Hi everyone!

I need some advice or recommendation on what area should I choose to do my capstone. I am really thinking to go for NICU which is the specialty I like, but I keep hearing my classmates say that it's better to do it in Med-surg because majority of the questions in the NCLEX is about med-surg (by the way, I'm not an excellent test taker --that is the reason that I am also thinking about med-surg). I also agree with my classmates that students learn and practice more skills on med-surg unit.

My classmates also told me that there are new grad programs in NICU that I can apply after I graduate. However, I heard that these programs are really competitive and only few spots are available.

:uhoh3::bugeyes: So indecisive! Help!

Thanks for your input.

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

Don't listen to your classmates, listen to yourself.

If you want to do NICU, I'd do a NICU capstone. I would also try to get a new grad NICU position. They may be competitive, but having had a capstone experience in that specialty already would definitely be an advantage over someone who did not.

ann945n, RN

548 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Ed, Ob/GYN, AD, LTC, Rehab. Has 4 years experience.

If you want NICU go for it. This is a great chance to test the department and see if NICU is right for you before you apply. As well do not answer NCLEX questions based on real world experience (as in what you saw in Med-surg) since the NCLEX is based on book study and not real life.

Dolce, RN

861 Posts

Specializes in Day Surgery, Agency, Cath Lab, LTC/Psych.

I think you should go with the NICU option. Not very many grads get the opportunity to actually work in a NICU and some have to take the new grad med/surg positions to gain experience. If you have had a preceptorship in the NICU it will give you a better chance of being hired directly to the unit out of school.

I did my senior preceptorship in ICU and I'm so glad I did! I learned a lot but I also realized that I wouldn't like working in the ICU. It was a great preceptorship that made me realize that I wanted a lower-stress job as an RN. You may find that you love the NICU and you may, like me, find out that you are cut out for something different. Either way, you won't know unless you try.

Best wishes! :)

Specializes in OR, Robotics, Telemetry. Has 2 years experience.
do not answer NCLEX questions based on real world experience (as in what you saw in Med-surg) since the NCLEX is based on book study and not real life.


I agree 110% with ann945n. NCLEX is NOT reality!

Go with what you feel you would be interested in, not based on another persons opinion -- especially those with no more experience than you have in the matter (meaning your classmates).

Trust yourself to make your own career decisions and remember your boards will be based on what you learned in class not on what you see in clinical.

Best of luck!

Always Learning

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