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How long did it take you to get into your dream nursing Job?


Hello everyone! I am a new grad who has been working in the ED at an amazing hospital with magnet status. I want to stay with this hospital for my entire career, just not in the ED. My heart is in L&D/ post partum. I plan on staying in the ED for at least 1 year then begin the search for my dream job. How long did it take for everyone to get into their dream field of nursing?

I'll let you know when I get there!

You know, when I graduated I wanted to be a pediatric nurse practitioner so I planned to get a job in peds in the local children's hospital for a year or two and then take a PNP course. But we moved, and my first job was in a PACU-- and I loved it. It led to my next job, in a huge ICU, and I loved that. Then I was an independent in critical care, and I loved that. Then I was a critical care clinical specialist, and I loved that. Then I became a case manager in work comp, and loved it. Now I have my own company in legal nurse consulting and life care planning, and I love that. See the pattern here?

Don't waste your energy waiting and hoping for that "dreeeeeaaaaammmmmm" job. There's something cool to be learned and experienced just about everywhere, and the job you may adore in ten or twenty or thirty years may not even exist now. Get good at what you do, and the rest will take care of itself.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

How long did it take for everyone to get into their dream field of nursing?
After seven years of nursing, I have not discovered the 'dream job.'

5 months after graduation; in the NICU. :)


Has 18 years experience.

Coming up for 13 years and still looking.

Wave Watcher

Specializes in Community Health/School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

3 years. School Nursing.


Has 2 years experience.

1 day after graduation. I'm lucky, but at the same time dreams change! In a few years I'm sure I'll be chasing after something new :sarcastic:

Daisy_08, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

The job I'm in now I like I plan on staying for another few years, so I guess it's dreamy enough for now. But not forever, I don't imagine the next job I'll be at forever either, but if i get what I want from it I'll stay a while

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

"Dream Job" to me fits in with things like "perfect man", "fabulous kids" and "dream house". How do you define that?

I work in a good and satisfying job.

It is not perfect; everyone has the occasional bad day, patients act like patients, we still need to come to work when we are scheduled. The job also has a sympathetic manager, good staffing, plentiful supplies, respect from the doctors, interesting diagnoses and patients who often do recover well.

I found this job after a year when I left my first nursing job which nobody would ever call a dream job.

Almost 1 yr to the day. Initially worked cardiac tele, but the ED has my heart & soul!!

NurseCard, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I've been a nurse for over nine years now, and I really cannot say I've ever had my "dream job", nor do I even know what that is anymore. =)

I THINK that my dream job would be as a school nurse, but even that job has drawbacks that could get pretty old after a while. Lots of paperwork. Low pay, at least in my area. Could get boring at times.

Not quite as much "hands on" work. Still, with the great hours, and getting to work with the kiddos, I think I would really like it.

Unfortunately, I can't ever seem to find an available position. =(

Edited by NurseCard
formatting, durn burn it...

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

When I was a new grad, I applied for one and only one job... at the time I considered it to be my "dream job". Within 4 years, the dream turned into an absolute nightmare and I was out of there as fast as I could find a new job.

My dream job now would be getting paid to travel the world and I don't ever expect to find that. But a job is just that- a job. It's not fantasy and it's not a dream, it's a means of earning a living. I enjoy my job now but by no means is it a "dream".

Oh, and I also entered my first job thinking I would spend my entire career at that first hospital... a nationally ranked, magnet institution... gag me with a spoon. I get nauseous just driving by there now.

I think my "dream job" changed a few times, as I discovered new areas I wanted to work in, or stumbled into a few great opportunities in areas I had never even considered. Someone said that the "dream job" is like the "perfect man/kids" scenario - sometimes you have to see that the job you wanted may not have been perfect for you in that moment, but the job you landed actually is "perfect." Things have a funny way of working out sometimes.

OnlybyHisgraceRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC and School Health.

Hi OP. When I graduated from RN school I applied for LD and PP which is my dream job. However, I was hired into CVICU. Long story short: it was not for me. After 7 months, I quit and put in a transfer to PP at the same hospital but was not hired due to it being given to a PCT who worked on the unit just passed her boards.

I've been job searching and have finally landed a job interview for L/D!!!!!! I have my second interview and share day this week and I'm beyond excited. I will be trained to L/D, PP, Nursery, and OR Circ. However, I accepted a job offer for the ED that wouldn't start for a month, so I'm praying I will get the L/D job before orientation starts so that I can pull out.

My advice is to keep looking. After six months or a year ask for transfer. If not able to transfer, start looking at other hospitals.

It is nothing wrong with pursuing your dream. Wishing you the best.


Specializes in Public Health, L&D, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

I graduated in May of 97 after precepting in a small L&D unit. I repeatedly called the DON to see if they had openings, she repeatedly told me no. So I finally broke down in August and took a job at a different small hospital in med/surg. I knew the very first day of orientation that I wouldn't last there. One of the very first things they told us was to never give the docs our opinions because, "they are smarter than you and don't need to hear what you think." On day 3 of orientation I called my old L&D unit to talk to some of the girls about my misery, and discovered that the nurse manager had been trying to find me, but couldn't remember my married name (I married 2 weeks after I graduated) she was holding a position for me. I quit the med/surg position and went to L&D at the tiny hospital, and loved every minute of it. And then we were bought out by a for profit company, and everything changed. I left there and went to grad school in an unrelated field, but my heart was still in nursing. During summer breaks I did travel nursing, and then I got a job in L&D at a large regional hospital. My dream job, I guess, was always L&D, but I never actually had it after that first few months. If allowed to go in with adequate staffing and supplies and do my job, it's a dream. Throw in scripting, patient satisfaction surveys, mandatory meetings, idiotic managers, and asinine administrators, and the dream can become a nightmare.

I guess now I have a dream job, although I never thought to dream about it, because I never knew it existed. I now do public health, making home visits with new mommies and babies. I miss doing deliveries, I miss the doctors (some of them) and I miss doing procedures, but I really love this, too. I have tons of autonomy, I make my own schedule, and large chunks of my day are spent driving through the countryside. My coworkers and supervisor are angels, and I love my clients. There are pros and cons to every job, but I think that the new mandates in health care, especially the ones linking reimbursement to satisfaction, will make working in any hospital highly unpleasant for me. If this job ends, I have no idea what I will do, because I cannot imagine going back to the hospital.

I'm currently working towards the job that I want the most. My dream job would be independently wealthy and not having to work. It's still in healthcare but away from direct care.


Specializes in Nsg. Ed. & ICU/Trauma.

Well, let's see.........................?