Published Jan 31, 2001
Hi! I have been a nurse for 15 years and started out on a general med/surg floor. The experience I gained there was invaluable! I still use many of the skills I learned then and would recommend the experience to any new grad. Starting in a specialty area may limit you down the line should you decide to move into another specialty.I know it is tempting right now with the nursing shortage and so many opportunities but my advice is to stick it for at least 6 months, fine tune your organizational skills and learn all you can then go for whatever specialty you like.
I'm not one to talk, as I went as a new grad straight to ICU. But, heres my thought- if you are required to pay something back for leaving, stay. Med surg will give you good experience- some of which will apply to OB, and the time spent will make you more attractive to an L and D unit, whenyou next apply. This shortage is not going to be gone in 6 months, I promise. And those six months will really fly right by, I promise.
My advice: Stick it out on the med/surg unit for 1 year, then move to L+D. You will benefit from the experience, gain confidence and improve skills.
Here's my dilemma. I have been training as an RN on the med/surg floor at my hospital for the past 3 weeks, and so I have approximately 3 weeks more of orienting to go. I started off as a PCA a few months earlier, so I had originally intended to train as a nurse there. However, I am very much interested in L & D, which my hospital does not have. Because of the drastic nursing shortage, many hospitals in my area are willing to train new grads into specialty units. I have applied at some hospitals which usually take approximately 2-3 weeks to respond to an applicant. In the meantime, after my training is over at my current position, I am obligated to either stay with the hospital for the next 6 months, or be forced to pay for the training should I decide to leave, which I completely understand. I'd hate to leave my current job without a definite position to fall back on, but I'd also hate to have to pay back my employer for my training when I would much rather take hold of other opportunities out there. What would any of you nurses out there recommend? It's great to hear your valued opinions. Thanks for the ear!
Look for the topic "New nurses in ICU" under General Nursing Discussions to read a discussion about pros and con of a new nurse starting right out in a specialty area. Gave me a LOT to consider when deciding where I want to work right out of school. A lot of the discussion brings up points that prospective employers may not tell you. Good luck!
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