How Marketable Are You as a Rural Nurse?

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    I spent some time in rural nursing (Canada) and I have to say I LOVED it. Rural nursing really is my passion.... HOWEVER.... right now I am in ICU, but am not exactly a happy camper. I am learning so much (that's what's keeping me there).... I plan to go back into rural nursing in 5 months. My "plan" is to eventually speacialise in remote flight nursing and I know you need ICU/ER experience....

    My Question:

    So, if you spend a few years in rural nursing, how easy is it to get hired back into an urban hospital ICU/ER?

    Do larger centres respect your background as a rural nurse? Anyone have experience with this? (particularly in Canada)

    Thanks. I have nothing but respect for the rural nursing specialty (and it is a "specialty"!) - you guys are truly AMAZING.. and uber-knowledgable!
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  4. 0
    My Question:

    So, if you spend a few years in rural nursing, how easy is it to get hired back into an urban hospital ICU/ER?

    Do larger centres respect your background as a rural nurse? Anyone have experience with this? (particularly in Canada)

    Thanks. I have nothing but respect for the rural nursing specialty (and it is a "specialty"!) - you guys are truly AMAZING.. and uber-knowledgable![/QUOTE]

    With the extreme shortage of nurses I don't think you will ever have a problem as long as you have the skill set. I did sometime in San Angelo. They busted my butt, but I learnt alot. Next placement was Medical City Dallas. After a couple of hours I started an IV which my preceptor could not start. I knew my preceptorship was over.
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    I work in a small rural ER. A few years ago, I interviewed for a position at a metropolitan ER and my experience as one of only 2 nurses (and often the only RN on) was seen as an asset. I explained in the interview that due to the nature of our rural ER we were very independent and autonomous. I was offered the job, but for personal reasons, chose not to take it. I think that my experience as a rural nurse was a definite plus when it came to this particular job offer.
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    Quote from galenight
    I work in a small rural ER. A few years ago, I interviewed for a position at a metropolitan ER and my experience as one of only 2 nurses (and often the only RN on) was seen as an asset. I explained in the interview that due to the nature of our rural ER we were very independent and autonomous. I was offered the job, but for personal reasons, chose not to take it. I think that my experience as a rural nurse was a definite plus when it came to this particular job offer.
    I have to agree wholeheartedly with you. I have talked with other nurses from larger hospitals and they wouldn't trade with me for any amount of money. After 7pm, all ancillary staff is on call. Some stay in the building and others stay at home. The only requirement for them is to be within 20 minutes of the hospital. On any given night, there is never more than 10-12 nurses in the entire facility. It can get kinda nerve wracking, especially with a delivery in the ER( we don't have OB facilities), but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is for the most part a slower pace and you may not see as much of the "good stuff", but when it all breaks loose, we do allright. There is a teamwork in our facility that you wouldn't find in other hospitals. We HAVE to rely on each other.
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    Quote from grammyr
    I have to agree wholeheartedly with you. I have talked with other nurses from larger hospitals and they wouldn't trade with me for any amount of money. After 7pm, all ancillary staff is on call. Some stay in the building and others stay at home. The only requirement for them is to be within 20 minutes of the hospital. On any given night, there is never more than 10-12 nurses in the entire facility. It can get kinda nerve wracking, especially with a delivery in the ER( we don't have OB facilities), but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is for the most part a slower pace and you may not see as much of the "good stuff", but when it all breaks loose, we do allright. There is a teamwork in our facility that you wouldn't find in other hospitals. We HAVE to rely on each other.
    You get that many nurses in your rural hospital! Lucky you! On an excellent night we get one for the ER, one for the ICU, One for OB and two for Med/Surg! On the rare occasion we will get 2 for ob and 3 for med/surg. Oh, and one LPN for the nursing home connected to the hospital! You sure do learn to be independent. I understand about HAVING to rely on each other! I have learned a lot, but we do not have vents or take bad traumas. Those patients are sent (via helecopter) to another hospital in the bordering state or next county (atleast 50 miles either way). If the weather is bad they have to be bagged on the ambulance that far!
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    We have to be packed to the gills to have that many nurses. It usually 1 for ER, 2 fir ICU, 2 for Med/surg and two for Geropsych. During the winter, we sometimes have more.
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    So... all in all, ya'll think being a rural nurse can have its' advantages as a critical care applicant? It's funny, becaue whenever I mention that I would like to go into rural health, the confusion on peoples' faces are priceless. They usually respond......

    "Oh.... (pause).... but WHY? That would be so boring!"

    I see it as quite the opposite.... variety being the spice of life. Most of my co-workers in the ICU tell me I'll miss looking after the "really sick ones..." However, ICU is quite the fascinating field... and you really don't get experience with the really sick ones in rural hospitals because they are transported out so quickly.

    On the flip side, has anyone ever BEEN an ICU/ Tramua/ ER nurse (I'm talking in large facilities) and chosen rural health? How did you find it, and do really miss the "sick ones"? Or other nurses - anyone have co-workers who came from this situation? How did they fare in rural health?
    Last edit by Camelhappy1 on Feb 7, '06
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    Hee Hee I know that look you are speaking of. I have worked in inner city in NJ 7oo + beds I have worked in sm metrop city 200+ beds and none can compare to the education I have gotten in the 12 bed hospital I work for now. We have to do it all. We have great staff and all of us have a previous specialty and compliment each other so wonderfully. We thrive on eachothers knowledge and learn so much! AND I think you have a closer relationship with the Dr.'s because they have to depend on you more. a gazillion hurah's for rural nursing that save lives everyday!!!
    :angel2: Life isnt about how many moments you take a breath, but how many moments take your breath away -Anon:angel2:
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    I can't say I really work in a truely rural hospital, it's more a community level on the outskirts of a metro area, but our ICU is often staffed with only 2-3 nurses and we get just about everything but trauma. Overall, it's around a 40 bed hospital.

    It's encouraging to read your comments about marketablility. This past year I've wondered if I made a mistake starting my career in a small hospital where we ship most of our really sick patients (especially cardiac & renal) to "town" and the overall acuity isn't as high as the big medical centers with specialty ICUs. Eventually I want to work in one of the big centers to specialize in trauma and/or cardiac and was worried my experience thus far would be looked down on as insignificant.

    Now that I think about it, I have learned a ton by having to know how to take care of any type of critical patient that comes through the door, and with a lot less resources than the busier big hospitals have. We don't have the luxury of the latest and greatest in technology, and I've learned to rely heavily on my assessment skills and critical thinking. So maybe it's not so bad after all that I started in a small hospital.
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    Hey everybody!

    It's been 8 months since I wrote that first post...... guess what - I am in a very remote/ rural hospital and LOVE it. I should have done this 2 years ago as a new grad. The experience is phenomenal and I would now recommend it to any new grad coming out of school. There's so much ER stuff - stabbings/ ODs/ rapes/ MVAs (I'm on an Indian Reserve) and inpts/outpts all at the same time. It's great because there's only myself (an RN) and another LPN. You have to do everything. I can honestly say for myself, I will never get bored....

    To answer my own question:

    Yes, I will be VERY VERY marketable after a couple of years here. I even hope to make northern nuring a career path.


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