Intensity of different floors


  • Specializes in Pulmonary med/surg/telemetry. Has 1 1/2 years experience.

I'm starting nursing school in a few weeks. The only hospital experience I have is working as a CNA in peds for a year when I was a teenager so I'm pretty much clueless as to how all the other floors are.

I've been reading a previous thread and it got me curious. I know the answer to this question will depend on the facility, area, and a ton of other things, but what would be some of the hardest and easiest areas for a new grad (or anyone, really) to go into in terms of the level of difficulty, being overwhelmed, etc.

Thanks so much!

HM2VikingRN, RN

4,700 Posts

Pick on your area of interest. This is far more likely to set you up for success as a new grad.


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

As a new grad, no matter what floor you decide to work on, you are going to feel overwhelmed. No floor is easy compared to another. I am not going to tell you to pick a stepdown unit or ICU because it's the easiest when in fact it's not. You need to decide where you want to be when you graduate and find a CNA position on that unit so that you can observe the nurses and how they function on the unit.

Specializes in med-surg,pedi,ortho,one-day,rehab,ER. Has 30 years experience.

popular thought used to be work at least one year on a med-surg floor -- provides for a variety of educational experiences.

might consider a single-focus area though--you'd have fewer protocols, etc. to have to keep up on. you might learn less skills but you'd be solid in the skills you learn in that area.

also, consider shifts; all of them have positives and negatives.

nights = more patients per nurse probably; less ancillary help available; but, also, fewer procedures, interruptions. but don't think that all pt's sleep all night--it's very difficult for many adults to sleep well anywhere besides their own bed.

dayshift = probably better staffing ratio; more interruptions from other departments (scheduled tests, surgeries, meals, therapy). plus, head-to-toe assessments on everybody, pass meds am, mid-morning, noon, mid-day, suppertime.

and, as you said, it depends on hospital management and floor management.

follow something you find most fascinating during college--wherever your interest lies, you'll be willing to excel.

best of luck to you :yeah: !

Specializes in MICU, SICU, PACU, Travel nursing.

Agree with the previous posts, there is no easy area for a new grad that I am aware of. Its all hard when you are a new nurse. I would look at what else you want out of your job and where you areas of interest lie.

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