Psych Nurse to Med Surg

  1. Hello,
    I am a new grad that has been working in psych nursing for one month. I want to get to med surg, but I landed in psych as my second job since I didn't like the skilled nursing setting and couldn't land a med surg job right away. I am wondering if anyone knows about getting a med surg job as a new grad. I'm afraid it will be difficult to find a med surg job. Thank you!
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    About nina12345

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 28; Likes: 4

    7 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from nina12345
    Hello,
    I am a new grad that has been working in psych nursing for one month. I want to get to med surg, but I landed in psych as my second job since I didn't like the skilled nursing setting and couldn't land a med surg job right away. I am wondering if anyone knows about getting a med surg job as a new grad. I'm afraid it will be difficult to find a med surg job. Thank you!
    Wait -- you're a new grad and you're already looking for a THIRD job? Stay where you are for two years, and then start looking for a Med/Surg job. You're already starting to look like a job-hopper, and only desperate managers want to hire someone they think won't stay more than a month or two.
  4. by   nina12345
    I see what you mean. I don't want to be stuck in psych per say though. I hear this can happen because you aren't practicing you med surg skills as much so you won't be hired as med surg or may struggle. I want to work 6 months minimum at my current job and apply for a medsurg job since mot places require that much minimum experience for their positions in med surg.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from nina12345
    I see what you mean. I don't want to be stuck in psych per say though. I hear this can happen because you aren't practicing you med surg skills as much so you won't be hired as med surg or may struggle. I want to work 6 months minimum at my current job and apply for a medsurg job since mot places require that much minimum experience for their positions in med surg.
    As a new grad, you don't have any Med/Surg skills as such. You've just learned enough to begin to learn skills. The skills you're learning on psych are not only transferrable, but will be very valuable skills that other Med/Surg nurses won't have. You'll have a lot to learn when you transfer to med/Surg, but you'd have a lot to learn whenever you transfer.

    If you don't want to work psych, why take a job in psych? There are many, many threads on this forum advising new grads that the first year is difficult, they won't like their jobs no matter where they work, and that they ned 1 - 2 years experience before moving on. Perhaps if you had stayed in LTC until a Med/Surg position was available, that would have been better. Too late for that now. But you're seriously damaging your credibility if you keep changing jobs because you don't like your job after a month. You're also damaging your ability to find a new job and make a living.



    What does "per say" mean?
  6. by   DrManzoor
    For nurse its Better to stick to their job in the beginning its very tough for all professional but being a new grade nurse its very tough to survive in that condition!!!
    Last edit by AN Admin Team on Jan 12 : Reason: unapproved weblink
  7. by   MassNurse24
    If you want a med surg job just try to stay where you are for the experience for a little bit and keep applying. It will not look like you're job hopping if you show progression. For example, I was at a NH for a few months, went to a LTAC, then got into a hospital. I've had people stay where they were for too long and now can't leave their position. Good luck!!
  8. by   asleeponthebeach_RN
    I know where you are coming from. My story is relatively similar to yours. I went to psych as a new grad thinking I would enjoy it because I excelled in it during nursing school after working in psych for 8 months I realized I couldn't stay there mentally. I worked for a for profit mental health hospital who didn't care about the patients. They were very much "profit over patients." I left before even looking for a new job, but my charge nurse and I worked so well together, she offered (without me so much as asking) to be a reference and told me if this wasn't her last job before she retired she would be walking out the door with me. That left me with no skills, in terms of blood draw, iv medications, chest tubes, ng tubes, etc except for the theoretical knowledge I learned in nursing school. At the psych hospital I worked at, RNs did the assessments, admissions, and discharges. We did not so much as give medications, unless, they called off the lpn for "low census." So... on the job hunt I went. I was able to shadow for 1 night at a local nursing home and quickly realized that same night why they were so short staffed/couldn't keep any staff. So the next day I informed that nursing home's DON that I knew this wasn't the right job for me and I didnt want to waste anymore of their time. The nurse I shadowed with took care of 3 halls on the 3-11pm shift and she stayed til 3am that night I shadowed finishing an admission that had got there at 2:30pm that day. The patient was a rehab pt who was there with a trach and jtube who was discharged from the hosp to this nursing home. At 11pm this nurse was still passing meds and that new admission was cryimg in his bed because he needed pain medication. His mar had not even been created because his admission was not even complete. The meds for that nursing home were sourced from a facility 45 miles away and of course hadnt been called in yet even though it was a late hour in the shift.... I was shocked and at a loss for words that my future shifts would be like that. So after that catastrophe, I took a leap and applied for a med-surg position at a local hospital. I interviewed with the recruiter and presented them my case of what my experience/skills I had and was able to pass to the next round and interview with the floor manager. The manager called me 2 days later and offered me a full time job working three 12 hour shifts a week (and with the ability to work more if I wished by adding myself to the schedule if I wanted to work extra.) When I came to my 1st day of floor orientation, I did not so much as know how to mix an ivpb of zosyn or vanc. Let alone know how to set an alaris pump. That's what my predicament was. I was so fortunate to have had 2 great nursing preceptor for a total of 6 weeks. My preceptors basicslly told me we were going to hit the floor hard. Go big or go home and that we did. My floor receives chest tubes, ng tubes, jtubes, g tubes, post op patients, pneumonia, small bowel obstructions, lap choles, step down icu pts, cellulitis, ortho if the ortho floor is full, oncology of the onc floor is full, observation is obs is full, anything you can think of. I am now managing 6 patients successfully every shift and when I think about where I started not too long ago... I didn't even know how to draw blood. Of course, I still have lots of questions and I have a great team of nurses I work with now and great charge nurses who are always there for me and each other. I have been on med surg now entering 7 months and when I think of how far I've come it's mind boggling. I just keep thinking where will I be with my personal nursing growth after a year? It's so crazy. Excuse this long novel, but I found your story somewhat similar to mine. Honestly, if you don't grow into liking your job you are only hurting yourself psychologically (no one wants to go to a job they don't like) and are leaving patients at a disadvantage because you are not present 100%. Though it can seem difficult and you blame yourself, do what feels right in your heart. I know I am very lucky to have found myself surrounded with a great team now. I only hope the best for you and that you find a home that feels like home. Dont lose faith and keep your head up. Last thing I will say to you is this... if you had asked me before I graduated where I saw myself working, med-surg would be the last place. I detested med surg during clinical and look at me now. So, like I said previously, you will find a home.
  9. by   Tawni286
    I have been at my med surge job for a year now, before that I worked at a rehab and LTC facility for 10 months. They hire a lot of LTC nurses on my floor because they want people with time management skills and we all know LTC can be crazy!! Obviously I did not have many med/surg skills outside of what I remember from clinicals (like IV's, chest tubes, ect) but that stuff can be learned. They cared more about the person being able to handle the stresses of the job.

    I think the important thing is you gain experience and when you apply to med/surg show them your strengths, time management, people skills, how you handle new/unexpected situations, difficult patients of families, how you handle delegating tasks and how you work as a team with your coworkers, ect.

    That is exactly what I showed them in my job interview/resume for med/surg.

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