Published May 27, 2004
I just started my third semester of nursing school, and am in the middle of really deciding what I want to do after I graduate. I am seriously considering going to work on one of the med/surg units at the hospital here in town. I've done a rotation on two of the units, and didn't really care for them (one was more renal, one was more GI). However, I am planning going working in a step-down unit or in an ICU after a while, so I really want the experience from the med/surg floor. Kinda would feel that after dealing with 6 patients, meds, IV's, procedures, I could handle an ICU pt. How do you feel? Think this is wise? -Andrea
In my humble opinion I think that you should just try and start out in an an area which you know you will enjoy, if that is a step-down unit or ICU well go for it! If you are working where you really want to do, you will be an active learner and pick up things quickly.... You should enquire at a number of facilities as to the preceptorship etc on offer for new grads in critical care areas.
When I was at school I remember being drilled about how you need a few solid years of med/surg nursing as a base for anything else etc etc etc.... but I have decided that life is too short to be unhappy working towards something! Nursing school was bad enough!
I graduated in December (03) and I am just about to start as an RN on a post-op floor. I'm doing it more for the experience than anything else. I eventually want to be an OB nurse, but those positions don't open up very often, so I had to start somewhere else.
If you can get into ICU and that's what you want...I say go for it right away!
RNPATL, DNP, RN
Andrea - bravo to you for entering nursing. As far as the med-surg question .... this really depends on where you want to be in life. In the "old days" nurses coming out of school were highly encouraged to enter med-surg for the first year or so before going on to the area they wanted to work in. However, times have changed. Opportunities are plentiful now for new grads coming out of school to enter most any area of nursing. The nice thing about this, is that hospitals are offering terrific training and development programs for new nurses who want to transition into ICU, OR, L&DRP and a host of other areas. I would encourage you to do your homework, decide on an area that bests meets your needs and then go for it. One thing to remember, check out their new nurse development program and make sure it is going to meet your needs.
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