New Grad: grunt work or unique abroad experience? - page 2

Hi All! I would love your input on this.... So I have a unique opportunity that presents some interesting pros and cons. I was curious what the nursing community would have to say about this... I... Read More

  1. by   greatgirl123
    follow your dream...
    I volunteer to Haiti, a week after the earthquake. It was an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life. Many people was impressed. As a matter of fact, the FNP school I got accepted to was so impressed. Go for it, it will look great in your resume... but most important of it all, follow your heart...follow your dreams...
  2. by   GBRKG122
    I'm a year away from graduating with my BSN & cannot get living in Latin America post-graduation out of my brain The "year of med surg experience" is the motto at my nursing school and it just doesn't feel like the next best step for me. I've already completed a *fancy* graduate school education & have worked at one of the best hospitals in the world. I feel like I've had different dreams and worked towards achieving them. I've experienced different work and academic settings figuring which ones are a good fit. But I don't hear too many stories or positive feedback about going abroad as a new nurse. This seems strange because I wanted to get my BSN in order to do things that were outside of bedside nursing, such as public health, counseling, health policy, teaching, social services, et cetera. I never really saw myself doing bedside nursing and I'm wondering where your career has taken you. I worry I would do the 1 - 3 years of med surg & go running off to Latin America.
  3. by   Kx556
    This thread is so old but I'm bumping it I'll be starting nursing school soon and have been having some doubts recently about getting through NS because I have little interest in traditional bedside nursing. I too have always been more interested in the public health policy and social work side of nursing. It would be my dream come true to work with developing communities abroad!!! Anyway, thank you to the posters of this thread for giving me a bit of reassurance that such a thing is possible If anyone has any advice I would freakin love to hear it!!!
  4. by   GBRKG122
    Thank you so much for posting, Kx556! Always love to hear from someone who is also interested in public health policy and social work as an aspiring RN I'm currently in my last year of nursing school: I'm a 29-year-old *non-traditional student* earning my BSN after completing my undergrad degree in public health, my master's degree, and working in a hospital in social services for the past six years. I definitely think I'm at a place in my career where following my heart when it comes to my next job, as cheesy as it sounds, is what will make me happiest when I graduate in May. The reason I include a little bit of background about myself is (sadly) because I feel like I need to justify why I want to take a more *non-traditional* path once I am a RN. When I say I want to join the Peace Corps upon graduation or hope to teach public health classes in a school in Latin America, the reaction I get is one... that's hard to explain :-/ It's almost as though they think I'm committing "nursing career suicide" or something :-/ Just not really supportive of a "new nurse not getting experience." I'm trying to soak this info in as people caring and providing helpful guidance, but it's scaring me haha [nervous laughter]. Maybe it's because nursing school can be a bit scary and nerve-wracking too? Who knows!

    The reason I chose nursing versus other professions is because nurses are everywhere and the opportunities are limitless. I've always found the aspects of non-traditional nursing fascinating and before entering nursing school, I didn't doubt that I would find my own niche within the profession. So I've been really surprised at how weird / isolated I have felt throughout nursing school when it comes to my academic & professional interests. Kind of feel like the odd one out when I'm not as excited as my classmates by injections, IVs, meds, EKGs, et cetera in the clinical setting. I'm much more interested in contact precautions, cultural competence, and psychosocial support. I know I should focus on what I love about nursing, but it can be a bit difficult sometimes when the vast majority of the BSN curriculum is geared towards hospitals, which I totally understand since this is the most prevalent place (percentage-wise) of employment for nurses in the United States. I have an incredible amount of respect and just... awe for nurses who work at the bedside in hospitals. Maybe someday I could do it (keeping an open / flexible outlook), but I really don't think it's a good fit for me.

    I know I'm rambling a TON, but this is a topic that is constantly on my mind every day as a nursing student. I'm hoping when I graduate I'll be less worried about my first job as a new nurse. I tell my classmates, I will be the most *social-worky* nurse ever ;o) I love public health too I truly believe you can combine nursing with ANYTHING: public health, finance, psych, law, you name it! I love hearing other people's stories and where their nursing career has taken them: always a source of encouragement.
  5. by   BonnieSc
    Have you considered that nurses have "limitless opportunities" because historically, nurses have always had hospital experience first? I work as a nurse in Africa now. Here (as in the US, really) it's difficult to work with people who have strong ideas about what should be happening in the hospitals, and in the health sector in general, without a great idea of what actually goes on on the ground. And in nursing school we only get a bit of that. I never, ever expected to be a bedside nurse when I started nursing school; I wanted to do almost anything else, public health or hospice or home birth midwifery or, especially, working in developing countries. I count my years as a bedside nurse as invaluable in helping me with the job I do today. I used to think bedside nursing would be boring; now I think it's the most exciting possible career in nursing (thumbs up if it's outside the typical US hospital, though).

    Probably my position to do good here would also be strengthened if I'd done some public health work first, too. But don't miss my main point: pretty much all those nurses who work in all those arenas DID start at the bedside.

    (Sometimes that was in school, but that was back in the day when nursing clinicals were a three-year, full-time job and provided enough experience to move on.)
  6. by   sunnynurse36
    Having been a public health nurse and a hospice nurse I would have never been successful at it without putting my time in at the hospital. What they teach in school is not how it works in the real world of nursing but that's just my experience.