That seems to be the question that I can't find the answer to. So, I thought I would ask for some advice. I am about to complete my ADN program and begin my career. Up to this point my focus has been to become an RN, and now that I am just about finished meeting that goal the question is... what is the next step?
My long term goal is to continue my education all the way to CNP, but I will be working on that over the next ten years. My immediate goal is to get my first job. I have had a lot of nurses tell me that the best plan is to spend a couple years on the medical floor to strengthen clinical skills and general knowledge. I have had the same amount of nurses tell me that I should figure out where I want to specialize and pursue a job there.
I would love to hear feedback form all of you as to whether or not you went straight into a specialty or not for your first job, and what you think where the advantages & disadvantages where.
Thanks for the feedback!
Oct 23, '13
Went straight into my specialty (Emergency) right after ADN graduation. I love ER and I've been there 2.5 years. In order to strengthen my knowledge, I plan to be "dual employed" in the ICU starting in January at the same hospital (2 days a week in ER, 1 day in ICU). I feel like after ICU for about a year, I'll be prepared to branch out into just about anything. I don't think going into med surg would have helped me build knowledge any faster. I almost have my BSN, too. I am doing online school while working full time.
A disadvantage of going to ER is that I don't get to see what happens to the patients once they leave the ED (admitted to hosp). LOTS of advantages. I got to do what I loved instead of waiting. Best wishes to you.
Oct 24, '13
There is more than one way to get were you want to go.
I started in med-surg. Why? Because in the recession of the 1990s, they were the ones who would give a new graduate nurse a job.
New grads in a slow economy aren't in a position to be too picky.
Pros: hospital experience, employment, multi-tasking skills, senior nurses used to working with new grads.
Cons: didn't actually like med-surg, overwork, very dependent on CNAs for quality of care.
The best thing about this job I was grateful to get but didn't like is that it gives me something to compare other jobs with. You won't here me complaining too much about my current job.
Oct 24, '13
Are you willing to relocate to get what you want?
Oct 25, '13
Wow, straight to the ER! I spent one clinical day in the ER and quickly realized that I admire the nurses that work there, but it is not for me. I did not like the adrenaline rush... a pt. said "I'm having chest pains." and I thought I am too! Seriously... thank you for the feedback. It is nice to hear about a positive experience like yours.
It is also great to hear about your experience going straight med/surg. I am precepting on the medical floor and already see how stressful it will be if that is were I go. I appreciate the list of pros & cons you gave. Thank you for sharing your experience.
As for relocating.... Not for another year
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