New psych RN looking to switch to med surge

Nurses Job Hunt


  1. is it hard to transfer as a psych nurse?

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2 members have participated

I am currently working in psychiatric nursing (child/adolescent) and have only been an RN for a few months. I would like to transfer to a medical surgical floor and am not sure how to package my resume in a marketable way. I had all med surge experience in nursing school but have been working in psychiatry the last several months. Please give me some suggestions on how to best market myself so that I can transfer in a resume!


14,633 Posts

IMO, the best thing you can do to "market" yourself is to stay in your current position a reasonable amount of time. It doesn't look good to be jobhunting just a few months into your first nursing job. Best wishes!

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

I agree with elkpark: right now, you look less like a promising m/s candidate and more like a flight risk. They will see your employment history and may wonder if you'll do the same thing to them and bail 3-6 months into the job. Get a year under your belt before you do anything.

In the meantime, keep up your m/s knowledge with CEUs and self-study. Start networking with those who may work on m/s floors. Ask to shadow on a m/s unit. See if you can pick up something per-diem right now to get your foot into the specialty without quitting your current job. Consider psych-medical units: these combine psych and m/s patients (they're too psychotic for a m/s unit but too medically unstable for a psych-only unit) and let you gain experience in both.

Good luck!


244 Posts

I actually offer a different perspective. Psych is a subspecialty of its own right and its not necessarily for everyone. As a hiring manager I would first look and say "hmmm only 3 months?" BUT I would recommend putting a statement in your resume stating that you have realized this specialty is not what you want and you would like to retain and build upon the "acute med/surg" skills that you picked up in nursing school. I would place you in the category of "new grad" so you may have a harder time getting an interview but if you are will eventually find something. DONT GIVE UP!

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