Med-surg or NICU first?

  1. Hello all, this is my first time being on This site is excellent. One of my classmates told me to check it out and I am glad I did.

    I have a couple of questions for the "seasoned" nurses. First off, I'm a GN and I work in a sub-acute facility where patients come from the hospital for rehab or they aren't sick enough to stay in the hospital. I am going to continue to work here until I get my license. Question #1. Should I start off on a general med-surg floor for a year like everyone has been telling me since I entered the nursing program? or #2. Should I go right to the NICU? My ultimate goal is to be a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. I just want to get the best experience so that my career can flourish in the way that it should.

    I welcome any incite from anyone who can help me.
  2. Visit Neonatal WannaB profile page

    About Neonatal WannaB

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 11


  3. by   dawngloves
    I would sit back and think about how good my orginazational skills are and how well I deal with pressure. You really need that foundation under you.
    If you feel confident with those things, I would go right into NICU!
    Good luck!
  4. by   Neonatal WannaB
    Thank you for ur incite dawngloves. I wouldl probably need to go to med-surg first just to get accolomated to the environment. Maybe in 6 mos. I will be ready. Thanks again for ur help.
  5. by   prmenrs
    I disagree. All through school, most of what you learned was adults. Now you're working in an adult area. As soon as possible, go to NICU. All of that adult info is being CEMENTED into your head, and EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT in NICU. So, IMHO, scr*w med-surg, you want to go for NNP, go to NICU as soon as possible so you don't have to UNlearn a lot of stuff.

    I went to NICU after 2 1/2 yrs of med-surg/adult ICU experience--it was 6 months before I could figure out if a baby was acting normal or not. I did go to a 3 yr diploma program, and if you don't have organizational skills after that, you'll never have them. It's different now with so much less clinical time, but I still think that year of M/S is a bunch of c**p.

  6. by   Neonatal WannaB
    Thank you prmenrs, that was very profound. I never looked at it like that. I will definitely take your advice into consideration. Congrats on your retirement!!!
  7. by   dstout-rn
    I agree with NOT going to med-surg first. I went to the NICU as a new grad an have not looked back since. The NICU is so different from adults really their is no reason to start there. GOOD LUCK in whatever you decide to do!!!!!:roll
  8. by   guest01
    I have been a nurse for 4 years. I have worked in a nursing home, pedi home care, step down medical cardiac, med-surge-telemety, and now NICU.
    Working in the other places helped me with organization to some degree, and how to handle stressful situations, so I don't know if I would change any of that.
    I was unhappy in most of those jobs as I knew I wanted to work in an NICU or with children while in clinicals.
    One year I thought about getting a bachelors degree, and the president of nursing told me that she did not believe you need to work in med-surge if you don't like it. And many nurses where I work started off in the NICU and they are great.
    Just make sure the hospital has a good orientation program. Mine lasted for 8 weeks.
    Good Luck, and I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to do.
  9. by   nell
    I'm with the "straight to NICU" camp. I did adults (med/surg, ER, ICU) for 10 years before I was "forced to float to the terrifying nursery". I never went back to adults. I had a LOT to unlearn though - the NICU mindset is TOTALLY different. The nurses I work with that skipped Med/Surg are not lacking in organizational skills anymore than any new grad in any area is.
  10. by   prmenrs
    I do agree that the caveat here is to BE SURE they have a good, thorough orientation. Our hospital does for NICU new grads--we try to be real careful w/them--they get classroom (2weeks), growing premies (2 weeks w/ preceptor, 4 wks on your own w/ an identified resource person), then more classroom for ICU (not sure, ?1 wk, 3 wks w/preceptor, then 4 wks w/ resource).

    You will hear the phrase "Babies are different" more than you want. It's the truth.

    You go!! and Good Luck!!
  11. by   dawngloves
    Just from personal experience, I used to belong to the "dive right in" school. But I've seen too many new grads in Critical Care the past couple of years flounder and fail beacause the haven't developed their nursing technique yet.They can't organize or use their critical thinking skills to their advantage just yet.
    This happens to one out of four, that is why I reccomend evaluating yourself in those mentioned areas. The technical skills will come. That is not a problem. But, it is so dissapointing to want to go into a field and feel so over your head, you quit.
    I feel if you haven't found your nursing rhythm, work on it first, then go into a Critical Care field.
    Just my 2 cents. : )
  12. by   KRVRN
    NICU first, definitely. Med-surg is just yucky, IMHO.

    It's funny-- We had to change a colostomy bag on a preemie and we all had to don masks cause poop and colostomies are so stinky! (oh yeah we're spoiled)
  13. by   Neonatal WannaB
    I want to thank all of you "seasoned" nurses for your advice. I don't what I'm going to do but I know I need to work on my organizational skills and be a little bit more confident when working on my own. I am extremely nervous being a GN. I just don't want to make any major mistakes. All of you seem to have some good points. Maybe I will work in Med-Surg for 6 mos. just so I can have that background. It couldn't hurt. Thank you all once again.
  14. by   Christel2Rn
    I have also just graduated. I will be taking my NCLEX next friday and starting in a level III NICU in August. I was also debating whether I should do med surg prior to NICU. I am planning on being a Neonatal nurse practitioner as well. I think that if you have the opportunity to go straight to the NICU that you do so. I figured it would be best to work there before commiting myself to the practitioner program. