New grad in need of career advice

  1. I recently completed my RN in Salt Lake City and am so excited and inspired to start my career; however, I need a little direction.
    I absolutely loved (most of) my clinical rotations. I couldn't get enough of them. My favorites were medical oncology, ED, and respiratory or medical ICU. I even really loved most of the rotations that some students hated like med/surg floor or intacare. My favorite part of rotations were taking all of the pieces of the puzzle and trying to analytically see what was going on with each patient.

    Here's where it gets tricky...

    Currently in Utah the economy is pretty tough for new grads. I have several friends that went months before finding work. I am currently employed as an anesthesia tech in the OR for the last several years. The nursing management has expressed interest in hiring me on as a circulating nurse. I have done several jobs in the OR, I have a good grasp of the flow, I love the people here, and the hours would be incredible. With the day shifts I'd be working I could play music at night, spend time with my family, and be able to finish my bachelors degree (all of which are super important to me).

    I worry that my bedside nursing skills would dwindle if I took a job in the OR right out of school. I worry that if this wasn't the specialty I was passionate about, would I be able to transition to med-surg nursing in a year or so and still be competent. I guess I'm torn whether to take the safe bet and secure a job here in the OR or wait a bit longer and find a job where I can grow and learn something new. How much does lifestyle play into the decision?

    Thank you so much for all of your help. I have been so impressed with the quality of nursing care that this community exemplifies
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    About jroxx

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 3; Likes: 2


  3. by   trueblue2000
    I am a new grad and have been a telemetry nurse for 3 months now. The nurses that I work with transferred from hospice, OR, nursing homes, ICU, ER, and one that worked in a pediatrician's office for 10 years! Once you are working in health care, I don't think it is that hard to transfer to another area. If you like OR I think you can safely take the job and move to other positions later on if you wish. What I hear OR nurses complain, however, is that OR nursing gets repetitive very soon, so keep that in mind. As for losing your skills, I don't think you have that many skills yet to lose. Don't get me wrong, you come out out of nursing school knowing a lot, with a lot of nursing knowledge (patho, pharm, etc) but as far as nursing skills, myself and the other new grads are finding that we are really learning them on the go as we work on the floor and get to practice them over and over again, day in and day out. When nurses were trained in hospitals, working 6 days a week in the wards during the day and having classes at night, they graduated with real nursing skills (but not a lot of knowledge). When medical and nursing research exploded and the powers to be decided that it was more important for nurses to know than to do, nursing moved to colleges and universities. Now our chance to learn skills is limited to labs and one or two days a week in a hospital. That is really not enough to learn any skills the way you need to safely and proficiently apply them in real life hospitals situations.
  4. by   NP Sam
    I am a new grad working in the OR. As an anesthesia tech you see what we do but I would suggest shadowing a circulator. I have no interest in being an floor RN. I do admit that you must force yourself to read up on diagnoses and labs. You just don't have time because your entire shift is spent completing tasks that don't exactly require that knowledge. It's funny that we are so knowledgable in what we do routinely. Best of luck