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Areas for a new RN??

Hi. i want to ask what would be a good "area" to start for a new RN like me? I was thinking of doing med/surg since they say you will learn the basic nursing skills and bedside caring in that department. some hospitals offer a "new graduate RN program" to new RN's but some do not and i belive i do need training first before i "take care" of patients....any advice please. thanks.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Med-surg is always a good idea for the undecided. But it's not a mandatory stop on the way to what you want to do.

If you haven't worked yet as an RN, it is important to go somewhere with a good program of precepting that is appropriate to the department. I work med-surg and we give our new grads 12 weeks of one-on-one orientation with an experienced preceptor.

Good luck to you.

I would seek a residency program. It's a great start for new RN's. Most LARGER hospitals have them. Residencies combine On the job training with classroom instruction on all manner of things, from IV starts to safe med administration to specifics regarding your chosen specialty. I wish I had had access to just such a program as a new grad, myself.

If none around what Tweety said is true. You want a GOOD preceptorship. It's critical. Orientation should be MONTHS, not WEEKS, and very comprehensive.

I would seek a residency program. It's a great start for new RN's. Most LARGER hospitals have them. Residencies combine On the job training with classroom instruction on all manner of things, from IV starts to safe med administration to specifics regarding your chosen specialty. I wish I had had access to just such a program as a new grad, myself.

Good Advise :D i will remember that.

Nat

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I agree with the 2 posts above whole-heartedly. The "area" or "specialty" is less important than the quality of the orientation you will receive and the amount of support you will have as a new graduate. Not all hospitals will use the word "intership" or "residency" to describe their orientation program: so, don't get too hung up on the terminology. Look at the specifics of the orientation program itself -- and be sure to get several weeks with a preceptor as well as adequate classroom time. Mentorship programs that continue beyond orientation are another great thing to have.

As far as the specialty goes ... go where your heart is. A general med-surg unit is good for learning basic skills. However, if you don't enjoy general med-surg, you will be miserable in your job and that is no way to start your career. You need to be at least reasonably happy in your work to thrive. So pick a specialty that gives you intrinsic happiness. Which areas did you like the most as a student?

llg

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

Med/Surg. Don't ignore the surg part. A general surgical floor can be busy, but after a few months I, personally, found it boring. Everything went pretty much as planned with an occassional little crisis thrown in. As a new grad that just might be a good place to start. In one hospital I worked the nurses on the surigcal floors had the option to cross train to work a 6 week rotation in the burn unit The hospital liked to rotate the nurses in the burn unit because of burn out in the nurses.

I started my career on a medical floor. There were several medical floors in that hospital and the one I was assigned to got mostly liver and kidney disorder patients. I learned a lot about GI bleeding, cirrhosis, alcoholism and acute renal failure real quick. I also, at one time, worked on a head trauma and neuro unit where I saw just about every kind of seizure you can imagine. But, that is not true of some hospitals. Some will put any patient who qualifies as a medical patient on a medical unit, so you will have a very broad range of illnesses.

Thank u for all the inputs....i appreciate sooo much....my next question is... WHAT IS A GOOD ORIENTATION??

There is one hospital that offers a new graduate rn program that will start not until 2 months from now and one that has a position available for labor and delivery. what do u think is a good choice to take?

Aneroo, LPN

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

A good orientation is what you and your preceptor make it.

I went straight on down to the ED. I've always wanted to be there, had EMS experience, and they needed help.

My preceptor is awesome. We work well together. Her feedback is always positive or constructive. I had classmates that have already had a falling out with their preceptor, if they have a steady one.

You have to be very proactive for yourself. If you don't get along with your preceptor, talk to them, and if that doesn't work, talk to the unit educator and get someone else who is willing to help you learn to be the best nurse you can be! Be proactive is hunting down things things to do. I hunted IV's in the beginning. I saw a nurse getting ready to help with a central line- I hunted him down, and helped/learned (while his orientee sat on her hind end).

