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- Dec 6, '12 by hiddencatRNQuote from shadownessIt's not. Definitely not for everyone, but by the same token not everyone needs some time in medsurg before moving on to a specialty. You know yourself best- with a good orientation and a supportive unit, if you feel up to the challenge, go for it. Yes, $7k isn't insignificant, but ime it's actually not as easy to switch specialties as folks like to make it out to be. Going to a new specialty means you still need a lot of training, so you really shouldn't have much less of an orientation than a new grad is getting. I recently switched from pediatric emergency to adult emergency and it took me longer to find a place that wanted to hire me for adult emergency nursing than it did to find a job as a new grad- most places I applied felt I didn't have the right kind of experience. So....if you get an ICU offer now, I'd take it instead of hoping you'll get another offer in a year or so.you guys make starting out in critical care seem impossible.
- Dec 6, '12 by serenitylove14Take the ICU position. It is harder to transition or get an offer for ICU positions then med-surg and with going straight to ICU you would be getting direct experience in your specialty. I would pick up med-surg shifts. Ive seen plenty of new grads start in the ICU i use to extern at and they did wonderful... I REPEAT.... WONDERFUL!!!! Dont be discouraged because your new. Plus ICU typically has a smaller patient to nurse ratio so that will give you more time to sharpen up your assessment skills!!!
- Dec 10, '12 by yourstrulyjmcAs a new grad that loves the ICU too... I'm thinking med-surg first (for myself at least - here's why):
1. It really teaches you to prioritize.
2. As a new nurse in the ICU, it can be very easy to lose your license. Not trying to scare or discourage you at all, but these are heavy duty patients. Think of all the cardiac meds, drips, sedation, EVD's, hemodynamic monitoring devices, trached pts, etc.
3. Also, I don't know how well prepared I am to deal with families in the ICU - ex. families who won't let go of a loved one who clearly needs to be on hospice care instead of prolonging their suffering. I feel like Med-Surg would give me the experience I need to deal with families and sensitive subjects like health care proxies, living wills, DNR/DNIs...
Once you're working as a med-surg nurse for a year or two, maybe you can move on within that same hospital to the ICU. Hospitals usually just want 1-2 years of direct nursing experience. Once you have that, it'll open so many doors. Also, keep in mind that people are going to retire in 1-2 years time too = more opportunities for newer nurses. Try to get to know the nurse manager of the ICU in the med-surg hospital. They may hold a spot for you once something opens up. Let people know how interested you are in the ICU. Word will get around fast. =)
Best of luck to you though!Last edit by yourstrulyjmc on Dec 10, '12
- Dec 10, '12 by shadownessThats great advice! Yeah, I called the hospital with the critical care positions and was told theyll leave a message with the manager and get back to me. As far as the med surg hospital... I called today and the manager told me she is shocked HR hasn't called me with the offer. She told me she'd get in contact with them and to give her til as long as tomorrow to hear back. The med surg job could be as much as 14k difference in salary. It could be anywhere from 79-82k whereas the other hospital pays 68-72k. Also, the hospital for med surg has better benefits (1199). They cover 100% tuition up to 18 credits per year. The other hospital covers 15 creds or 3,500 bucks...
- Dec 14, '12 by shadownessBumping my post! (UPDATE)
I finally got offered the med surg job. I also got offered CTICU at the other hospital but was told its part time with "full time" hours. It is 4 week orientation and 4 month preceptorship. As I said before the money is a little less but the fact that its part time scares me because im not sure if ill be guaranteed a certain amount of hours or how it works. They gave me the weekend to think about it and were really nice about the whole situation. I am not sure whether to tell them about my other offer, to counter and ask for full time or what??? I feel like ICU is my calling and im a bit more excited to it over med-surg.
opinions desperately needed
- Dec 14, '12 by itsnoworneverI don't buy into the "med surg before specialty" stuff. Med surg itself is a specialty really, so where are we supposed to start?!?!? One person in particular praises her 9 months med surg experience that was nearly 40 years ago as essential to her now. Really????? Really????? And says "it's such a shame they started you in l&d, it's such a set back. You should have waited for a med surg position" and also says "I know you are waiting for that year and then you are leaving"..... She's the only vocal negative nancy but I've heard one or two say the same thing. Do what your heart says and SHINE! Show those negative Nancy's what's up!
- Dec 14, '12 by littlenurse23You must live in California? I am in disbelief that a new grad will make 72k a year!!! Wow!!! New grads where I live start at $21.50 an hour which equals about 42k a year I believe. I know it's relative but still that sounds like a ton of money!!!
- Dec 14, '12 by littlenurse23I would be ecstatic if I were you I don't know any new grads that have two offers!!! Most of us are just dying to take anything at al!!! And for very little pay for that matter!
- Dec 15, '12 by newnurse1986Quote from littlenurse23Great! Pay! I live in AL and I'm a new graduate as of Aug 6 and I'm still unemployed. New RN here are making around $17-$25 depending on the hospital/shift. ICU sounds exciting! Do what your calling is. I would pray about it. The Lord will lead your path just trust in him!! Best Wishes in your new career!I would be ecstatic if I were you I don't know any new grads that have two offers!!! Most of us are just dying to take anything at al!!! And for very little pay for that matter!
- Dec 15, '12 by littlenurse23where in AL starts at $17 an hr that's horrible!!! I just moved here and I was hoping for at least $20 an hr!! I made $19 an hr an LPN!