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Dilemma! Help please!!

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by Jordan1927 Jordan1927 (Member) Member

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I need advice, badly. When I applied to nursing school I knew I wanted to become a Maternity/L&D nurse. That desire has only increased as I've progressed through my nursing program. I've also learned that I strongly dislike Med-Surg. I'm in my last year of nursing school, precepting is about to happen, and graduation is imminent. So my dilemma: knowing that I hate Med-Surg and love maternity, should I go with my heart and try to go straight into Maternity after graduation? Or should I just do what everyone says you should do and do my "year of med-surg" first and then try and switch over to maternity?

Edited by Jordan1927

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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14 minutes ago, Jordan1927 said:

I need advice, badly. When I applied to nursing school I knew I wanted to become a Maternity/L&D nurse. That desire has only increased as I've progressed through my nursing program. I've also learned that I strongly dislike Med-Surg. I'm in my last year of nursing school, precepting is about to happen, and graduation is imminent. So my dilemma: knowing that I hate Med-Surg and love maternity, should I go with my heart and try to go straight into Maternity after graduation? Or should I just do what everyone says you should do and do my "year of med-surg" first and then try and switch over to maternity?

That's ...dramatic. Apply for what you want. See what offers you get and then maybe roll out the hysterics.

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Apply for both and see if you even have a choice 🙂 

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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36 minutes ago, Jordan1927 said:

Or should I just do what everyone says you should do and do my "year of med-surg" first

Maybe someone smarter than me can explain why schools still tell graduates to get a year of Med/Surg first?

Apply to specialties that interest you. 

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36 minutes ago, Sour Lemon said:

That's ...dramatic. Apply for what you want. See what offers you get and then maybe roll out the hysterics.

lol I apologize for the dramatics. This is just something i constantly hear "do med surg first yada yada yada", and even worse 90% of my class is in love with med-surg. It's also something that I think about a lot, especially since my class has been doing alot of med-surg rotations lately and we're almost done with the program. But thank you for your advice regardless!!

12 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

Maybe someone smarter than me can explain why schools still tell graduates to get a year of Med/Surg first?

Apply to specialties that interest you. 

From what i've always heard, they say it's supposed to give you a good nursing foundation, building all the skills you've learned in nursing school.

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MotoMonkey is a BSN, RN and specializes in ED.

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If your heart is set on L&D type nursing then apply to those areas. There is nothing to say that you can not get a job there as a new grad. Though some of that is dependent on the job market in your area and what hospitals are looking for as far as ADN vs BSN.

Personally I knew I wanted to work in ED. I was in the ED for my clinical capstone and it reaffirmed my feelings. I applied to ED positions straight out of school and was hired.

So again, apply to the areas that you are interested in, but be willing to be flexible and apply for "less desirable" areas if you have trouble landing a L&D job.

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Go for what you want! I knew i wanted MICU or ED before i graduated. Sure enough i was hired as a new graduate RN in the ED

Everybody says you should/have to do 1 yr med/surg before specializing. I say if u get right into your specialty you'll develop all the skills and whatnot you need for THAT specialty. Med/surg is general but you don't handle things in the ED the same way you would in Med/Surg. You don't even document the same. 

So dont give up on what you want! 

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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17 hours ago, Jordan1927 said:

From what i've always heard, they say it's supposed to give you a good nursing foundation, building all the skills you've learned in nursing school.

A year in Med/Surg would have have done nothing for me working in the NICU. The same goes for L&D, Pediatrics, OR, ER. I think the idea of one year in Med/Surg started by a hospital that was having a hard time filling Med/Surg nursing spots so they started the "everyone needs 1 yr of Med/Surg experience" campaign. Why not start your career learning the skills that your specific specialty requires rather than a broad skill set that may or may not help you in your next job?

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On 10/16/2019 at 6:24 PM, NICU Guy said:

Maybe someone smarter than me can explain why schools still tell graduates to get a year of Med/Surg first?

 

Your specialty is one of few that really wouldn't benefit much from a med-surg knowledge base beyond that which was already learned in school. I'm just not sure that fact translates into an advisable plan for the masses of new nurses who aren't completely sure and confident about working in one of the most highly-specialized non-adult areas of nursing.

 

On 10/16/2019 at 10:04 PM, RegenerativeNurse said:

Med/surg is general but you don't handle things in the ED the same way you would in Med/Surg. You don't even document the same. 

 

But if you didn't work as a nurse in med surg before the ED, what you can't fully appreciate is that an entire ton of of med-surg it is very applicable to the ED. 😬 Whether or not the ED documents the same way is of no consequence.

 

10 hours ago, NICU Guy said:

I think the idea of one year in Med/Surg started by a hospital that was having a hard time filling Med/Surg nursing spots so they started the "everyone needs 1 yr of Med/Surg experience" campaign.

Maybe that eventually came into play, but I don't think that is the primary reason the advice has been given. I think med-surg was originally the obvious advice because there the new grad continues on in the area of nursing that has been focused upon in school. It literally is the area of nursing with which brand new nurses have the most experience/exposure. In theory at least, that should make success more likely.

In terms of needing to fill positions, the large scale trend to put novices into specialties could appear to have come on full force out of sheer necessity. The business of healthcare made experienced nurses less available, and the wailing about the  "nursing shortage" made many new grads available. All of a sudden inexperience was better than sliced bread (apparently much better than having experienced RNs), and corporations were able to float the experiment with impunity having been smart enough to encumber the inexperienced new nurses with contracts...and the number of grads lined up at the doors for a chance at a job doesn't hurt either.

NICU Guy - I think maybe you aren't giving yourself credit for the life experience, the healthcare experience, and general intelligence and confidence that has been a huge part of making your choice work out very well. But that is not everyone's scenario, you know what I mean? There are always going to be people here and there who are very confident about a goal involving a specialty and have the life resources necessary to make it happen, and I support the idea that they should be able to go into their specialty sooner rather than later. But besides that (rather uncommon) scenario, there's no reason people wouldn't want to develop solid, widely-applicable skills in order to increase their options for the future (and improve their confidence in the dozens of other areas that can benefit from a solid m/s nursing base).

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Apply for what you want. Just be aware that L & D is very hard to get into in many places. 

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I "grew up" with the expectation that new grads must start in Med-Surg to get enough experience to move into any specialty.  And for the most part I think it still holds true.  Generally speaking it seems that what a new grad learns with an overview of medical-surgical experiences on that type of unit will work well for them should they choose to go to a different unit at some point.

I don't know if it's a hard and fast rule anymore but honestly it seems like good advice still.  Knowledge gained in Med-Surg is never wasted!  Might be applied identically or indirectly but much of the assessment skills and learned responses to a multitude of situations can only benefit a new nurse as she or he moves on in their careers.

Just my opinion anyway 🙂

 

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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10 hours ago, JKL33 said:

But besides that (rather uncommon) scenario, there's no reason people wouldn't want to develop solid, widely-applicable skills in order to increase their options for the future (and improve their confidence in the dozens of other areas that can benefit from a solid m/s nursing base).

I guess it goes along with the advice that high school graduates take general education classes until they determine what major they choose to pursue in college. I think if a new grad nurse has not focused on an area that interests them by the time they graduate, then go ahead and get the general skills that Med/Surg job offers. I don't prescribe to the philosophy that every new grad needs to have one year of Med/Surg experience regardless of their desired specialty. 

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