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New grads first jobs

Hi Shannon,

My experience this year has been that new grads have gone anywhere!! Some years have not been so great. In my class we have grads in oncology, general Med Surg, dialysis, Bone Marrow Transplant, several ICU's Burn units, L and D, Peds, some to community settings as well. Med Surg can teach you a lot, but I am not sure you can embrace it, if you dread going there every day ( which is why I went to an ICU.) At any rate, if you do decide to do Med SUrg, it does not seem to hard to transfer to somewhere more specific, but I only have experience in a few hospitals- probably that depends ont he managers of the units. Good Luck in School.

I have been a nurse for 3 years. I started out in med/surg because I knew I would get the best experience there. Do you want to work in a hospital? It is possible for you to get a position in another area like OB, ICU, or ER, but it is much easier to get into med/surg. Once you are on a med/surg floor and decide you want to transfer, it should be easier for you to do so considering you're already employed by the hospital (at least that is how it is at my hospital). But believe me, med/surg experience would benefit you greatly before jumping into ICU or ER.

I will be graduating next May and am really curious as to what type of areas will be open to me as a new graduate. Am I basically facing Med/Surg for at least 6 months or is it realistic to even think of going directly into a different area? Also, assuming that I do go into Med/Surg to start with- is it difficult to transfer to another area within the hospital after starting there? I would really appreciate input, particularly from new grads or soon to be new grads as to the areas which they started in or plan to start in. I really didn't care for my Med/Surg rotation in clinicals. That experience combined with all that I read on message boards concerning ridiculous staff/patient ratios really makes me dread going into that area altogether. I truly am not trying to offend any of the hard-working nurses who work Med/Surg. I'm just trying to find out what I can expect. Thanks in advance for the input!!

Shannon

I have a friend who graduated this May and he got a job just last week in the ER! I will graduate next May, like yourself, and I would truly love to get into the NICU but I don't know if that's realistic. Anyway good luck to you.

Originally posted by Youman:

I have a friend who graduated this May and he got a job just last week in the ER! I will graduate next May, like yourself, and I would truly love to get into the NICU but I don't know if that's realistic. Anyway good luck to you.

I was hired as a new grad into NICU without experience. If that is what you want to do, go for it! It may be difficult, but it's worth it!

Hi! I'm a new grad RN and just started my job last week on the Oncology floor. Several of my friends (who are also new grads) are working at the same hospital. One is working in the ICU, one in the nursery, and one will be on Medical Observation. After accepting my current job, I got a phone call from Vanderbilt offering me a postion on the Neuro unit there. I was told that it wouldn't be difficult to transfer to another position when one became available.

Originally posted by NICUrn:

I was hired as a new grad into NICU without experience. If that is what you want to do, go for it! It may be difficult, but it's worth it!

NICUrn thanks for the vote of confidence I will diffently go for it.

Originally posted by ShannonB25:

I will be graduating next May and am really curious as to what type of areas will be open to me as a new graduate. Am I basically facing Med/Surg for at least 6 months or is it realistic to even think of going directly into a different area? Also, assuming that I do go into Med/Surg to start with- is it difficult to transfer to another area within the hospital after starting there? I would really appreciate input, particularly from new grads or soon to be new grads as to the areas which they started in or plan to start in. I really didn't care for my Med/Surg rotation in clinicals. That experience combined with all that I read on message boards concerning ridiculous staff/patient ratios really makes me dread going into that area altogether. I truly am not trying to offend any of the hard-working nurses who work Med/Surg. I'm just trying to find out what I can expect. Thanks in advance for the input!!

Shannon

Shannon, I just graduated in May and was offered a job in ICU and in the new born nursery. (I took the nursery position.) My husband also graduated in May and he is in the ER. I also have several friends that graduated with me and some of the positions they have been hired into are: L&D, NICU, Same Day Surgery, and ICU. It seems that new graduates are going pretty much where they want in the area I live in. Donna ;}

Hi,

It seems you picked the right time to be a nurse! I hear it is much easier to obtain a residency in the area of nursing you want.

My fiance went into an Adult Critical Care residency (his experience was one year as a nurse tech in telemetry and many years as a firefighter/EMT). At the same hospital I will be starting an ER residency (I have no prior nursing experience besides nursing school). One student I know went into L and D, one in neuro, and several in my class accepted ICU positions.

Good Luck in your job search!!

Erica

Shannon,

I work Heartland Health Hospital System in St.Joseph MO, near Kansas City in HR. We offer new grads opportunities in critical care, OR and just about any other area. We are a TOP 100 hospital if you have an interest in seeing what type of opportunities we have, feel free to check us out on the web at www.Heartland-Health Career Opportunity page.

Mary

ClariceS

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, Cardiac ICU.

