Department Placement

Nurses General Nursing


I am currently in school, but I am looking into particular departments I would like to work in. I have always thought that I would like to work in the labor and delivery unit, but I don't know if it would be ideal to start out there. What are some of your opinions regarding this? Do you think it would be beneficial to work on a medical floor for a while to gain experience before transferring to a more specialized unit, or do you think it is practical to start in my desired unit if it is possible?

Having specialized straight out of the gate, if you can stomach a year or two of straight adult med-surg before specializing, I'd recommend it. It's good, solid bread-and-butter stuff. You can always go from there and build on it, and you can always go back to it if a specialty fails you.

I'm going to be brutally honest ... good luck getting anything higher than a stepdown unit as a new grad. Many programs around here are not even entertaining the idea of hiring new grads for ICU as of late. Also, L&D and peds have been "No new grads" for 1.5+years at this point. If you can find one, great. I would, however, suggest starting with something that has a good mix. It'll provide you with a good basis to which you are able to go anywhere afterwards!

Good luck with school, though. It's a great field regardless :)

Specializes in PACU.

A previous poster has a good point in that you have to take what you can get. But beyond that, there are tons of opinions regarding what is best. Apply for a wide range of openings that appeal to you. Just ensure that you're going to get adequate orientation for whatever you're hired to do.

Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,.

I agree with the one year in med surg. Yes, I would apply to any job and probably jump on anything that comes through. That one year of med surg goes a long way to work any unit. We all know Med-Surg is the foundation of nursing. That one year is like PLATINUM.

Specializes in ER, ICU.

See if you can find a hospital that has some sort of organized preceptorship or internship. I wish I could have started off that way. It will give you tons of support as a new grad and a real strong professional start. You often will have to sign a commitment to continue to work there, but if the place is good that's fine. If there is only an "orientation program" you might get thrown to the wolves. That's basically just following around an experienced nurse and picking it up as you go. This unfortunately is common and not very effective. If you can't find a good program I'd stick to the basics. Good luck!

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