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Best Nursing Skill Set/Experience to Have to Work in Rural area as an RN


For those of you working in more rural areas of MT, what type of RN skill sets/experience would you recommend for a new nurse starting out in nursing who eventually wants to work in a rural area. I am starting out in ICU, but I am not sure that is really the skill set I would need to be an effective RN in a rural area. Also, for those who work in hospitals with NPs, what type of NPs are hired (adult, family, acute care)?

Thanks in advance for everyone's assistance!


Specializes in ICU/CCU, Med-Surg, ER, Home-Health, Corr. Has 22 years experience.

I have been an RN for 21 yrs (in June) - starting out in ICU/CCU. Have worked other areas of the hospital setting (med-surg, ER, urology), home health, travel, agency, and as a correctional nurse. I am in a critical access hospital (25 beds) in NW Montana. The closest hospital is about 100 miles from here either east or west. It helps to have experience in a critical care setting because at least here there are few staff that have that expertise. If you start out in a larger hospital (preferably a "teaching" hospital), you will get a good baseline to be able to do pretty much anything you want to do. Trick is to find a big hospital that will take new grads and are willing to teach you. You will work your butt off, but you will learn more and much faster. I have been in quite a few hospitals and some as small as this one and you have to be aware of some drawbacks. You WILL lose alot of your skills that you have worked so hard to get. Politics will make you sick (unless you find a really good place that is run right). You will see a variety of patients. For me, I feel stagnant, I want some kind of challenge. Done this where I am for 6 yrs and I will be leaving in June. Remember that as a nurse, you can go do whatever you want. Just get some kind of critical care experience and it will make things easier for you in the long run.

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