I am finished with clinical rotations as of today. As happy as I should be, I dont know if I am coming or going. The nurse recruiter is working with me to get a job but the problem is I am not sure where I want to work. I would eventually like to do Maternal/Child Health. I just dont think I am ready for that. After finishing this rotation I found out that I really like the ER. I was going to do med-surg because everyone says you should for atleast a year. But the truth is, I dont know what to do. How do you make a decision as to what job you take as your first job as a new nurse?
Thanks for all the advice.
Oct 19, '06
Choose the clinical area that interests you the most, and pursue it first. If you are uncertain as to where your passions lie, ask the nurse recruiter for her help in determining your strengths and interests. (Remember, it is in her best interests to help you find a position where you will be happy and productive!) Ask the recruiter to set up a shadow day in 1 or 2 areas to help you decide.
If med/surg interests you, then go for it. If it doesn't, then don't. Med surg is a specialty in its own right, and a difficult one at that. Pursuing a specialty that doesn't interest you is like having one strike against you before you ever start. Your first year in nursing will be an incredible challenge. Start off on the best possible footing by choosing a clinical area that interests you.
Find a unit that offers a comprehensive orientation (12 weeks or so) 1:1 with a consistent preceptor. Ask what the ratio of experienced nurses (2 years or more on that unit) is to inexperienced nurses. RUN away from any unit or shift that has less than 50% experienced nurses. That is a recipe for disaster for 2 reasons: 1. You will not have sufficient numbers of experienced staff to mentor you, assist you with challenging patients, act as role models for professional development, etc. 2. If experienced nurses do not stay on the unit, there must be a reason such as poor management, poor staffing, poor quality of care, etc.
Take your time and chose wisely! Good luck!