Don't be too against working med/surg! As sunfire stated, you get the best experience there, especially if you get the opportunity to work in a teaching hospital. You utilize all the critical thinking skills that you learned in school and they become a part of you as a nurse. Also, you really get to learn all your time management skills that are necessary in other areas of nursing. Med/surg is an excellent place to get your "sea legs" as a new nurse. Also, like was mentioned, if you decide you want another area of nursing, being established in a hospital really helps. Good luck with your career!

As a recruiter and a former RN I can give you advice from a different view. New Grads can almost always get into the unit of their choice if they are flexible when it comes to shift, location, and pay.

If are not willing to work nights or relocate for the job that will give you the immediate access into the ICU or ER, etc. then you may have trouble. You may have to wait a little longer and work in a M/S Unit.

But take advantage of the market currently and look at ALL of your options. Do not take the first job offered to you out of school. Make sure it is a position that you would like to stay at for at least a year--or else you will label yourself as a job-hopper right out of school.

If you want to stay in a small geographic region apply to all the facilities around and check them all out. If you want to open your geographic parameters to a larger area(a state or region) a recruiter is the best way to go.

Overall, flexibility is the key right out of school.

Wow, thanks for all of the wonderful input you guys. I really appreciate it! I'll let ya know where I end up smile.gif

Shannon

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"The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin

Shannon,

I know I already posted, but now, 6 months into the job, I have a "new" piece of advice regarding ICU. I went to a specialty ICU- which has turned out great for me, I love neurosurgery, if I had hated it, though, I would have been stuck there. I would recommend starting out in a more general ICU, where you see it all, chest surgery, respiratory failure, big adbominal surgery, liver/kidney failure, CVA, you will see it all, and as you start to work with the patients, you might find a type of pt you especially like. The ICU experience will get you into any specialty ICU, and you will know for sure you like that type of patient.

ClariceS

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, Cardiac ICU.

Great advice hollykate! That is kind of what I was trying to get at with my posting here. You are one of the lucky ones. Many specialty ICU's have contracts to protect all the teaching time they give a new grad which is great for those who end up loving the area but horribly binding for those who don't. Med/surg gives access to almost everything and the experience that goes along with seeing almost everything.

KR

Specializes in ICU, Agency, Travel, Pediatric Home Care, LTAC, Su.

I graduated in April and in May I started working in a level 2 trauma hospital in the ICU. We have one big group of staff that covers ICU in two different levels. We do everything except peds and burns. Those we fly out, the rest we keep. I really like my job because of the variety of patients I get. It is challenging but rewarding. Every year the hospital hires 10 new grads. It is in a very small town of 4,000 people, but it a big hospital. We ahve 33 ICU beds total. There are 3 big towns, Elmira, Binghamton, and Corning NY by the hospital. If anyone is interested let me know! Kimberly Rush, RN

Hi Shannon. Sometimes nurses find the clinical specialty they enjoy right away, or nurses find it by starting in a unit and not liking it. I always knew I wanted critical care, but I had to start in a stepdown telemetry unit. I worked there for eight months and then left to go to the Medical Intensive Care Unit.

There are different schools of thought regarding new grads starting in Med/Surg first before doing specialty, or if they will do fine in specialty with no experience.

I think the answer, from my experiences as a preceptor, largely depends on the individual. I've seen new graduates do just great and others need a longer orientation, and yet others who I really worried about. Your attitude about being open to learning is key--keep and open mind.

Certainly, the first year of nursing is particularly rough. This is the time when you learn the role, and develop your role through your experiences. Some feel the high stress of say, critical care or L&D,may be too overwhelming for new graduates. This is because you need to work on mastering tasks, such as foleys, IVs, etc. Couple having to do tasks and take care of a crashing patient--this can be rough.

The nursing market now is great. We are in a desperate nursing shortage. This means more opportunities are open for you.

Wherever you choose to work, you should educate yourself about the orientation program. You can ask questions during a job interview, find out info beforehand, etc. You should find out what the orientation program consists of for new graduates (i.e, do you have one preceptor or many, do they offer you on-site training/certification, how many weeks of orientation will you get, how are you evaluated).

In nursing school I thought I wanted to work with peds until I got to my pediatric rotation and decided against it. So, some things you'll find out you like/dislike in school. Good luck to you.

I have to reccommend that most all new grads should try to get at least 6 months to 1 year of general medical/surgical experience. Why?? Because this is where you are going to see the "normal" stuff and really understand your patho/phys. Then if you want to specialize you will at least have a good working understanding of what normal is. In today's hospital climate the units see the sickest of the sick and sometimes it's hard to understand how a person has become that patient in the ICU if you have never or rarely seen the events that can or may lead to them becoming critical. Remember we are all in varing degrees of health. It will also give you a good chance to perfect many skills that some units prefer you have under your belt. GOOD LUCK with whatever you do!!!

[This message has been edited by sonnie (edited December 12, 2000).]

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