Hi! I am new here, so if I mess up somehow or put it in the wrong spot, I am very sorry. I am not a nurse and am not even in nursing school yet. But a couple months ago I started volunteering at a rehab hospital. I only volunteered twice before life happened and I wasn't able to make it down there anymore because of a lack of money. But I did email the volunteer coordinator apologizing and explaining the situation. Well she brought up the suggestion of applying to work with them. And before I even had a chance to do it myself, the human resources director messaged me and was really kind and enthusiastic about trying to get me to apply to work for them. So I did and now I am hired by them. Yay! I start on the 13th. She mentioned that they will help me pay for school, and I think that is a wonderful thing. I was just wondering though... I am not sure what kind of nurse I want to be yet. But from reading posts on here, some people don't go into a hospital right away, or they leave the hospital, and then have a hard time trying to find a job in one again. This place is a hospital level, but it is standalone and only rehab. I am just worried if I take them up on the school paying aspect of this and then work for them in turn after I graduate, if I will be dooming myself to never being able to work in an actual hospital?
Many people work in settings other than a hospital when they first start out (LTC, rehab, etc) and are able to transition later, so no working a non-hospital environment for a few years won't completely kill your chances of later getting a hospital position.
Do make sure you read the contract with this place carefully. What are they asking in terms of commitment after you graduate? What are the policies if you have self/family emergency that require leave of absence during employment in regards to their financial commitment? What is the penalty for breaking the contract if you don't stay or don't stay the full period of time? How does hiring/transitioning to RN position post graduation work?
Here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself first: Do you want to work at a hospital someday? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have been a nurse approximately 11 years and never worked one single day in an acute care hospital. I am personally glad there are nurses who willingly submit themselves to backbreaking work because I am unwilling to run around like a chicken with my head cut off on someone's med/surg floor or stepdown unit.
Oh, by the way...I worked at a freestanding rehab hospital for six years. I am a certified rehabilitation registered nurse (CRRN). I, and many former coworkers, received acute care hospital job offers after accruing rehab experience, but I stayed in rehab because it paid more.
Hence, I do not think you will be doomed if you start in rehab. However, this is dependent on the employment market where you live and work.