I am confused, please help!

  1. Hello! I'm new to this forum! :hatparty:

    I have questions and need info to figure out which nursing path to take. I'm interested in working in surgical units (med/surg or er) as a first assistant surgical nurse and want to specialize in it. I also want little or no bedside caring. Should I become a med/surg clinical nurse specialist or a nurse practitioner that specializes in surgery (is there such a thing and if so what are they called?). I know I want to obtain a msn degree, there's no doubt in my mind. Soooo I guess what I want to know is, what area or department is the best place for me and what kind of nurse should I be?

    I've read that clinical nurse specialists usually teach/oversee units/staffs. Is this true? If that's the case, that's definitely not what I want to do, as for now.

    Also, does the high level of stress and load of work in the med/surg or ER as a cns or np worth it in means of salary? Thank you!!!!

    Also, do I have to do a lot of bedside care in the med/surg department? Is it possible to just assist with surgery and not deal with patient care? (sounds cold, but can't help it if I'm curious)

    Lastly, will the extra studying (msn degree and specialization in surgery) and high level of stress be worth it in terms of how much you make?

    I know it's a lot of questions, but I need answers =) Thank you!!!
    Last edit by studyingstudent on Apr 8, '05
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    About studyingstudent

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 9

    5 Comments

  3. by   DDRN4me
    Welcome to allnurses!! i understand your eagerness to pursue an nP, however, it sounds like you are in school right now for an undergrad degree. I would suggest that you try to get some experience first before you jump into a CNS or NP degree. It will help you decide where your niche is. JMHO. Its great to hear your enthusiasm! good luck!Mary
  4. by   studyingstudent
    Quote from mgallant
    Welcome to allnurses!! i understand your eagerness to pursue an nP, however, it sounds like you are in school right now for an undergrad degree. I would suggest that you try to get some experience first before you jump into a CNS or NP degree. It will help you decide where your niche is. JMHO. Its great to hear your enthusiasm! good luck!Mary
    I'm hoping that I can choose my path first so I can choose what setting I should gain experience in =D I prefer less bedside caring though...I'm sure I can provide great patient care by working in the surgery room
  5. by   suzanne4
    First, there is no area where you won't be providing direct patient care. Even in the OR, they have everything.

    To work in the OR as a first assistant, you need to have your RN, have training in the OR, experience as working as a scrub nurse, and training for that. There is no Master's degree involved for working in the OR as a first assistant. The title is actually RNFA, Registered Nurse First Assistant. To now be able to sit for the exam and certification, you need a BSN, passing of the CNOR exam (that alone requires two years experience in the OR), and 2000 hours in the capacity of the position.

    And in the OR, you wil always have "bedside care." Foley catheter insertions, a patient vomiting after anesthesia, blood, poop, pee............and you will seen it as an RNFA also...............you actively participate in the team, just not drop in, sew and leave.............

    I suggest that you shadow an RNFA in the OR to see what is involved, or even just in the OR for a day. Bedside nursing plays a very big role.
  6. by   imastudent
    what is your typical day on the med/surg floor like? also what do you think are the differences between med/surg and er?
  7. by   smarkley
    I worked as a student nurse on an ortho unit for about 1 1/2 years and then as an RN for the same amount of time. I then went to work in the OR and worked there for 2 years before I became a private scrub. I am not certified as a first assist, but I believe I perform many of the duties that they do. I help the surgeon in the office, with rounds, and in the OR. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to be a floor nurse first, the experience was great. It helps me to understand the whole picture. The surgeon I work for tends to see just his side, so I am glad I can give input as to maybe what the patient is feeling. It also really helped my clinical skills. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!!

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