Question for nurses

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    Hello all, I am just now getting into nursing school. I am in my 2nd 8 week session of an accelerated BSN program. I am in my 40's and have never worked in any medical setting other than a receptionist years ago at a doctors office. My question is when did you know what area of nursing you wanted to go into? In school? After you began working? Another silly question is how do you go about getting into a specialty area? More schooling or experience? Thank you in advance for any advice or answers.

    Shonnie
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    If you are in the USA you will not need to claim a speciality as your education and license will be generic. You will be going to different areas for clinical experience and may develop an interest in one at that time. Otherwise, many nurses just guess or go with whatever job opportunity is available after graduation. As for speciality areas: Once you decide your speciality you can become certified in that area of practice. Look online for nursing certifications. Most require at least 2 years of practice
    poppycat and GrnTea like this.
  4. 0
    Thanks! I was just now reading about some certification. I was unsure if this is required, or something that will help to be more hirable. I will read more about this, thanks!
  5. 1
    What specialty areas are you thinking of?

    I knew right where I wanted to go before I even knew I wanted to be a nurse. Going through nursing school helped solidify my initial inclination toward ER/Critical Care. I also learned what I was definitely NOT interested in.

    Some of my old classmates thought they wanted to specialize in something but after getting through that clinical assignment they changed their mind.
    poppycat likes this.
  6. 0
    You don't need to decide that for a few years yet. Some people know right away, but I didn't know until after I had been working for a while.

    Specializing right away won't help you and might hurt you. On the other hand, having your ACLS and PALS certifications can only help.
  7. 0
    Before I was accepted into the program my first thoughts were Psychiatric nursing, or Oncology. I haven't gotten far enough in obviously, to have changed my mind yet. I am still taking some gen eds, and won't even take my first "real" nursing class until July. Even med-surg interests me, but that may change after I go through the clinical!
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    The area I am in was not one I loved during clinical rotations. I swore I would never do it. Well, I do it, I love it and I encourage others to love it as well. Try new things. Try med surg-it will teach you plenty. Specialize in an area you love. If you don't you burn out.

    Good Luck!
  9. 0
    Quote from shonniemichelle
    Before I was accepted into the program my first thoughts were Psychiatric nursing, or Oncology. I haven't gotten far enough in obviously, to have changed my mind yet. I am still taking some gen eds, and won't even take my first "real" nursing class until July. Even med-surg interests me, but that may change after I go through the clinical!
    You'll find your niche! Once you graduate just apply, apply, apply. You do not need to get anything else to apply for certain specialties, although, they may require or prefer experience. This is why a lot of people work Med-Surg or basically anything they can get for 1-2 years before finding a job in a specialty.

    Like NurseOnAMotorcycle said, ACLS and PALS are a good idea but don't go crazy trying to get certified. You don't want to be "overqualified" with no real experience.

    Once you find your specialty you can later get certified in it if you wish.

    Good luck!
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    Most hospitals around my area do want you to have a certification in the area you are working in, aside from just ACLS/BLS/PALS. However, most certifications require that you work in that area for a certain length of time, or have a certain number of hours having worked in that area, before you can test for the certification. Most jobs state "certification required," so I wonder if that is their way of getting around new grads. You will be expected to have BLS anywhere you work, and a lot of jobs will require ACLS, but that is not the same certification I was talking about. I wouldn't worry about specializing right now; you might be lucky to even get a job after you graduate, regardless of which area you want to work in.
    RNsRWe and Esme12 like this.
  11. 0
    Thanks very much for everyone's input! In time, I will figure all of this out. I guess I better start worrying about learning rather than what comes after!


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