How did you choose the area of nursing

  1. that you ended up in?

    Did you always know that it was what you wanted to do, did you just have an epiphany in clinical or was it just by chance of what was offered? or, some other reason?

    I'm trying to figure out in which area i want to do my Transition, and i feel so torn. i loved L&D/post-partum/nursery and could see wanting to pursue women's health as a nurse practioner... so i had thought that i made up my mind, but part of me feels that eventhough i'd be happy, i'd still feel like i'd be missing out on something- I guess because the initial thing that drew me to nursing was that i wanted to help 'sick' people. I liked peds, so that's a consideration, but i worry that it might affect me harder when i have kids. I just finished up my rounds on a Tele floor, and actually liked it alot more than i thought i would, though it's not something that i could see myself doing for too long (its split b/w med/surg and tele and we were there for our Geri rotation). I Loved the PICU, but wonder if i would like ICU better. i loved being able to really focus in on those few patients, but i know that most people would suggest gaining some experience first before going to the ICU, and that makes sense to me.

    So i guess i was just curious how everyone ended up where they are... and how they picked that area... any tips for figuring it out?

    I still have a year before graduation, but i'll need to choose where i want to do my transition (90 extra clinical hours in your area of interest) soon, and i want to choose the area that i will most likely be going into, so that i can gain as much experience and make it as valuable as possible.

    Thanks
  2. Visit neeniebean profile page

    About neeniebean

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 153; Likes: 26
    Specialty: Telemetry

    15 Comments

  3. by   clee1
    Your "choice" will be narrowed by both your interest and facility policy. Some places won't let you start out in an ICU or in L&D, etc. Those that will might not have an opening in your desired area.

    I went from school to a Med/Surg floor - and mine is mostly Med/ICU stepdown w/ very little pre and post surgery. I am a former paramedic and wanted to go to work in an ER, but bowed to advice from a respected instructor and went to M/S to "gain experience and a broad foundation".

    Total crapola! I spend my shifts at a dead run trying to get meds passed, treatments done, and a mountain of charting accomplished. While I have learned alot here, I don't feel as if I am using my full potential - a good bulk of my time is spent in non-patient care stuff.

    Go with your gut and start where you think you'll be happiest - but don't be surprised if you find that it isn't what you thought it would be and migrate to a different area.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Dixielee
    The beauty of nursing, versus many other health care fields is that you can have a variety of jobs and still be a nurse. You don't have to settle for one type of nursing. You can move around and try new areas.

    I may be old fashioned in my thinking, but I think new grads do themselves a disservice when they go into a specialty area right out of school. I think you need to learn to be a generalist first, then specialize if you want to. If you try to specialize too early, you rule out a lot of good opportunities that may come along later.

    Learn to be a good solid nurse first. Get your assessment and people skills down pat. Know your stuff so when a fat cat doc or old crotchety nurse tries to intimidate you, you will have a leg to stand on. That takes time and you will get your feelings bruised a few times before you get stronger.

    My advice is to not look at anything as your passion until you take the time to shop around. You will get a very small snapshot of a variety of areas while in school, but there are too many variations in nursing to possibly see them all in school.

    Get your feet wet in med surg or general cardiology first. Everything you learn there will transfer to whatever you choose. Good luck, may you have a long and productive career.
  5. by   teeituptom
    I just did what I wanted to do, simple really.
  6. by   see2mee
    I tried to pick an area that was completely different from any of my other clinical experiences throughout school. I thought it would be a good idea to branch out to something different while I had the opportunity. I did my "Role Transition" in outpatient surgery, and I LOVED IT! I was not able to find a job in that area right out of school, but it became my goal to get there someday. After a year on a unit where I was not happy, I took a position as relief staff in outpatient surgery as a way in the door. As soon as there was an opening, I was poised to take it. I couldn't be happier with my job now. Good luck to you in finding an area you will enjoy.
  7. by   ORSmurf
    I loved every area I experienced during clinicals in school, but I always wanted to work in the OR. I was really lucky and as an LVN, because the hospital where I worked actually trained me to scrub. After I became an RN, I transitioned to the circulator role. Now I work at a surgery center and I love it. The hours can't be beat and we have a truely awesome team there. Sometimes I think about doing something completely different (after working OR for 10 years now), but I think I'd miss the OR too much.
  8. by   StrwbryblndRN
    I am struggling like you to figure out what I want. I am going to go the med/surg route and beef up basic skills, while at the same time seeing what is out there.
    I have no previous experience but what I learned in school.
    I am at a point that I just want to work and learn as much as I can to flourish. I do not know where that may be and I don't expect myself to know. I have not experienced enough.
    I would like to specialize at some point but since I have only experienced a little from certain areas I am not going to rack my brain.
    I will figure my niche one day. Just not now.
  9. by   KellNY
    I just knew.

    And when I started having doubts (2nd guessing myself), my little guy came along and solidified everything.

    People say I'm lucky, because i truly feel like i had a calling...there was never any time, money, energy wasted trying to figure out what I wanted to do, what was a good fit for me, etc.
  10. by   brwneyegal
    i actually chose nursing late in life. i was married with children. my sister and cousin had both gone to nursing school a year before i did. i wanted to go to school for something, i thought i would go for phlebotomy. i was working in a mail order pharmacy as a pharm tech at the time. my husband and i talked and he suggested if i was to go to school to go into a field i knew i would get a job. i chose nursing. i started working as a cna and realized i loved taking care of patients and 11 years later i still love what i do.
  11. by   SICU Queen
    I started out in Rehab, moved briefly to Med-Surg, then Tele, then ICU, threw in some L&D and Newborn Nursery, but for the most part, have been SICU for years. I just started a Case Manager job last week, and so far it's been pretty okay. Different focus, though!

    Remember that if you choose an area and don't like it, you can always move on. (Like me, lol...)

    If I had to do it all over again I would start in L&D and get an advanced degree in Women's Health. I LOVED that area. You will get some sick patients in there. It's not always frequent, but you will.

    Good luck!
  12. by   CCL"Babe"
    I went into nursing scholl thinking that I wanted to do hospice nursing. I had joined the local volunteer ambulance as a way to meet people and possibly help me with getting more familar with health problems. My first call was a cardiac arrest. I was hooked. After that all I wanted was the ER. I got my Pre hospital nurse certification as well and worked on a medic unit part time as well as the ED. I eventually got "burned out" and realized that I could not do ER any longer. I transitioned to Cath Lab which still had the excitement but the over all stress & hours were better. A back injury ended my hospital nursing career. Now I work for an insurance company - the pay is not as good but I enjoy it.
  13. by   neeniebean
    thank you so much for all of the responses! :spin:
  14. by   jill48
    at the moment i am getting ready to start a new job in home health. i chose that because summer is coming and i'm tired of leaving my kids for 12-14 hours a day. i need to be able to work around them, though it will only be for a few more years. one of my sons is going to turn 16 on friday, the other will turn 9 in august. then i will go back to my true love, which is geriatrics. why geriatrics? because i have a gift when it comes to helping my patients (and their families) through the death process. i had no intention of doing this when i was in nursing school. but with the first death, i realized this was my place, i was meant to be here. it's funny because in nursing school i thought i wanted to be an ob nurse. boy was i way off base. i don't know how they do it. the first time i ever saw a sick (or god forbid, deceased) baby, i would lose it. i would take that home with me and it would kill me. i could not handle that. for some reason, in my mind, an older person who has lead a full life is more of a "natural" death to me. i can handle this. and i can help others handle it too. so, that's me.

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