Looking for advise on where to get the best experience after graduation

  1. Sorry if you have already read this I have posted in student forum and this one now. Like many students I have been told that the best place to get the all around skills as a nurse is Med/Surg. The problem is I find the amount of pt's those nurses take care of a frightening thought. They are some of the hardest working. I never back down from a challenge but I do not think I am a person cut out for that rat race. I love cardio, peds, ICU, and ER, used to be a paramedic. I like diversity and would like to work several area's but I also want to start with a good base of knowledge. I do not graduate until December, 04. I currently don't work in a hospital because the pay as an intern is to low and I am a single dad of 3, and it has limited my ability to see the different working enviorments and grasp first hand where would be best for me to start. Thank you for any advise. Mark.
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    About finchertwins

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 53; Likes: 3
    RN Critical care


  3. by   ERNurse752
    There are many differing opinions on whether new grads should work MedSurg first. My opinion is that if you don't want to, don't do it. I didn't, and haven't regretted it.

    I was an EMT toward the end of high school, and during nursing school. I worked in CICU as a tech and then a student nurse extern during school. Went to ER after graduation and did OK.

    I think that as long as you get a good orientation, you can succeed in whatever area you desire. It also helps that you have paramedic experience.

    See if you can do some shadowing at a hospital in the areas you have interest in.

    ER is nice because there's always a little bit of everything. I like a lot of different things, but I get tired of doing the same thing all the time.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Tweety
    Depends on where your interests lie. I would think the best foundation based on your interests would be in an ER where you would see a wide variety of patients, different scenerios, including cardio and critical patients, and perhaps even peds. Being a paramedic might look good on the resume for the ER as well. Med-Surg isn't for everyone and it used to be somewhat of a right of passage that most managers would look for in a new grad, but not anymore.

    Good luck!
  5. by   SCRN1
    I'd heard the same as you, did really great in school, but wanted to only work in L&D or peds, and thought the same way as you about skipping med/surg since I didn't think I'd need it.

    I was hired straight out of school to work L&D. This hospital doesn't usually hire new grads in that dept, but because of my grades & other awards I'd gotten while in school, they hired me anyway. I thought this was the place I was meant to be and would be there until I retired. In less than a year, however, I realized it wasn't where I wanted to work and moved out to the Mother/Baby floor as soon as a position became available. Next thing I knew, my kids pediatrician office got me to come work for them at a new office they'd opened up. Again, I thought that was things just falling into place for me. Another bonus was no more nights, weekends, or holidays. Once there (even though I LOVED working there), I felt like I was losing my skills because you don't do as much in an office as you can in a hospital. With that, less pay for the same (or more) hours, and having to commute to another town to go to work everyday, I decided to leave there.

    I planned to go straight back to work, but I ended up needing some surgery and then with different things going on with my kids, it turned out that I didn't work for 2 years.

    When I did go back to work, I felt like I had forgotten everything I'd learned in nursing school that I'd worked so hard to learn. In L&D, Mother/Baby, or an office, I didn't get the chance to use even half the knowledge I'd gained in school. So, I decided to go the route I'd always been told while in school...start back out in Med/Surg.

    Fortunately, I was hired to work on an Orthopedic floor. This type floor usually gets all the med/surg overflow and we get LOTS. I get to see all kinds of things I'd only heard about in school. Luckily, I remembered more than I realized, but still not enough to feel as good about it as I would have if I'd started on a floor like this right after graduating. I'm blessed to work with some great nurses who don't mind answering any questions if it's something I've never seen or can't remember. I wish I had "sacrificed" at least my first year working in some type of med/surg floor just to get a good foundation.

    If peds is an area you think you'll enjoy working in, you should gain a lot of different skills working on that type floor. I wouldn't suggest working in an office right off like I did though. ER would be great experience too. But, in my opinion, I wouldn't start out there myself for several reasons.

    If I could do it all over again, I would've started out in Med/Surg to reinforce what I'd just learned in school. I think it would've helped me more in whatever other area of nursing I later decided to work in. That's just my opinion. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
  6. by   rjflyn
    Being a paramedic and now a nurse, I can tell you now that based on my clinical experence when I was in nursing school you will be bored as can be working med/surg. But if thats what you choose dont worry so much about the number of pts you are taking care of. With all the change in the wind about patient ratios, I personally dont think its going to be long and you are going to see nation wide limits. Besides that with hospitals as short as they are one can be choosy where one goes to work and that is a question one should ask at the interview. And as always get any promises made in writing.