Advice for a New grad ICU vs Oncology


Hello all, I am seeking the opinions of those with experience who are willing to share. I am a New Grad RN and have been blessed to receive 3 job offers. Two different ICU positions and an outpatient Oncology job. I am torn with what job to take and could use some advice. If you were a new grad, which would you pick and why? I see pros and cons to both but not a clear cut winner. 

dianah, ASN

9 Articles; 3,620 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 48 years experience.

Moved to General Nursing for better exposure.

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 37 years experience.

You need to do the old fashioned piece of paper with a "pros" column and a "cons" column and write them down for each post.  The one with most pros and less cons wins.

Whichever one you choose sounds like a good opportunity.  Best of luck.

Specializes in Inpatient psych, Hospice, ED psych, Surgical Care. Has 9 years experience.

I would take the ICU job as a new grad. you will learn so much and that experience can take you anywhere. It will be easier in the future to move from an inpatient position to an outpatient onc clinic rather than vice versa. Onc is good experience too, but if your goal is to get any type of inpatient experience first, I would take the ICU job. Good luck!


4 Articles; 2,351 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

I would be very thorough in investigating the ICU plan for new grads. Do they hire many new grads? Do they have a dedicated educator for the unit? Do they have a very clearly laid out orientation plan? I highly recommend the ICU, but for new nurses, there is so much basic learning to be done that immediately jumping into the sickest patient population in the hospital really notches up the stress and the learning curve. I'm certainly not saying you can't be successful, certainly many new grads are. But I have seen in my own ICU, a success rate of about 50% for the new grad nurses still being in the unit after a year. Some decided that critical care just wasn't for them, some decided that it was our unit specifically that was the problem and went to other ICUs, so there are many factors. Good luck with your decision. 

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I would pick the best inpatient position. It's much more difficult to get into the hospital from the outside than getting in at the start. You can always move elsewhere afterwards.