Confused about my options...

  1. I am still a nursing student that will be graduating this May 2007. As I am getting ready to begin the job hunt I am wondering what I should be applying for. Right now, I have a love for L&D, Mother/Baby, and Peds. It's what I really want to do....right now. I am nervous though, that after a few years I may get sick of this area of nursing, want to move to another unit, or become interested in community or home health (something that I have thought about enjoying too). I guess my main question is...Am I going to have a hard time getting a job in another area of nursing if I start out in OB or Peds right away? Will a community health agency turn me away because I don't have adequate experience to carry out that type of nursing? I really dislike Med-Surg and don't want to do it if I don't have to, but I feel like it would be the *smart* thing to do. Can any RNs give me some advice on your opinions?


    Last edit by *Andrea* on Jan 11, '07
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    About *Andrea*

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 31; Likes: 1
    Telephone Triage Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience


  3. by   RNsRWe
    Well, you ought to find out first if there are areas of nursing that would not be available to you if you DON'T have a strong med-surge background. Around here, that includes any OB unit: without at least a year of med-surge, they won't look at you for L&D or anything else.

    The exception is the ICU, being SOOO shorthanded, will put new grads through a six-month training program, as will the ED. But then, of course, you would not be looked upon kindly if you decided to leave on month 7 (and money could be owed).

    For what it's worth, I, too, had no clue where I wanted to go after graduation. The one thing I was certain of was that m/s was SO not for me. Hated it in school. Never again.

    I weighed my job offers after getting my license and realized that m/s was the best career move, and offered me the best chances for gaining invaluable experience. So, I took the m/s job, a little hesitantly (because hey, I could always leave in a year, right?).

    LOL, turns out I LOVE med-surge! That's right, it was the school rotation I hated, the clinical teacher wasn't particularly good (but I didn't realize that at the time), and I think I had a fear of the acute needs and the multitude of equipment used. But now, I really like working the medical-surgical unit, honestly! Who knew

    Think about it!
  4. by   suzy253
    I graduated May 06 and still didn't feel any pull towards any areas of nursing as some of my fellow students did. I thought about the areas I had worked on clinical rotations and was pulled to a med surg/step down telemetry unit. I liked the floor, the work, the ppl, and especially one particular nurse who I chose for my preceptor. It worked out great. Never thought I would be doing med surg but this is so diversified. It has a large elderly population in this hospital which is one thing that I really wanted so no complaints here. Good luck to you.
  5. by   *Andrea*
    Yes, but still, do you guys think I will have a hard time getting a job in a completely new area if in say, 5 years I choose something other than L&D/Peds (in my area, they accept new grads)...this is what I am confused about if I don't start out on Med-Surg.
  6. by   mslpn210
    I accepted my first job on post partum and I too have wanted to know, if I quit this job in a couple years, would I be able to apply for other areas, like even just basic med surg, and still get trained and oriented a little bit? or even get the job?? I may or may not get to practice trach care/wound care/ostomy care etc (none of which other than wound care i got to do in school) in postpartum so am i doomed for later on????
  7. by   RNsRWe
    Well, to both breezy and Andrea, I can't say with any certainty how "doomed" you'd be in other areas if you worked in maternity for five years....but I can say that experience in med-surge is what is looked at for practically everything. Our unit has hired nurses who have experience outside m/s, but none that has had NO experience in m/s if they've been long out of nursing school.

    Not every m/s unit does ALL that is available in the way of skills; for instance, my unit does not do vents or trachs, but another med unit in our hospital does. We all do wound care, but if it's not a surgical candidate, then the woundcare admit probably goes to the other unit. So you might find yourself, depending on where you work, with not a total complete Jack of All Trades kind of experience anyway.

    My best guess is that yes, you'd have a hard time finding employment in a specialty that requires strong acute care skills and assessment skills if you've been outside that arena for long. No one can guarantee against it or for it, but what I've found so far is that nurses who have worked for eight or ten years in clinics and medical offices right after school haven't fared well in hospital settings regardless of specialty, and that's because the skills needed just haven't been practiced in too long a time.

    If you're sure that maternity/OB/L&D are your lifes' passion and you'd never want to leave (AND you know for a fact that you DON'T need m/s background to apply) then there's no need to look further. But, if you're asking my opinion, if you should have experience in m/s before going into that, I'd have to say yes.
  8. by   *Andrea*
    Thanks alot everyone, all this info helps alot, but I posted the same thing in the Career Advice Forum...and they told me completely the opposite! Now I'm just a little more confused...eek!
  9. by   Mission
    If you really feel passionate about maternity/peds I think you should do what you like. If you decide 5 years from now that you want to go to med/surg from L&D I am sure you'll find a place that will help you make the transition provided that you impress them on the interview. L&D would be fine experience for community and home health (new mothers need it too) care. I personally, have no interest in ever working in a hospital and took my first job at a SNF. I started orienting with another nurse who had 8 years of hospital experience who quit before we finished orientation because she was overwhelmed by our patients medication regimens and psych issues. I think med/surg is the place to be if you know you want to stay in a hospital setting or if your not sure what you want to do.