Department info for a future nurse!


Hi all! I am starting a 13-month ABSN program in two weeks. I just wanted some input from those already in the field. What department do you work in and what are some of the prominent ups and downs? Where would YOU recommend a new nurse starting within the work setting?

Thanks, in advance, for your input!


4,104 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.

This type of thread has been done many, many times. The goal of these threads is to find out which department/ specialty you find an interest in so that you can pursue a job in that specialty. The problem with this is that we are not you. We can go on and on about why WE like our specialty, but if you have no interest in that specialty, then we are wasting our time telling you about it.. For every person that loves their specialty, you will find someone who hated that specialty and moved to a different specialty.

My advice is to go through school with an open mind and see what your interests are near the end of school. Once you narrowed down your interests, read the threads in those specialty sections and ask questions. I was set on the stereotypical male nurse specialties (ER/ Adult ICU/ Trauma) and it wasn't until my 3rd semester (15 month ABSN program) when I had a 4 hr rotation in a Level II NICU during one of my Maternity clinical days that I found my niche. I went in a completely different direction than I planned on heading. I then did as much research on my own as possible BEFORE posting questions on this website. I am one of two male nurses out of 300 nurses on our unit. I can't be any farther from the typical male nurse role than I am (except for Labor and Delivery).

BTW: I love my choice. The smaller and the sicker my patients are, the more rewarding I find my job. I have never regretted not going into ER. Adult ICU, or Trauma.

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,341 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.
My advice is to go through school with an open mind and see what your interests are near the end of school.

Quoting this just because it's so true. I went into school thinking I wanted to do peds or L&D. Guess which rotations ended up being my least favorite? It wasn't until my very last semester (senior capstone, I didn't get an ICU slot and I didn't want a med/surg spot, so I ended up in PACU) that I found the specialty that interested me- OR. Guess where I still work? I may not currently be in a clinical bedside role in the OR, but I am still within the realm.

So, keep your mind open. Be a sponge, absorbing all the information about the specialties you can as you experience them in school. Remember that school can't even expose you to all of the possible settings nurses could work in- if it hadn't been for that unusual capstone placement, I never would have been exposed to the OR at all.


5 Posts

Okay so I guess I should put in some background. I am 25 years old and already have a BS in Biology. I've been through a four year program, and recognize that opinions are going to vary based on person and experience. I am going through nursing school with a completely open mind (as I did with my first degree) and understand that my experince will play a crucial role in determining where I want to start out. By NO means am I trying to make a decision now about where I want to work, nor based on the experiences anyone shares on this thread. However, for a scholarship program I am applying for, we have to rate our interests now for what we think we will like, in which I ranked OR the highest due to my experience at my current job at an animal hospital. So the purpose of this thread was to compare and contrast different areas of nursing, in hopes of learning more about departments as a whole. I was solely asking for advice to see what advice I would get and compare MY interests with those who are willing to share theirs. I've done my research and think, at least for my goals in nursing, that experience in critical care is, well, critical. But, as previously stated, this could (and honestly probably will) change before next July. Having a science background, I am a HUGE researcher so I will continue doing my research as suggested. But I also want some opinions as well. :) thank you all and happy nursing!


916 Posts

Specializes in Critical care.

I'm in critical care and I love it. A mother-baby nurse I recently interacted with said she could never work in an ICU (too intense and the patients are too sick) and I wanted to say I'd be bored out of my mind on her unit. I know everyone is supposed to love babies, but to be perfectly honest they bore me. I love my friend's kids (none of my own), but they leave me bored to tears- I prefer kids around 18 months old+ when they start walking/talking.