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How does a new grad nurse get started in a specialty?

Nurses   (203 Views | 4 Replies)

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I want to be a pediatric nurse. I however have no experience in this area. I'm afraid that if I apply and get a pediatric job that I will know nothing once I start. I don't want other nurses to think I'm stupid and I don't want to make a mistake and hurt a child. How should I get started if my goal is to be a pediatric nurse? Thank you for any advice!

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NICU Guy has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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17 minutes ago, medapop said:

I'm afraid that if I apply and get a pediatric job that I will know nothing once I start. I don't want other nurses to think I'm stupid and I don't want to make a mistake

Accept the fact that you will know nothing coming into your first day of work. You need to be a sponge and absorb all the knowledge that your preceptor has for you. Regardless of where a new grad obtains their first job, they will know nothing coming into the job. Hopefully, the experienced nurses remember what it is like to be a new grad and help you as much as possible.

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SilverBells has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.

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Have you worked with children in other capacities? PCA for children, day cares, babysitting, etc?  Not quite the same but would help with experience with the population.  It's very understandable to be anxious about lack of knowledge and possible mistakes, but from my observation, pediatric nurses tend to be protective of their patients and any good orientation program would closely supervise you until both employer and yourself mutually agree that you are ready to independently care for patients.  Even once you are off orientation, it would be expected that you would reach out for help because it is impossible for orientation to cover every single possible event or medical condition that could present itself.   I also feel that a pediatric floor may, in some ways, be more understanding of your need for additional training since pediatric nursing isn't always covered in detail during nursing school, or at least that is what my experience was.  Good luck! 

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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Be humble and teachable. Accept that your education has been a theoretical one and that a lot of nursing is learned on the job.

Orienting as a new grad, nurses will know this when precepting you.

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Katie82 has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM.

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Many hospitals are moving toward requiring a 6 month (or longer) orientation in Med/Surg before allowing transfer to specialty floors. especially if they are Magnet hospitals or are working toward certification.  You would need an orientation to any specialty floor, but I think it is unfair to trainers and to you, to expect them to also provide a new grad orientation as well. Many specialty floors simply don't have the time or staffing. I have heard so many new grads complain about their experience when starting their first jobs in L&D, ICU, ED

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