Just Curious

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I was just wondering how many nurses here have never worked in an hospital? Do you feel you missed out on anything? What kind of jobs have you had? I have had so many experienced nurses tell me you should always start out on a med/surg floor before going anywhere else. I absolutely hate the hospital environment. I prefer clinics, preventative care, etc., but I am wondering is this going to hurt me in the end? I would love to hear about other nurses and their career paths that did not center on the hospital environment and how they succeeded. Any input is greatly appreciated.


    Last edit by Purple_RN on Jan 17, '03
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    About Purple_RN

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 32
    BSN, RN / Diabetes Educator


  3. by   Tweety
    If you hate hospitals and probably will never workin one, how is it going to hurt you?

    Go for what you think will give you the most satisfaction. Why make yourself miserable.

    Med/Surg floors are an excellent place to get a good foundation, learn assessments and prioritizing on a wide variety of patients. A lot of people do this then move on to agencies, home health, critical care, etc. But it isn't necessary, especially if you hate it.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 17, '03
  4. by   JNJ
    Purple: Good question.

    There's no doubt that a thorough knowledge of Med/Surg informs so much of what we do, wherever we practice. However, personally speaking, I do have a very wide background in nursing and have felt as if I'm a well rounded, knowledgable RN, useful and minimally competent almost anywhere, but not actually an expert anywhere (and I'm at the end of my career).

    There are so many specialty areas these days; even a general practice community based clinic is a speciality. If you are sure where your heart lies for your future practice, go and start there.

    I've been faculty and conventional wisdom is 'do the med/surg' and certainly, sometimes that is asked for before interviewing for jobs. However, the times they are a-changing . . .
    I'm just about ready to advise any new RN to go with his/her heart and gut feelings.

    I'll be interested in other responses.
  5. by   LoriAnnRN
    I agree with the above two posts in that at least one year in the hospital gives you a good foundation. In fact, I have always recommended it to the student nurses I was paired with. I agree with you that it is not for everyone, but I do think it is necessary. It gives you experience in hard-core acute nursing and this is a must in my opinion. I did 3 years in hospitals in a variety of specialties, critical care included. I was a traveller for 1 1/2 years of that and I know that without that acute care experience foundation in a teaching hospital, I would not have been able to travel or be hired eventually as a home health care nurse and supervisor. I only make reference to home health nursing because it actually 'saved' me from getting out of nursing altogether. I was completely burned out and frustrated after 3 years of bedside nursing and ready to throw in the towel. I tried home health on a lark and it turned out to be the best thing I have ever done. But--I would have never been hired without my hospital experience. It is a prerequesite for all home health jobs. I suspect that employers in other areas of nursing feel the same way. I now work at a county jail and we are reluctant to hire nurses that do not have at least some hospital-bedside- nursing experience. It's difficult for me to express, but it is vitally important that you stick it out for at least one year. Just my opinion though! After that year (or however long you can take it), follow your heart.
  6. by   researchrabbit
    I have never worked in a hospital. Got my RN in 2000, but had previously done research for 10 years; have just continued in that vein. Switched from pharmaceutical research to NIH funded research this year. I like it, it suits me, and I'm not sure that floor nursing ever would. I'm back in school for hypnotherapy, so at some point I'll be working for myself (maybe)...
  7. by   caliotter3
    They have always said that one yr in med/surg is a requirement, and yes, it would get you a good foundation. But in today's environment, from what I have heard from other's, I would never step foot in an overburdened, disastrous work sit. As far as I am concerned, my stint in LTC was enough of a test of fire for me. And I am now in home hlth, and yes I got told one yr m/s exp, but then they still hired me, so what gives? Well, still, at this point, I would say if you have options try them until you find a place that makes you happy.
  8. by   Purple_RN
    To everyone that replied to my post I just wanted to say thanks.

    Take Care,

  9. by   cindyln
    I have worked both in a hospital and in clinics and I prefer the hospital setting. I found working in the clinic that I missed the hands on patient care.For me working in the clinic was more management skills then nursing.