To specialize, or not specialize, that is the question

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    Hello everyone! I am a BSN new graduate seeking some advice. I did my senior preceptorship in the Neonatal ICU and I am hoping to attain a new grad position in this specialty. Yet, as we all know, new grad positions are bleak . Advice from a lot of older RN's have told me to just do things like Adult Med-Surg, etc first before NICU, while I'm hearing from other sources that I should stay within that specialty in order to not be stuck in an unwanted area forever. For instance, I've heard that if you start in adult, you'll likely stay in adult since specialties like NICU want someone with recent NICU experience.

    What should I do? Should I just keep waiting around for NICU new grad programs until one finally hires me? Or should I just start out in Adult Med-Surg like some have suggested (no offense to any Med-Surg lovers, but it's truly not for me)? Or could I look at programs that offer Labor & Delivery or Pediatrics and work from there? What units would be the best to to apply to if I can't get a NICU new grad postion? Please tell me about your experiences and what you think is best. Working in the NICU would truly be my dream job. I've had many rotations during nursing school and although there were many that I enjoyed, I never felt such a heart and soul connection to any unit like I did the NICU. I truly fell in love during my senior preceptorship in the NICU and I want to make the right choices early on to ensure that I end up in my dream job.

    Thank you so much for your time.
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    I went into nursing school 41 years ago thinking I would be an ER nurse. But I enjoyed so many different areas! Then I did my 2 weeks in the NICU and felt as though I was 'home'. I was lucky enough to get a job there on graduation, and that was my very first job! Sometimes I can't believe what chutzpah I had, what incredible self-confidence I had as a young nurse!

    GO FOR IT!!! If you are fortunate enough to land a job there right out of school, well, that's okay!

    Although many places want their ICU nurses to be a bit 'seasoned', sometimes it is okay to be trained in a specialty from the ground up!

    So apply to a variety of positions, and if your dream job turns up, then go for it!

    Best Wishes!!!
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    I would definitely say go for the NICU job if you can get it. That is an amazing opportunity. I knew med/surg was not for me either and I went right into a specialty as well and I have not looked back. I think you should go for what you truly want to do.
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    I feel your pain..getting right into NICU would be exceptional, atleast in my area. I fell in love with pediatrics, however there are no close childrens hospitals in my area. There are 2 hospitals about 45 mins away that have a great peds floor, but of course they are hard to get into. I have an interview this Friday at one, but it is med surg and major surgery, 3rd shift. I guess I could take one of those if offered just to get my foot in the door! I also interviewed for maternity services, 11p-11a in a closer hospital, but with a not as great of a peds floor.

    I say we should follow our true dreams, however long they may take..:heartbeat I dont want to get "stuck" in LTC, but I could easily get that job which would be easier..but I think it will kill my chances for a hospital job!!
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    Quote from amystudentRN
    I feel your pain..getting right into NICU would be exceptional, atleast in my area. I fell in love with pediatrics, however there are no close childrens hospitals in my area. There are 2 hospitals about 45 mins away that have a great peds floor, but of course they are hard to get into. I have an interview this Friday at one, but it is med surg and major surgery, 3rd shift. I guess I could take one of those if offered just to get my foot in the door! I also interviewed for maternity services, 11p-11a in a closer hospital, but with a not as great of a peds floor.

    I say we should follow our true dreams, however long they may take..:heartbeat I dont want to get "stuck" in LTC, but I could easily get that job which would be easier..but I think it will kill my chances for a hospital job!!
    I definitely feel your pain, but that's great that you got interviews!!! I hope it went well and I hope we both are able to get our dream jobs eventually


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