21 days to graduation and still unsure

  1. :roll So happy it's almost over but how many times have I heard "What do you want to do, or Where do you want to work". I still don't know. Shouldn't I know by now? Has it been everyone's experience that med-surg is a better place to start out to get your feet (skills) under you and then later move to a speciality area? I have no previous medical background prior to nursing school. Do you think this will hurt me for interviews?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Visit atenpen profile page

    About atenpen

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 12


  3. by   llg
    It's not the end of the world that you still don't know where you want to work. Many, many years ago when I graduated, I didn't know for sure. I had a few ideas, but had not settled on just 1.

    To help you decide ... were there any clinical experiences in school that you really did NOT like? Sometimes, it's easier to rule out a few things to narrow the field of possibilities before trying to pick just one thing. For example, I knew I hated adult med-surg -- so, that eliminated a lot of possibilities. I knew I preferred maternal-child -- so, I focused on peds, maternity, and neonatal. Then, I narrowed it down further by figuring out that I preferred babies to big people -- and went NICU.

    So ... can you eliminate anything from the long list of possibilities? Perhaps you don't like working with kids ... or have no interest in Psych ... etc. Start thinking of the big list of possibilities and cross off those things that don't appeal to you. Then look at what you have left. Is there a common theme? Are their good opportunities for employment in any of those specialties in the area in which you want to live?

    Remember too, that the first job you take out of school doesn't have to be the job you will have for the rest of your life. What you want is a job that will give you the support you need to make that transition from student to professional -- hopefully in a general field of nursing that you don't hate. As you get a little more experience, you can further identify what types of patients you like to work with best -- and begin to hone in on a specialty that's a good fit for you.

    Last edit by llg on Apr 18, '03
  4. by   Love-A-Nurse
    first, let me say, congratulations. llg's suggestion to reflect back to your clinical rotations to help you decide where you may want to or not want to start working, is a great idea.

    Last edit by Love-A-Nurse on Apr 18, '03
  5. by   mom2rosebudbaby
    Congratulations!! on your upcoming graduation. I think it is normal for all these unsure feelings. Just relax and decide for yourself what "YOU" want to do. My instructors kept telling me that everyone needs the med-surg experience to get started with and that you can work anywhere in the hospital in you have this experience. While this is probably true, I know many people go right into the specialty area that they are interested in and work for years in this area and never get the med-surg experience. I am one who listened to the instructors and am currently getting my med-surg experience and I don't know if that is all it is talked up to be. I like it okay but at times there are aspects of it that I just don't think I would encounter in other depts of the hospital. Since I have invested so much time in this area I am trying to get used to it and see if "it grows on me" so to say. I just hope I haven't settled and stay here. I know that I would like to try something else in the near future. I just don't know how hard it will be to get a transfer or start over somewhere else.

    I would be interested in hearing from others who have transferred to other areas and their experiences.

    Good Luck! You won't have a problem getting a job, so relax about that one.
  6. by   ERNurse752
    Congratulations on graduating soon!

    Is there a hospital in your area that has an internship program where new nurses can rotate through different areas?

    llg gave very good advice.

    I don't think it will hurt you on interviews. The way things are right now, as long as you have a license (or will have one soon) and a pulse, you'll get a job.
  7. by   Rapheal
    Hey atepen, search out the previous threads on med/surg topics and I think you will get some great info. It's ok to not be sure at this time. You will find your way. Some new grads know exactly what they want, and some do not. Good luck in your new career!!
  8. by   llg
    To mom2rosebudboy: I have coordinated lots of orientations for people who transferred from adult med-surg or pediatric general care areas into one of my NICU's and I have one piece of advice for you:

    Don't stay too long where you are working now if you don't think you want to be the "semi-permanently." If you allow yourself to get tooooo comfortable, the switch to another specialty (and I think every unit is a specialty unit) will become more difficult. For some people, having to learn new protocols, new standards of care, even new parameters for "normal" vital signs it traumatic. If you are one of those people who really likes that feeling of comfort and competance that comes with a couple of years of experience in the same place -- suddenly losing that feeling may feel like the rug has been pulled out from beneath you and you might want to run back to your old unit where you feel a sense of belonging.

    I have a good friend (also in Staff Development) who firmly believes that the 2nd job you have out of school is the hardest one to adjust to, not the first. With the first job, you EXPECT to fee green for a while and are OK with that. After you've learned their protocols and start to feel comfortable and competent, it is hard to give that up. Also, new grads often start to believe that the protocols, etc. of their first job is the RIGHT way to do things. It can be disillusioning and frustrating to go somewhere else that does things differently. Some people cope better than others with such a transition.

    Most people who have worked 3 or 4 jobs seem more able to "go with the flow" of a new job situation -- knowing that no one way is right and the others are not all wrong.

    Just something to think about ...
  9. by   Tweety
    First of all your lack of experience will not hurt you. You nursing license and degree will get you a job. There's a shortage remember? Don't worry about that.

    I would recommend med-surg if you are unsure, it establishes a good foundation in a variety of settings. I get's your organization and time management skills in gear. It can be tough and stressful and it takes a long long time to feel sure of yourself.

    Good luck and congrats!