Job market question


Hi all, I'm a nursing student about a semester and a quarter from graduating (still have to get through that stuff, so I know that I'm thinking a little bit into the future). I was wondering about everyone's opinions on what type of nursing I should get into after I get their license. I know it is a very personal question, and some nurses will have their own opinions about the subject. I want either a) your individual input and experience on the matter, and b) an analysis of the information I have gotten so far.

I've talked to several nurses who have been working for a while now, and they have told me that I should do med-surg nursing for a little bit before I get into specialties such as ICU/ER/CVICU/etc. They have told me that med-surg will give me depth in the numerous disease processes I will encounter, versus the breadth seen in the ER or the complexity seen in the ICU/CVICU. I'm currently an EMT, and in EMS we focus completely on stabilization; long-term care and recovery of a patient is not in the back of our minds during a stroke or cardiac arrest. I think that is a strength in ER nursing, but a weakness everywhere else, and I would like to fix that. If that line of reasoning is lacking, please let me know. Another reason I have been told (and please correct me on this one if I'm wrong) is that being able to put med-surg experience on a job application makes your resume that much more diverse. I plan to move out from the area I am currently living in a few years, and I don't know exactly where I will go at this point. My thinking is that I can use these few years after graduation to make myself as well-rounded of a nurse as possible, which includes a little bit of time in med-surg.

Let me know what you all think on the matter.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

Your most important consideration should be the title of your thread, not the content of your post.

Before you spend too much time considering which specialty, what kind of job you ideally would like to have you need to know what the employers in your geographic area are hiring. For instance if you find out that new grads in your area are simply not hired into the specialties you mentioned, there's no residency programs for that, then thinking about that is a waste of time. Instead you should be focusing on getting the background that your dream job employer wants on your resume when you have enough experience to apply.

Some places in this country have so many new grads that you'd be lucky to find any job in any facility at some point in the next year or so. Some places have lots of good opportunities.

Job market needs is your first priority before all the rest of it.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

I just realized that you wrote you do plan to move to a new area but you don't know where. Now I understand your question better, sorry.

If you have no idea where you will be moving and what the needs are of the area in terms of what employers are hiring for then your best bet is to have a good med-surg background hands down. Most places do want to see that before they offer you a spot in critical care. Not 100% true everywhere but we are speaking in generalities.

Specializes in Critical Care and ED. Has 34 years experience.

My opinion would be to use your EMT in your favor and go into critical care with a view to being a flight nurse one day. Flight nurses require critical care experience and a paramedic license and you could do that as you have your EMT. It is an old adage that it's wise to do some time in med-surg, and there's nothing wrong with that, but if you got the opportunity to jump on a grad internship in an ICU I would take it. You'll learn everything there and more and you'll be in a great position to go anywhere and do anything with that experience. Failing that there's nothing wrong with jumping into the ED. You'll see a wide variation of disease processes there also. Good luck!

I think it's important to consider, what do you *want* to do, not just what is "best". I personally think we perform best when we are doing something we enjoy and have a great interest in. Yes, med/surg gives good experience so do other areas.