hospital, Dr office, outpatient?


Short background: I worked as an LPN for a year in a SNF while finishing my RN. Worked home health as an RN for 2.5 months not because I wanted to but it's all I could get when I moved to my current state ...I've now been on a med surg floor for about 8 months was my goal, NICU and peds being my ultimate goal... med/surg of course being the only floor I could get....luckily it's a great floor with overall great staff and patient ratios so even if med surg isn't my fave, I generally enjoy my floor and don't mind being there.

I guess I'm just wondering if everyone goes thru this crossroads so early in their nursing career where they start to consider all kinds of nursing when you previously had your mind set on one thing?

I'm trying to apply to NICU/PICU/inpatient peds at the hospital closer to me. Because children are my passion. I've been doing night shift since I started nursing, with an exception here and there. I adjust wonderfully to change and nightshift...I could do it for longer, but I am tiring of it and day shift sounds nicer and nicer ... but NOT at my current job because I have to drive so far and I'd rather do that driving at night ...not to mention, for all the gas money I spend, it helps to have the night differential.

I've also considered the non acute environment of a dr office ... I THINK hospital nursing is what I want, but who knows! I'm not saying it's not stressful, but I guess I started thinking about how crazy it is that nurses stay in the hospital for years ...when acute care is REALLY stressful...don't they ever want to catch a break?

I enjoy having so many days off with 12 hr shifts in acute care. But it might be nice to be out of work in the afternoons...and even if I only get weekends off, I'd still have evenings free all week to run errands, grab dinner, or have a glass of wine post work without having to rush to shower and go straight to bed like with 12 hr shifts ...and all holidays off which would be nice since I live 1000 miles away from my family and it'd be nice to know I always have those special days free. Although holidays off are not my driving force by any means.

I've always also considered at some point in my career switching from acute care after several years to something like outpatient chemo center ...and have even considered being an office nurse in a plastic surgeons office who deals with cleft lip/palates since I experienced much of this as a child and it'd be cool to be a nurse who could really offer support to kids and parents at their appts.and sometimes Dr offices pay their staff really well! Other times I know there's a cut in pay as opposed to acute care.

I'm soooo grateful to have the job I have right now! But maybe I'm just losing inspiration to work in acute care because I'm A. not in a specialty I'm passionate about B.driving 45 to 50 minutes away ... and C. on top of all that it's night shift which catches up to you....

I guess there are just so many areas of nursing, and now that I'm in my first year living out of my parents house and in "the real world"...I guess I'm experiencing real life and not just the theory of what nursing is like ...And I'm really taking everything into consideration passions, the importance of enjoying your job, the pay, the hours, my health, distance, how my schedule matches up with my loved ones, what experience I need for future goals ...etc.

All I knkw is I believe it's possible to love your job as don't ever want to feel like I have to do something when there are so many areas of nursing! Again, I do generally enjoy my job now, I'm just really tiring of the COPDers, pneumonia, joint replacements and dementia, the drive, and nightshift !

I definitely want to be a nurse, I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else started to really explore different areas of nursing after getting out there after school, and if you experienced more drive once you were in a specialty you loved, or if you ended up somewhere totally different and loved it!

Sorry so long!