, or forward thinking. Eventually, you can have your dream job. Until that day arrives, the smart ones keep working towards their dream. It doesn't usually happen overnight.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from alotusforyou
    I am a potential nursing student, and I'm a little confused. What is so awesome about working ICU/ER? I imagine that if I become an, ICU or ER would be the last places I'd want to work until I had a little more experience as a nurse. I think I'd much rather start out in LTC or a non-ICU floor in a hospital. Or even doing something like working in a clinic or home health. Then after I felt fully competent in one of those areas, I'd consider ICU.
    When you do your clinicals, this is entirely dependent on how you feel, you tend to do more, you get more skills in, and you find out your nurses may only have 2 patients he/she is responsible for. My family has tried steering me away from doing floor nursing because that's when they can pile on the patients (you should have, say, 4, but then someone calls in, so now you have 8), and school wise, I found my first floor experience to be, well, boring. No one needed anything -- no NG tubes, no IVs, foleys, etc., because they were already done in the ER or ICU. Even in the ICU, a lot of that isn't done because, it's done in the ER.

    To each his own, and in the end, I can only speak for myself and some of my classmates because the above was our experience. Out of school, a lot of people think they'll be that "blood and guts" nurse, they'll know what to do in a code after training, all that (okay the latter is a bit of an exaggeration). Other nurses have echoed the sentiment my family has. They think it's better for me to go to ICU before going to a regular floor because I'll have my skills rather me going to floor where I'll lose them. I prefer to work the floor before going to the ICU because I know where I personally am. Some of my other classmates I can see going to straight to the ICU, and it would be a waste for them to just go to the floor (at least in my opinion).

    In the end, it's what works for you.
    alotusforyou likes this.
  6. 2
    I am starting my nursing program in January, and I have thought a lot about my career goals. I read on another thread that new nurses never dream of working LTC. I guess I am a different breed because that really interests me. My Mom has lived in a skilled nursing facility for 10 years, so I think this has had some influence on me. I will soon have the privelage of taking care of her, as she currently lives in another state. I look forward to this, and it makes me feel like LTC is maybe where I am destined to be. I want to give to a family what so many nurses have given me (comfort, support, care, love). I am humble, however, and I will be happy to get experience where I can get it.
    nguyency77 and joanna73 like this.
  7. 3
    When I was a new grad I absolutely dreaded the possibility of working in a nursing home. It was a nightmare scenario.

    Not because of career goals and not because nursing school taught me that "hospital nursing was REAL nursing."

    It was because I worked as an aide for 2 years in a nursing home.
  8. 1
    I work on a unit with lots of chronic total care peds patients. I have to manage gtubes, trachs and vents, TPN on some patients, huge amts of nightly meds (my record patient is 14 meds at bedtime but it's typical to give at least 5-6), seizures, turning on schedule, oral care Q4H, diaper changes on big patients, agitation and tremors that make the cares harder, and then they are in the hospital for antibiotics or something so I have to also make sure that problem is getting better. I also have to frequently bag the more fragile patients who can't handle diaper changes or other things without a bit of breathing help.

    Taking care of long term care patients is no picnic! I was a home health respite night nurse for several months and took care of one such patient in their home. I have floated to other units and taken care of normally developing patients with short-term health issues, and it was so much easier (and less mentally challenging) than taking care of my long term kids.

    Don't think I'm complaining either. I really have grown to love and care for these most innocent, vulnerable patients.
    nguyency77 likes this.
  9. 2
    I am thankful I stumbled upon this thread. I graduated in May 2012, and I applied for literally hundreds of hospital jobs (med-surg, OB, ICU, ER, PACU). I finally ended up with a job in school nursing which I have grown to LOVE. My mother, who is a retired RN, often makes me feel as though this job is below me and that the income is insufficient to support me. I know she is not the only RN who feels this way, and I certainly agree with whoever mentioned how nursing schools hammer into their students that "real" nurses work in hospitals. Thank you for reminding me that I AM A NURSE.
    joanna73 and owlRN01 like this.
  10. 0
    I worked in LTC for about a year. I have plenty of respect for LTC nurses. When we had to put my mother in a nursing home, I was picky about which facility she went to, and I was very impressed with the nurses there. That said, I will sell my body on the street before I work in LTC again. Med-surg level patients need med-surg level staffing and supplies.

    I work home health. Sometimes I feel like a glorified maid or (on peds cases) babysitter. However, I've learned a lot about trachs, vents, diabetes, and other things. Because of me, people who would have been institutionalized a generation ago can live in the community. Plus, I get paid to go to the park, the fair, camping, the mall, and the beach. When we were dropped off for my client's program early, I got paid to to hang out at Starbucks for 30 minutes.

    Unfortunately, many non-hospital jobs want nurses with hopsital experience, and too many hospitals refuse to consider LTC or home health experience.
    Last edit by Not_A_Hat_Person on Dec 7, '12 : Reason: more information


Top