new grad advice???

Nurses General Nursing


Hello to all!

I have one semester left before I receive my bachelor's in nursing. I would love to go right into a specific field other than med surg. (such as the ICU, ER, etc.) I've been told at the hospital that I work that I should start looking now, because I could get straight into a field and skip the med surg experience. Anybody have an suggestions, or thoughts?

i would love to get some email on some opinions @ [email protected] thanks so much


Hi Michelle,

I hope what I have to say is helpful to you! I am a new 2000 grad who went straight to one of my hospitals 10 critical care units. I didn't want to do med surg. I knew and I still believe that a year of med surg would be helpful for me, but I just didn't do it, despite that knowledge.

I think new grads can make it in the units, but let me say bluntly, I have had more trials and tears than my friends who went to Med Surg. Not only the skills that were immediately required of me (ever draw an abg? or work with ventric's?)but also the emotional level (Week two of orientation, I must tell a pt's family (with support of the MD) that this pt is not going to ever do any better than he is now (brain death)... I find that I do this on almost a daily basis now. I love my job, but my support system at that hospital was well established before I became an RN, and the ED where I was a tech checks on me regularly, as well as the house supervisors, the Xray people, etc. Even in this safe, fairly sheltered environment, I sometimes am overwhelmed. I also find that I spend far more time than my med surg buddies looking up stuff, reading articles and textbooks to keep pace with my unit.

Like I said, I do like my job a lot...I owuldn't go to a med surg unit now if i had a choice, but the road will be a little rocky- with that said, I will also say Go fOr it, it can be done.. Start applying In january. Good Luck. Holly

I tend to agree with the above poster. I work on a medical unit and must say I hate it. And am trying very hard to get into a speciality I would enjoy - which for me is ICU, NICU, L&D. I believe even though the job may be tougher going straight into a specialty, it's better to love your job even with more work then dread going into work. biggrin.gif

i think that you should do whatever is going to make you happy. there are hospitals that hire new grads, so that you can gain the experience that you will need. i do think that it is harder to get into a speciality once you work on a med/surg unit because employers will look at your previous experience and will want to hire you into a position that you have experience in rather than one that you do not. i have worked in the ER par-time while in school and i don't think that i will want to work on a med/surg unit after working in that diverse and fast-paced environment. i suggest you start looking now.



I must agree with all that has been previously mentioned. I went straight into critical care after nursing school and took my share of knocks, but the rewards were great. If you go into med/surg that's where they will try to keep you because those positions are harder to fill. The more diversified you can be, the more marketable your skills will be!

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