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Best floor for new grad?

by %63theend %63theend (Member)

Specializes in ER.

I graduate in July and I am starting to look around for the kind of job I want when I graduate. I want something that will not break me LOL... I know how hard general med surge is. Where do you wish you had started out? Or where did you start out and glad you did? Looking for positive experiences here LOL. I've gotten a lot of negative reviews from recent grad friends of mine! Thanks!

Good Morning, Gil

Specializes in Rehab, critical care. Has 3 years experience.

Any experience is valuable experience, though some experiences are obviously better than others. My new grad experience wasn't the new grad friendly type with lots of orientation. I had a short orientation, was thrown to the wolves, became charge nurse very quickly afterward, but I am no worse for it. Experience is what you make of it. I learned time management, ended up working with great people who I looked forward to working with, and learned much needed leadership skills. I became a leader because I was placed in that role, and I am more confident now.

I then transitioned into the ICU after a year, and had a great orientation, newer nurse friendly, etc. I love it there, and have no plans on leaving. (And, for the record: I did not leave my other job d/t job stress, I was very comfortable there; I wanted more learning opportunities, to advance my career, utilize/expand on my clinical knowledge more).

Don't know how many options you have as a new grad; that depends on your location. You may be able to be more choosy in what you apply for or you may just have to apply for something and be glad they hired you. You sound young, like a person coming right out of school, nothing wrong with that. I'm by no means aged lol, but nursing will help you develop a thick skin if you don't already have one. Nursing is very rewarding. Best of luck to you!

Whichever one will take you! I kid, I kid! I prefer surgical nursing to medical, but that is a personal preference. There is a lot of heavy lifting, but you learn and see a lot and it feels "cleaner" to me. I worked on an ortho/neuro floor and a lot of patients that have scheduled hips and knees have to be healthy before surgery to get cleared. You do also get people that fall or are in accidents, so you will see a lot of comorbitites there as well. Less isolation precautions, not none, but less. It is a little more specific then general med/surg where you will see all kinds of things.

But in all seriousness, any floor that offers adequate staffing and adequate training for a new grad would be your best bet, even if it is not your top choice of specialty. Do you have something in mind that you would like to do?


Specializes in ER.


My biggest concern is actually what you addressed. I want to be on a floor with adequate staffing first (and training). Throughout my rotations in nursing school I haven't seen that yet. I am in Georgia and have been at the Atlanta area hospitals if anyone in this area can weigh in more specifically on good hospitals/floors. My school may have just put us on the busiest floors or maybe it was just how it worked out for me or maybe they are all like that, with my limited experience I don't know.

As far as experiences I enjoyed or have considered, for one, I liked the OR. My only concern with OR is that it wouldn't count towards the "1 year" of med-surge experience most people recommend for new grads or that I might lose some skills from not practicing them. I also liked the special care nursery (preemies). The pace felt better than other floors. I also like knowing I wouldn't be ambulating any fall risks. That part of a lot of floors makes me uneasy. I'm doing my community rotation now at a health department and I LOVE it. Again though, I wouldn't be getting my 1 year of med-surge experience and I'd risk losing skills. I didn't go to L&D during my OB rotation, I was in postpartum other than a rotation in the NICU and a rotation with an LC. So I don't know if I would like L&D or not (thoughts?).

So those are basically the experiences I've had that I've enjoyed, certainly I haven't seen everything but maybe this will help people make suggestions about other floors with similar characteristics. As for floors I didn't like, I didn't like the cardio-thoracic floor, it was incredibly stressful. I also didn't like the long-term-acute-care floor.

I can't wait to hear if anyone has any ideas. Originally I wanted to do ER but I am terrified I don't have what it takes and I am obviously not strong in pharm yet. I would still consider it if others say it is doable but I am not sure if it is the right job for a new grad. Maybe someone can weigh in on that, too?

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

The best floor for a new graduate is one that's willing to train you and mentor your adequately. No matter where you go you can crash and burn if you are turned loose after just a few days. Likewise, you can be successful anywhere if the floor will dedicate ample time for your orientation.

In order to assess this, ask questions about orientation during your interview. How long is orientation? Will you have one preceptor, or several? How will you be evaluated? What if you aren't comfortable at the end of orientation? Are their training classes as well as clinical time? What does the hospital offer for education classes for nurses?

I started out in pediatric ICU, which was a huge step for a new graduate. There was tons for me to learn and it was very overwhelming. But fortunately I had a 12 week orientation and the staff on the unit was incredibly supportive. The combination enabled me to be successful.


Specializes in ER.

Thanks so much. I will definitely ask those questions when I get the chance to interview. I think your questions highlight my priority concerns as well as some I hadn't considered. I have friends who just graduated from my program who had as little as 3 weeks orientation. I think that is scary.


Specializes in ER.

I should mention I am very near Kennestone Hospital in Georgia if anyone works there and knows of a good floor. I haven't done any rotations there so I don't know anything about it.

angileej, ADN, BSN

Specializes in critical care. Has 1 years experience.

I did my critical care rotation and my practicum in the ICU at Grady. After graduation I was employed there as a nurse extern for 8 weeks and now I am officially a Grady ICU nurse (1 week)..

I love ICU, it is very hard, but I see more and did more than I ever experienced during my roation at any other hospital. I suggest you apply for a nurse residency program, that way you gain more experience and still have a nurse right by your side. Good Luck...