Our hospital offered a class for new grads, 5 week course (1 day a week). Only new grads, and we talked about our experiences, our patients. It was a safe way for us to learn what was right/wrong to do in patient situations. Helped us to better anticipate orders and be on the ball. Later on the in the day, we did tours of different departments, and split into small groups where we talked. We vented. Talked about co-workers, residents, patients and their family...

That support system is what makes orientation. My unit is awesome about making sure I am doing ok. -Andrea

I recommed med / surg because as a nurse preceptor I believe in the basics, especially at the beginning. I wouldn't pay attention to such labels as "new graduate RN program." What I would pay attention to is the transition they offer from nursing student to graduate to RN; ask questions and find out the focus of the program. In the Air Force we have the Nurse Transition Program. I am a preceptor in this program and our hospital employees in nursing education programs seek me out to ask me to precept them because they know I like to talk on and on about time management, handling tough problems, and how to transition from graduate to RN without so much trauma.

I recently started working (7mo) ago in a small hospital. I don't know the pro's and cons of all the different "new grad"programs (they just put me with a great preceptor on a floor with NICE nurses) but I do think the floor I am on is a good start. it is a tele/stepdown unit, with a 4 pt max. I get to see some drips, and some pt's that are sick enough that i am learning, with out the high stress of the unit or critical care. I get pulled to the unit on occasion and enjoy it but I feel the stress level is to high for a new grad to work there full time. Experienced nurses sometimes take for granted things they do routinly without stress is something that we may feel anxiety about or have not done enough to feel secure in our knowlege. I also feel med/surg is not a place for new grads. I got pulled to med surg as a new grad one night and had a horrible night. there were to many patients and things to do for me to just stop and think about what i was doing, i feel that things were to fast paced for me to really learn, and i had to be a lpn resource, wich i was not ready to be. Don't get me wrong, my floor is busy, but, I only have 4 pt's to keep straight, not 6-7. I feel comfortable on med surg now. To my surprise, some of the nurses on the med/surg floor feel intimidated on my floor because of the telemetry and drips, things I am O.K. with and eager to learn from this one great supervisor who has kind of taken me under her wing. I think God has blessed me to be on a floor that is the perfect balance between the basics and critical care. That and plenty of prayer!

I recently started working (7mo) ago in a small hospital. I don't know the pro's and cons of all the different "new grad"programs (they just put me with a great preceptor on a floor with NICE nurses) but I do think the floor I am on is a good start. it is a tele/stepdown unit, with a 4 pt max. I get to see some drips, and some pt's that are sick enough that i am learning, with out the high stress of the unit or critical care. I get pulled to the unit on occasion and enjoy it but I feel the stress level is to high for a new grad to work there full time. Experienced nurses sometimes take for granted things they do routinly without stress is something that we may feel anxiety about or have not done enough to feel secure in our knowlege. I also feel med/surg is not a place for new grads. I got pulled to med surg as a new grad one night and had a horrible night. there were to many patients and things to do for me to just stop and think about what i was doing, i feel that things were to fast paced for me to really learn, and i had to be a lpn resource, wich i was not ready to be. Don't get me wrong, my floor is busy, but, I only have 4 pt's to keep straight, not 6-7. I feel comfortable on med surg now. To my surprise, some of the nurses on the med/surg floor feel intimidated on my floor because of the telemetry and drips, things I am O.K. with and eager to learn from this one great supervisor who has kind of taken me under her wing. I think God has blessed me to be on a floor that is the perfect balance between the basics and critical care. That and plenty of prayer!

I agree!! I also work on an intermediate stepdown unit where we get four patients. We are primary nursing with no aides, so it is very challenging to balance all aspects of pt care. We get both medical and surgical pt's and I have learned alot because these pt's have multiple problems and multiple specialists. These pt's can literally be one foot between us and ICU and can go bad in a heartbeat!! But do what you really like and get ready for more learning and more challenges. Once you get down your time management on the floor and how the floor operates, you will be "ready" :) A great preceptor is also very important, they help build your foundation. Don't settle for less and always ask questions!! Good Luck and God Bless!! AMARTIN1

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