How do nurses get into their specialties?



I am wondering how nurses get experience in the specialties that they choose? Does one start doing Med-Surg in the first year after nursing school and then get a foot in the door somewhere? Or do you have to do an internship to get experience?

Thank you,

Sara :redpinkhe

JanessaG, BSN

46 Posts

Specializes in PCU - Stepdown. Has 3 years experience.

If there is a specialty that you truly love it helps to do your preceptorship or externship in that area. Most specialty areas only hire new grads into them if they already have some sort of experience there - as far as I know, anyway. If this is not a possibility for you, then take a job in med/surg and apply as an internal candidate when something you want opens up.

Good luck!!!


10 Posts

I did my 6th semester preceptorship in my specialty and was hired in that department as a new grad.

Imafloat, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,289 Posts

Has 13 years experience.

I work NICU and my nurse manager hires a lot of new grads. I did my senior pracitcum in the unit I currently work in, but others were hired without ever having stepped foot in our unit.

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

I did my final school placement in an emergency department. I was offered a job in that department, but turned it down to go to a bigger and better ER. The ER i'm working in now does hire new grads, but only if they had done they final placement in an ER and done well. I've been putting myself back through school, taking correspondence and continuing education classes through local colleges to open up my options of transferring to another specialty in the future, if I want to. Many hospitals have new grad programs set up for specialty units, so that might be something to look into if you already know where you want to go. 1 yr of med-surg is NOT required, although you will find many people that insist upon it.

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