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Does My Experience Count?

I am an RN with a ADN and have been working in Ambulatory Care (medical clinic) for the past 2 years.(Worked as a LPN for 1yr prior in the same setting) I graduate with my BSN this May and am unsure if I should be applying to new grad positions or regular staff RN positions even though I don't have the "acute care" experience. I really want to transition into a inpatient setting (Med-Surg) but feel as though my experience in an outpatient setting might not count for much. Although I have learned so much about caring for patients with chronic illnesses I still lack that acute care experience. Has anyone had a similar circumstances and was able to land a job? How did you go about it?

Any advise will be greatly appreciated.


kiszi, RN

Has 9 years experience.

People seem to have differing opinions on this subject. I feel that once you have at least a year of experience-in any setting- that you are no longer a new grad. The LPN experience doesn't count on paper but is still helpful. I would apply to regular staff RN positions. They will understand that you will need more orientation than someone who's worked in acute care.

Since you have experience as an RN typically places won't consider you a new grad, even though you don't have experience in acute care.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

It really depends on the particular employer. You'll have to ask the employers that interest you.

I work for a specialty hospital (children's hospital) that tailor's its orientation to the individual new hire. A person such as yourself might or might not be included in a hiring cohort of new grads -- depending on who else we were hiring at the same time. If we were hiring some new grads and some experience peds nurses, we would put you in with the new grads. But if we were also hiring some people with a little RN experience in adult care, we might put you in with them. It would depend on the specifics of our situation, not just your background.

Bottom line: you'll have to ask the particular employers that interest you

Tip: If you really want the thorough orientation (like a new grad would get), you might have better luck applying to highly specialized units or specialty hospitals. Such places are accustomed to having to provide extensive orientations to RN's with some experience -- but not in their specialty. The "general med/surg" units often don't provide much orientation unless you are a brand new grad. They are simply not set up that way and don't have the resources to provide as much orientation to as many people.


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