How do you know it's really time to specialize?

  1. I've been a floor nurse since day one. I float throughout the hospital, and I like that I see everything and literally know EVERYONE! Lately, I get really excited to know that my assignment includes a patient on (in our SNF) or transitioning to hospice (but still on acute).

    Sometimes the down side of being a Goldilocks nurse (not too little experience/not too much experience) is having all these options available to you. So, my question is, how did you know that your specialty was THE ONE that you would do for the rest of your life?
  2. Visit dudette10 profile page

    About dudette10, MSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 3,923; Likes: 11,212


  3. by   RunBabyRN
    I'm about to be a new grad RN, so my situation is different, but I've known for 10+ years what I wanted to do, and even going through my BSN program, there has been no change (except that I am open to other areas as well). Nursing is more a step stone toward my goal of being a CNM.
  4. by   OCRN3
    I think you know when you feel bored. That's when you need to turn up the notch to something else.
  5. by   inchii
    Of all the places the floated to, do you have a specific unit that you feel like you're very interested in?
  6. by   dudette10
    Quote from inchii
    Of all the places the floated to, do you have a specific unit that you feel like you're very interested in?
    Not really. I know the units I do not prefer, though.
  7. by   HouTx
    YOU ARE A SPECIALIST!!!! Your ability to work in such a wide variety of areas is unique, and far less common than the ability to function in a single 'specialty' clinical area. But if you have a yen to really 'dig in' to a particular clinical area and focus on advancing your skills & knowledge in that area, I am absolutely confident that you would be able to do so.

    When you're driving home at the end of your shift and thinking over what you accomplished that day - what makes you smile? Head in that direction and you can't go wrong.
  8. by   nurseprnRN
    The answer to this reminds me of what a therapist said in response to the question, "How do I know it's ok to make love for the first time?" The answer is, "When you can't not do it anymore."

    You can pursue your specialty now if you want to. Start with going to continuing education offerings related to it (you can call local hospice providers to ask them-- they'll know) and making specific requests at assignment time to cover hospice patients. Consider taking a hospice volunteer's orientation course-- they all have them-- and make it known that this is where you'd like to be when they have an opening for a nurse. When the hospice RN shows up on your floor, take your coffee or lunch break with her.
  9. by   dudette10
    Lots of things to think about and plan for. Thanks for taking the time to reply!
  10. by   classicdame
    don't think of it as the rest of your life. Think of growing professionally. Growth may lead to all sorts of experiences. As they say, why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit it?
  11. by   Katie71275
    I knew when I started nursing school what I wanted to specialize in. And frankly, I do not care for medsurg and knew that I did not want to work in medsurg unless I absolutely had to. I went straight to L&D from nursing school and am so happy I did. I also knew I was interested in eventually being a CNM and knew that I would want L&D experience and being a second career student, I wanted to get into my speciality earlier in my career rather than later.