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New Grad Job Advice Needed!

rnmama112 rnmama112 (New) New

I am soon to be a nursing grad and in need of some words of wisdom about new grad jobs. Here's the situation:

I currently work as a tech in an ICU. My dream job would be L&D. I don't dislike the ICU and would work hard at any job, but I can't imagine it being my long-term career. When applying for a new grad position at my hospital, they typically have you rank the units in order of preference and then they decide which unit you interview with (if any).

Since I already work in the ICU, I definitely have a stronger advantage there of getting a job because the manager knows and likes me. Unfortunately I do not know anyone over in L&D since they are always on lockdown so, other than just working at that hospital, may not really have advantage over any other candidates.

So, what would you do? Would you just go for the unit that you thought you had the best shot at, even if it's not your ideal job? Or would you go for the unit you truly had a passion for?

My fear is that if I did go for ICU because I had a better chance that I would never be able to transition from there to L&D. Although ICU is excellent experience for most other units, L&D is a beast of their own and the open jobs say they require so many years of L&D experience.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated, because I'm at a loss.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Has 25 years experience. Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

All those L&D nurses arrived on their first obstetrical unit with no L&D experience. Somebody somewhere took a chance on them. Why not you? I think you'd be better off applying for both, so you don't end up empty-handed, and if you wind up in the ICU, keep applying to L&D until you get your foot in the door. Maybe, to make yourself more attractive you could do some specialty training in obstetrics later on. I always wanted to work in PICU when I was in nursing school. Back in those days new grads had a snowball's chance in Arizona of getting hired directly into the unit. I got some nursing experience under my belt and kept on trying. Two years after I got my first job, I had the luck that comes from persistence and hard work. 18 years later... I'm still here.

iPink, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum.

Put L&D as your #1 choice. If you're not chosen, but instead for the ICU position take the position. Once you're eligible per your hospital's protocol, put in a transfer for L&D. Many people on my current unit are transfers from other units within the hospital and a few will be transferring out of my unit to other units, such as L&D and NICU. As long as you're in great standing with your current manager and you interviewed well, you shouldn't have a problem. In addition, many unit managers will take a transfer because you already know the system.

New grads shouldn't expect to get their "dream" unit the first time, but you can still make it your goal if you end up working somewhere else. Any experience is better than no experience so take whatever position/unit you're offered while keeping an eye and ear out for any openings in your more desired unit. Good luck.


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