Decisions Decisions...Med-Surg or Cardiac Step Down

  1. I need advice. I am a new grad. I have been working in a nursing home for the last few months. I am so grateful that I have been offered 2 different job opportunities. My conundrum is choosing the right job. Job #1 is in a community hospital on a med-surg telemetry floor (mostly medical). The hospital is an hour drive from my house. It is not a teaching hospital. Job #2 is in a metropolitan hospital in the cardiac surgery step down unit. The hospital is a teaching hospital and I would be part of the new grad program. However, this job would mean relocating (plane ride distance).

    As a new grad, I have been reminded over and over again that med-surg is the starting line for all nurses. Is this a must? Will I miss out on valuable experience if I do not start in med-surg? Or will I gain more experience in the step down unit? I am interested in cardiac nursing, but what if I change my mind later in my nursing career - will I be locked into cardiac nursing? Which job offers the greatest opportunity?

    Again, I am so grateful as I know how hard it is to get a job these days. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    About SwissMiss167

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 2; Likes: 4


  3. by   turnforthenurse
    You do not have to start out on a med-surg floor as a new grad. Med-surg floors are good for getting your skills down and for learning a lot, but you will also learn A LOT on a cardiac surgery/telemetry unit. Teaching hospitals tend to get sicker patients so you will see more things. Being a part of a new grad program sounds like it is an internship - that is a GREAT opportunity! It is so important for a new grad to have a good, thorough orientation. It can make or break your career. Personally, I would go for the cardiac surgery unit.
  4. by   SonorityGenius
    If I were you, I would go for the new grad residency program!
  5. by   Lennonninja
    I'd pick step down in a heartbeat. I graduated last year and got stuck starting on Med Surg, and cardiac is my dream job. You will learn a ton there!
  6. by   Been there,done that
    If relocation is not a major issue for you...

    go for the step down position!

    Your training and experience will include basic med-surg and you will also be learning the cardiac as a bonus.

    No, you will not be "stuck" in Cardiac.. it is highly desirable skill you can take anywhere.

    Good luck .
  7. by   MyMystudentRN
    i would absolutely choose the step-down unit! If you want to work kin cardiac here is your chance! and its a teaching hospital! you have a wonderful opportunity here if you have no problem going on that plane ride i suggest you do it. you will learn so much and im sure they will teach you med-surg fundamentals. good luck on YOUR decision. keep us updated and congrats on the offers!
  8. by   DizzyLizzyNurse
    If you can move, I'd take the new grad cardiac position! You are lucky to get such a chance!!!
  9. by   cardiacrocks
    I graduated last June, started immediately working at a large teaching hospital (well large for my area), I work on a cardiac step-down unit and you will still get med-surg over flow TRUST ME! So with that said chose the step-down cardiac floor. I love it, some days are far more challenging than others but I wouldn't change it for anything. In this last year I've learned so much already. I want to eventually become a nurse practitioner for acute critical care and this is a great start. We get some med-surg patients, the down side to that is, they end up getting transferred off our floor when there is a cardiac patient that needs to be on our floor more, such as just had a heart cath, etc. I can do all drips, except insulin. It's so cool knowing only our floor and ICU do cardiac drips, like I said it's a challenge but I've learned so much. Good luck.
  10. by   fishnfreak05
    I work as a Nurse Extern on a cardio step down unit and will transfer to full time RN after graduation (May 12, 2012!!). I have gained a ton of experience in the past 5 months. Even though it is the "cardio" unit you will see many other disease processes as well. If relocating is not a problem I would definitely do so. Think of it the way I was told when I got hired: You were chosen out of the hundreds of applicants so you obviously are special. Even though you have two offers I am sure the teaching hospital with the internship has a longer list of people that would love to take your place, don't let them! The great thing is once you have cardiac the possibilities are endless.
  11. by   tcvnurse
    Take the step down position. Afterwards you can transition to ICU with ease if that is your direction. But the acuity, and the specialty will really make you into a very good nurse with lots of career options.
  12. by   SwissMiss167
    Thank you all for all of your input and advice!! I really appreciate it! I have been leaning towards the cardiac surgery step down unit position, and I'm so glad I posted because now I know it is the right decision. Woohoo! I was excited before, but now you guys got me really excited for this opportunity. Thanks again!
  13. by   Nurse Kyles
    I would agree with what the others stated; you should go for the cardiac step-down unit. I am a new grad (December 2011), and after a brief stint in a LTC facility, I landed a job on a cardiac progressive care unit. I started about three weeks ago, and I've already learned so much. I don't think you will regret your choice as there will be so many opportunities with this experience and skill set! GOOD LUCK to you!!
  14. by   Nurse Hooloovoo
    It sounds to me like the step down position is where your heart is anyway (pun fully intended). You can also go a lot of places with experience as a cardiac nurse; so long as the relocating isn't too much of a problem for you, that's what I would do.