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Dialysis or Psych for new grad?

Nurse Beth   (1,557 Views 3 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

364 Likes; 10 Followers; 82 Articles; 224,957 Visitors; 1,696 Posts


Dear Nurse Beth,


I'm a brand new graduate from last year December and live in a very popular and well known medical center where they just hire BSNs, I graduated with an ADN and I'm currently in school for my BSN. I've been offered two jobs, a dialysis nurse in an outpatient setting and a psych admissions nurse in a mental health hospital. My main goal was to do ICU but it's very competitive here. In the meantime, I want to work while going to school. I'm not sure which to pick, dialysis has a nice schedule with guaranteed Sunday off but less pay. The psych hospital pays more but the schedule is Sat-Mon. What do you believe is the best pick for my career? Thank you so much!

Dear Dialysis or Psych,

Congrats on graduating!

It's hard to say. They couldn't be more different. It depends on your future plans, and neither one is a direct stepping stone to your main goal.

Although dialysis nursing is closer to ICU nursing than behavioral health.

Find out if working in either setting will disqualify you for getting into a new grad residency once you get your BSN.

If you want to do acute care once you get your BSN, new grad residencies typically require having graduated within 1 year and little or no acute care experience.

If you are choosing between the two based solely on which is the better job for now while you're in school, you must weigh which is more important to you-

Sundays off, or higher pay.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!



Edited by tnbutterfly

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7,126 Visitors; 401 Posts

As a dialysis nurse (Home hemo and peritoneal), I'd absolutely recommend dialysis. And if it's home PD and Home hemo, even better. In a dialysis center you are moving fast all the time, you are supervising CCHTs who may have a ton of experience, but still aren't RNs, and often overstep by changing settings without checking with you first. You will get great at supervising, you will know your labs like no one else, you'll get time mgmt down pat. On the home side you aren't running non-stop, but you'll know those labs, you'll learn case mgmt, you'll do patient education in huge and small chunks constantly, you'll learn to interact with so many other providers, you'll do "nurse' stuff, cvc, & PD catheter care, accessing grafts, fistulas, cvc lines. Your assessment skills will be golden, you'll draw blood, give IVs, and IVPs all day long. In both sides of dialysis, your patients will often die. But man will you celebrate when one gets that transplant! If you really love psych- go for it, but if you love the medical side of nursing, comes over to dialysis- it's amazing and you'll learn so much!

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12sonrisa has 1 years experience.

462 Visitors; 17 Posts

Both are amazing!!! I started in community hemo after graduating as it was my only job offer and it was a great place to start! I agree with all the benefits AngelKissed mentioned and would also add that as a new grad, it was nice to be in a somewhat less stressful environment than acute care because i could focus on learning those assessment, etc skills without having the added stressors acute care brings. I feel significantly more prepared now to do acute care than I did when I graduated.

I also work casual on an adolescent mental health inpatient unit and love it! That said and while I think every nurse should have some level of mental health experience/practice, dialysis will be better medical preparation for icu. I too hope to try icu one day and I think having the experience of needing top notch assessment skills and experience working with patients AND machines will be helpful.

Best of luck!!

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