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New nurse seeking some advice!


Specializes in Emergency, Medicine, Long-Term Care, Psych, Peds. Has 2 years experience.

Hi everyone, this is my first post on the forum. I could use some advice with how to manage my career both short and long term and also how to become the best nurse I can be. I graduated from nursing school December 2019, passed my NCLEX in 75 questions in February 2020, and just started my first job in April 2020.

Hi my name is Liam, BSN, RN, BLS, ACLS, PALS.

I am currently working at a critical access hospital meaning we are in a rural area with limited resources and no other hospitals for quite a while in any direction. There are 23 beds, 3 ER, 10 long-term, and 10 acute. I have been floating with my preceptor in all of these areas. Because it's such a small hospital we have multiple responsibilities. We start our own IV's, clean and do clerical work, etc. I am liking it so far 2 weeks in and I feel I'm being compensated fairly. My question is how long should I stay and what should I do next? I am asking this because...

I think I am most interested in psych and peds and I have a strong urge to become a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I am in love with the idea of prescribing meds and giving therapy to those who need it most. However, I have to get experience in a psych ward which I am a bit afraid of right now...

I am basically just asking for help and encouragement as a new nurse and what I should do with my career. I know what my gut is telling me to do. I don't like bedside nursing that much even though I am excellent with patients. I would rather do behavioral health, or at least I think so.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

It sounds like you are in a good place to get a lot of experience. Why don't you immerse yourself in that right now. Don't put the cart before the horse is my advice.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I agree with Emergent. It is fine to start having vague, whisper type thoughts of what you might enjoy doing. However, unless you are currently working with pediatric psych patients, that is just a fantasy.

Give yourself space to learn the job you have. The one you have is going to serve you well in almost any direction to go to eventually, but give yourself space to grow into it. Stay there a couple of years. During your second year, start making more concrete plans. Recognize that anything you think you "might" like to do that is based on thoughts and not actual experiences is more conjecture than reality, and that you may invest a LOT of money to become something that ultimately you had no idea about, for good or ill. Get your baseline experience, then move into a psych position and go from there.