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Best Department for New RN Grad

by Latorie Latorie (New) New

I passed NCLEX a month ago and started applying for positions. Most open positions are for different departments and require some experience. My question is should I start off with med-surg to get experience with my skills or do other departments consider hiring new grads? Has any new grad been hired for departments other than med-surg?

You could look for internships on more specific floors. I started out in the ER as a new grad. Love it.


Specializes in Operating Room. Has 3 years experience.

I began my nursing career in a perioperative new grad training program. It was my first job offer and I gladly accepted! Seven months later and training complete, I can honestly say I am thrilled to be part of such a dedicated and skilled team.

afterseason, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds PACU & Peds Psych. Has 1 years experience.

I say apply for whatever you like. Usually, specialty floors require a nurse with experience. However, in my area, the major hospitals offer residency programs for those floors, and they will hire new grads into the program. I guess it depends on what resources your area offers. I'm currently working in pediatric PACU as a new grad.

Racer15, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

I've only ever worked in the ER. Was hired before I graduated and had never really thought of working anywhere else. My hospital hires new grads in just about every area so it doesn't hurt to look into it.

anh06005, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Cardiac, Home Health, Primary Care. Has 6 years experience.

In bigger hospitals they specify RN I, RN II, etc. In my local hospitals it's a bit smaller so hardly any of the job postings say experience required so new grads can apply for whatever and get trained. They did just recently start an RN new grad program though for extra support for them.

I started as a new grad on cardiac step down. I had 2-3 mos (can't remember) of orientation then I was taking a full patient load. Of course there were still nurses to talk to and would help if a problem came up.

Some people will tell you that you should avoid ICU, ER, etc. until you have some experience as a floor nurse. I was hired by a level 1 trauma center hospital into the trauma/surgical ICU as a new grad. I was told dozens of times that it wasn't a smart choice, and that I would regret it. I can speak from personal experience in saying that if you are interested in any position wherever that might be, then go for it! Even if the opening states they are looking for nurses with experience, they won't turn away a candidate that they see potential in. I received 3 months of orientation with a preceptor and was offered longer than that if I felt that I needed it. I have loved every minute of my job, and I'm glad I didn't listen to those who had "experience". Everyone's experience and success in any position is highly individualized. But if you feel the desire and passion for a certain area of nursing, then do everything in your power to pursue any opportunity available to you.

Just my two cents!

Thanks everyone.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I am a big believer in "go where your heart is" -- if you are ready to handle it, the unit is prepared to handle the needs of a new grad, and you are lucky enough to be chosen. Starting out your career doing work you hate is a bad idea. If you like general med/surg, then by all means, focus on those positions. But if it is not what you want to do, don't be afraid to apply to other specialties as well. (And notice that I refer to med/surg as a specialty on purpose.)


Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 1 years experience.

I say that in this job market the best department to work on is the first one that is willing to hire you.

Unless you are totally set in the speciality that you want right off the bat then any area is a good area. I personally have a passion for med surg and think it's a good place for a new grad to start out on. You will adapt to wherever you end up though. OR can be a rough one to transition out of if you start there but is perfect for some people.