Dialysis for New Grad


hello all...so here is my dilemma/opportunity. i am a recent new grad. the new grad positions in my area are few and far between at local hospitals (between 1-5 offerings per week). i was offered an opportunity at a local dialysis clinic in my area. the pay is competitive to the hospital pay, 3 days a week, 12 hour shifts, etc. being that i am a new grad i am a little hesitant to jump on this position right away. i worry about getting enough experience in dialysis to move on to something else later on in my career; my ultimate goal is women's and infant services, preferably labor and delivery one day. i have almost 20 applications that are active within the hospitals, but can not seem to get an interview unless i have a direct contact within the department...the old saying not what you know but who you know! so this is where i am at. i'm ready to work, but it just wasn't where or what i was expecting to be starting with as a new grad. i would just like to hear any point of views that would assist me to make the best possible decision. thanks and i look forward to hearing opinions and experiences:)


26 Posts

Specializes in Starting dialysis.

I am a new grad also and envy you the position you were offered because the hours and field (dialysis) are exactly what I want. My job search will mainly be focused on dialysis centers for a particular company. I kow this isn't a reply you were looking for but I had to chime in when I saw your post because I'm jealous! Good luck with whatever you decide.


37 Posts

I am a year into dialysis now after graduating from RN school. Now this is just my opinion. Dialysis is a love it or hate it field. Our stories are very similar. I had no opportunities from hospitals approaching me, and only dialysis picked me up. I took it because the salary was very competitive in comparision to begining in the hospital. However, if your heart is not in dialysis, you will always be looking for an opportunity out. I myself do not enjoy waking up before the crack of dawn (usually 3:30 am) and ending a shift near 8:00 pm. Dialysis hours are long. Usually 14-15 hours a day depending on the clinic. More importantly, dialysis is a narrow specialized field which means there's not a lot of room for horizontal expansion. The skills for a RN in dialysis is limited. I promise you'll draw the same simple meds repeatedly. The entire field is redundent and you can become bored quickly. Everyone on my job says I'm backwards, and that most nurses work in acute hospital settings before entering into dialysis. It's a dead end job for me, because like you, I want to work in peds, L&D, and then I can see myself moving into case management, insurance or education once I gain experience. But dialysis does not prepare me for these opportunities. Sorry for the sour post! Again, just my opinion. Best wishes!


212 Posts

Wow, it is funny because we are all in the same boat. I also applied to hospitals etc. (you name it I applied) and the only interview/job offer that I got was in dialysis. I have been at the clinic for over a year now. There are things that I like and things that I don't- I love being off on Sunday and the hours are good because I have children. When I work early (4:30am) I am usually off around 3 or 4. My advice to you is to take the position- we end up where we are meant to be and I have been told that you should try to stay put for a couple of years to get a good level of experience. I also wanted to work in pediatrics and Labor and Delivery but it seems like it is so hard to break into certain fields.... Also, where I live most of the hospitals have magnet status and want you to have a Bachelor's degree. Good luck with your decision!


8 Posts

Thank you for the input...it is very helpful. I have pursued everything at this point, to the point I may have advanced my carpal tunnel! I have asked to be considered for the dialysis position from my friend, and hope either it comes through or something else. What have I got to lose?!? Thank you again for sharing your personal experiences and views. I'll keep you posted!

allnurses Guide


1,025 Posts

I am a recent grad (June 2010) and I started off on a Med Surg floor. I HATED it. I worked nights, we were constantly understaffed and spread too thin. I constantly worried I would kill someone or make a mistake. The training was insufficient and we often had 10 patients and they were fresh post op! I felt so rushed to go in throw the meds at the patient and run off, very little time to introduce yourself or get to know the patient at all. I couldn't sleep because all of the things I had to do or forgot would run through my head. Some of the nurses were nice, but it was very cliquey and some were downright nasty to us newbies. Talk about stress! I always left my shift late, feeling like I did a terrible job. I always sat in my car sick to my stomach before going in. Although I learned a lot and do not regret that experience, I quit at the 6 month mark and took a position in dialyisis.

I LOVE it. It is so much better! You really get to know all of your patients and in my clinic we have a lot of elderly patients. I love getting to know them and knowing their norms and it is easy to see if they look off or their vitals are way off from their norm. I like the routine of giving the same meds, having a schedule I can keep up with. It is hard work, but very routing. The hours are long, 14 hour days, but you get to have every Sunday off and we also get Christmas & Thanksgiving. I do 3 days on, 4 days off. I like the techs I work with, we try to keep the place pleasant and happy and keep the patients upbeat. The training was also excellent, they really spent a lot of time teaching us and helping us learn.

I must admit, I do fear that I could get bored after awhile or lose all of my "hospital skills" but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I am wondering if I could pick up a per diem in a rehab or hospital just to keep up on the hospital stuff. But my first nursing job almost sent me back to my former career I HATED it.

Everything happens for a reason! best of luck to you!


212 Posts

It was really hard getting used to dialysis at first but I can say that I also love it now. It is nice to have all of your patients out in the open and you have a set routine. It is true that you learn their normal behaviors and can easily spot when something is off. I have never worked on a med/surg floor but the thought of it always stressed me out. I also believe that we end up where we are meant to be!