If you're happy w/your 1st RN job ...

  1. would you tell me where you're working (what type of floor or unit) and how many patients you have? I will be graduating in May and still am not sure where I want to work. I do know I do not want to work on the floors where I'm doing clinicals. Each RN takes 10 pts with one LPN and maybe a CNA to help, and the RNs are always stressed. Not for me!

    Thank you in advance!
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    About RN007

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 542; Likes: 114
    from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience


  3. by   RNSuzq1
    Hi Linda,

    Throughout school, all our Instructors told us that the best place for a New Grad to start was with a year on a Med/Surg Floor. Strangely, most said they hated Med/Surg, but we'd gain tons of experience. I hope to eventually go into the OR, ER or perhaps Home Health, but listened to them and accepted a position on a strictly surgical floor.

    We have 5 patients, not 10 (which would be totally ridiculous to try and manage). I've only been on the floor for 3 months and honestly - my Instructors were right, I've seen and done so many things that I only read about in school and would never have the chance to get this much experience in a more specialized field. On Med/Surg - you get a little bit of everything and learn all the skills you'll use throughout your career.

    With that said, I knew from the first week that floor Nursing is not what I want to do long term. It's very hard work, on your feet for 12 hours, often without breaks and like you mentioned - the RN's are often very, very stressed out. Some of the NA's are very helpful, but some spend most of the shift in the break room and do as little as possible and since RN's are ultimately responsible for patient care - we take up the slack. Some of the Nurses on my floor have been there for years and I commend them for that, but pretty sure a year of this type of Nursing is all I'll be able to handle and I'll be ready to move into something more specialized. Hope this helps. Sue...

    Quote from RN007
    would you tell me where you're working (what type of floor or unit) and how many patients you have? I will be graduating in May and still am not sure where I want to work. I do know I do not want to work on the floors where I'm doing clinicals. Each RN takes 10 pts with one LPN and maybe a CNA to help, and the RNs are always stressed. Not for me!

    Thank you in advance!
  4. by   Hooligan
    I just accepted a job on a Peds/Adult Med-surg unit. I haven't started working yet (orientation doesn't start until November 13th) but I had many of the same concerns you had about nurset. ratio and such. I've been told that the most we will get is 1:6 adults and 1:5 peds on the evening shift. If you're concerned about it, ask what the ratios are during your interview....I did. Look at it this way...they're not just interviewing you...you interviewing them to find out if it seems like a place you'd like to work. Good luck to you! I hated the interviewing process and am sooooo relieved to have that part over with for now.
  5. by   suzy253
    I'm very happy with my 1st RN job. I never thought I would want med surg but it's true, you do learn a lot and get up to speed pretty quickly. I work a med-surg/step-down telemetry unit. Patient ratio varies depending on the census. The least amt I've had was 5 or 6; the most was prob about 9. i work 3-11 shift/24 hrs; we have wonderful staff on this shift and all work together to help each other out. I had the most wonderful preceptor as well so that made all the difference.
  6. by   NurseBunky
    I'm happy with my first RN job. I work in Pediatrics. We take up to 5 patients a day on our Med/Surg floor. I knew all throughout nursing school that I couldnt work with adults. They are just too needy!! lol!! Kids can be too but there fun. I've learned a great deal. I've been off orientation now 4 weeks. Good luck to you and congradulations!!!
  7. by   am17sg05
    i was very happy with my first jobsychiatric nursing.honestly,i didn't want nursing at first.i was just encouraged by my parents.the only area i enjoyed in my clinicals are psych and pedia.that's why i chose psych when i applied.but they are right.as a new grad,it's better if you go to the medical area first.when i went here in us,it was a big transition because i was assigned in er.it was stressful but i learned a lot and staff were very supportive.then i went to tele,i learned more.now i'm back to psych but i am happy to say that i know better now as an rn.during night shift,in er,you got 4-5 rooms to cover;in tele,you got 6-9 pts;in psych,you got 5-7 pts.goodluck to you!
  8. by   4quanyin
    I graduated in late June and began working the end of July. I work on a med-surg unit with mostly ortho, post-surgical and 23 hour observation patients. We usually have 5 patients during day shift or 6-7 at night. There is usually one CNA every 8 patients. I really enjoy working med-surg, although I would like to work with more medical patients. I plan to eventually work home health/ hospice, where I worked as an aide. There is so much to learn in med-surg, I really recommend it because you will learn so much.Best of luck with your new career!
  9. by   LoveTheNICU
    I love my 1st RN job! I work in Neonatal Intensive Care. We generally have 2 babies if they are critical, 3-4 if they are stable (not on a vent, growing and gaining weight and learning to eat...). At times, we have a 1-1 situation if the baby is very sick (lots of blood products or drips, etc.) but that rarely happens. Also, occasionally we end up with three babies on the intensive side- for example, I admitted a fairly stable kid who just needed some CPAP on top of a ventilated kid and another recent admit we were giving boluses to.

    I know many people are talking about doing a year of med-surg to get your feet wet, so to speak. However, I feel that I did the right thing by going straight into my specialty area. It is so vastly different from anything I would have done or seen on an adult general unit that I do not feel I am losing skills by not having done that time. Hope this helps!
  10. by   AussieKylie
    I am not sure if I am happy with my first job as I am still getting grips on tasks, routine and trying to give my nursing care in a nice honourable way.. So far that is tough. I work in Cardiothoracic and have been in this unit for 2months. Pt load 1:4 during mornings and afternoon shifts and nightduty 1:5//6?? depends. I am finding it tough with time management but yeh do learn alot. I am weary and cautious on the floor however all I can do is try my best and be safe. I ask a lot of questions. My confidence is still growing. Its tough and stressful, however I am hanging in there.
  11. by   EricJRN
    Like LoveTheNICU, I also work neonatal intensive care and love it. We have similar patient:nurse ratios.
  12. by   truern
    I LOVE my first RN job. I already knew I felt at home during clinical there my last semester. The nurses actually embraced students, and sought out opportunities for us to observe and learn.

    I've been blessed with two great preceptors (one only works 7-3 so I eventually switched to my next preceptor who works the 12 hour shift).

    Even though we're a tele unit, we still get some pretty interesting cases. We've even had copperhead bites! There's never a dull moment!

    Hopefully it will not only be my first RN job, but my ONLY RN job
  13. by   Black Nightingale
    I work on a 51 bed Medical-Surg Unit w/ a concentration in Orthopedics. We get lots of shoulder, hip, and knee replacement surgeries, plus many fracture repairs. It is great to get the experience of learning the MedSurg stuff like GI surgeries and big, nasty wounds. I work 1900-0730, and at night our patient load is 1:5 max. We used to take 6 as an RN, plus cover LPN's but we dont do that anymore. I worked on this floor as a tech for 3 years while I was in nursing school, so I knew that it was a great floor to learn on because of the many complex issues our patients often have. Its busy, hard-work, but the quality of experienc gained outweighs all of that to me!
  14. by   Jennerizer
    I started in PCU/tele nearly two years ago & I'm still here. Max pt load is 5:1, but usually 4:1 although tonight I only have 3 patients & it's pretty nice. Sometimes we get a tech, sometimes we don't - no guarantees.