New grad, new job, need advice.


  • Specializes in Ortho/Neuro/Trauma, LDRP.

I'm really in need of sound advice and appreciate any feedback.

I'm a new grad RN (Dec. 09', passed NCLEX the end of March) and have just accepted my first job as a RN on a ortho/neuro floor. While I feel so blessed to have finally landed a position, I am concerned that I am setting myself back as far as what my career goals are. This specialty is not my 1st, 2nd or even 3rd choice; but, I was able to sell myself to the nurse manager as a new nurse with no experience who was more concerned with starting out with a broad foundation in nursing...

Prior to nursing school, I worked in OB/GYN outpatient settings for almost 10 years as a medical assistant. I have always seen myself working as a CNM or WHNP in an outpatient setting, while also picking up shifts on a L&D or M/B unit to maintain my bedside experience (I don't know if it's possible for an advanced practice nurse to do this, but I like both settings).

A few days after I was offered this position, I was invited to interview for a RN position in a OB/GYN/Fertility private practice. I thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to transfer my skill set, as the specialty matches my background. The interview didn't last long. The provider didn't ask many questions and had little time to answer my questions about the practice. The provider asked for my reference list, asked when I would be able to start, and said that I would be contacted. I was turned off by the interview as the provider seemed rushed.

After I left that interview, I called HR and accepted the offer for the hospital position. Although this position is not the specialty that I desire, it is hospital/acute experience. I figured that a hospital job would put me in a better position to get onto a L&D or MB unit than more office/outpatient OB/GYN experience. Moreover, this economy sucks. I can't afford to wait around for a job in my desired specialty to magically appear, because my student loans are about to enter repayment. I think after the orientation period, I will look for a second job to supplement my income.

The thing that makes me sad is, if I stay in this postion for a year or two, it will be 1-2 years before I can start to get any women's health nursing experience needed for graduate school.

I'm trying not to be ungrateful. I do feel blessed. I just hope I made the right decision.

My questions are:

Do you think that Ortho/Neuro is an ideal place for a new grad to start? Is it as great a place as, say Med/Surg, or is it too specialized?

Do you think that starting out in this specialty will make it even more difficult to get onto a L&D or MB unit in the future (What skills set will be transferrable?).

How long after working in this position as a new grad should I be able to start looking for a second job (I want to switch to nights while working days or per diem in another place/specialty).