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Hi, 

I will be graduating from a BSN program and will be applying to jobs soon. I plan on taking the NCLEX in September. Looking for advice for which units are the best to gain experience as a first job. I've heard from many people that doing a year of something broad/general like med-surg will make me marketable, help with time management, and give me opportunities to practice and feel confident in my skills. I also really loved my ICU clinical. I eventually would love to take travel nurse jobs. What are your thoughts with starting out in a "broad" unit vs. starting out in a unit that is a little bit more specialized? What units have you enjoyed working in or haven't had the best experience?  Looking for any suggestions! Thank you!

I'm a new grad and I'm starting off in the ER! It has been my dream even though I know it's going to be hard. But I would rather start off here and find out that I don't like it than get comfortable elsewhere and never end up trying the ER. So I say follow your heart! If you really wanna do ICU, I think getting into a residency program would be great for you if you're concerned about being inexperienced. Otherwise, if there isn't really anything you're leaning towards in particular, then maybe med-surg is for you. Personally, I just didn't want to get stuck in something I didn't super want. I know an ER tech who became a nurse and was offered a position in the ED, but they went med-surg instead because they thought starting off in the ED would be too difficult and wanted more experience first. I know the ED is what I want, so I don't want to get side-tracked. Plus, a residency is meant to help transition me into the profession so it's not so crazy difficult. That's what the programs are for. Also, I don't know how true this is, but one of my clinical instructors suggested I start off in the ED if I can (if I know that's what I want) because I may get labeled as a med-surg nurse and it may be difficult for me to go into a specialty later on. 

TMCNurse23, BSN, RN

Specializes in New Grad RN.

I'm a new grad Med-surg nurse! I was told by my preceptors that med-surg is great for time management and it is true that it will help us be more marketable, but ER is also a great way to start your career. I have had other nurses in my rotations tell me how ER is a great place to get your IV skills down, and you will be able to know which unit you want to do. I want to be an ICU nurse one day, but due to COVID, competition is high RN and hospitals are freezing their nurse residency programs, so I wish you good luck on finding the job that best fits you!

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