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How does first nurse residency effect the rest of my career?

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by usethehaldol usethehaldol (New Member) New Member Nurse

95 Visitors; 11 Posts

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New nurse here. I just got my numbers last month. I have 5 years of paramedic experience and went through a bridge program. I should have placed multiple applications prior to graduating but I only did one (foolish I know)

So I asked for ICU and was offered a job in acute care or med surg. To be honest my heart sank when I heard this and I'm not even sure acute care and med surg are the same thing. 

If I get training as nurse in the med surg field, how hard is it to switch to critical care? My potential employer said they wanted a year starting after the residency ends. If I agree to it I will fulfill my obligation. 

If I did go on full time, how does getting a second job go? Assuming I get situated well enough to handle a second job.  

I do believe nurse residency is a one time thing. Does it even matter what field I get it in?

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

222 Likes; 1 Follower; 30,792 Visitors; 3,237 Posts

Starting off in Med/Surg. will give you a good foundation to start your nursing career. Unless you are in a highly saturated nursing market, it shouldn't be too difficult to transfer to the ICU after a year.

If you are full-time, you will be unable to work a second job at the same hospital unless the other department is really desperate to pay you overtime each time you work for them. You can work for a different hospital (more than likely Med/Surg) position since you will be PRN. If you are hired for a PRN position, there is an expectation of getting very little training before you are on your own. You can not get a PRN ICU job at another hospital without experience in ICU.

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95 Visitors; 11 Posts

Looks like taking med surg is going to delay me getting into critical care for a long time. Do all hospitals require nurse residency or is training from the ground up not a normal thing?

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44 Likes; 1 Follower; 47,298 Visitors; 2,124 Posts

2 hours ago, usethehaldol said:

Looks like taking med surg is going to delay me getting into critical care for a long time. Do all hospitals require nurse residency or is training from the ground up not a normal thing?

How do you figure that it is going to delay you for "a long time?"  As NICU Guy wrote, do your year and transfer.  The time management and organizational skills you learn there will only help you when you do make it to the ICU.

As to offering a residency, not all hospitals do.  That doesn't mean that you won't be properly trained and prepared for position when you complete orientation.

Best wishes.

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

222 Likes; 1 Follower; 30,792 Visitors; 3,237 Posts

Not all hospitals offer residencies. Residencies provide structured classroom and preceptorship goals to guide you on a path to succeed when you are on your own. It better prepares a new grad for their first nursing job and decreases the amount of first year turn-over. It costs a lot of money to train you, so hospitals want to ensure that you succeed and they recoup their expense.

Your first year will fly by and you can move on to ICU with a good base knowledge that you obtained in your one year in Med/Surg.

The alternative is to blanket the country with resumes like I did until somebody hires you. I applied to 50-100 NICU openings until someone hired me. One job offer was a true residency and the other (the one I accepted) was an unofficial residency (12 week orientation with classroom and preceptorship).  

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95 Visitors; 11 Posts

Alright. I was afraid I would be bored but seeing as to how I have limited practical experience in the area I may as well learn as much as I can.

Thanks all.

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On 2/6/2019 at 4:12 PM, usethehaldol said:

Alright. I was afraid I would be bored but seeing as to how I have limited practical experience in the area I may as well learn as much as I can.

Thanks all.

You won’t be bored if you remember to keep on learning. And you will have plenty to learn, even with your past experience as a paramedic. Remember, everything you see in med surg you will also see when you transfer to the ICU. No learning will be wasted. 

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

286 Likes; 4 Followers; 42,877 Visitors; 5,169 Posts

You won't be bored. You will be too busy to be "bored". Med-surg is hard core and you will learn fantastic time management skills, how to recognize subtle changes in patient condition and a whole lot of critical thinking skills about a whole lot of different diagnoses.

People transfer from med-surg to critical care all the time. Find out if the acute care position is a step-down unit. If so, it will be one step closer than med-surg to critical care.

Congratulations on your job offers!

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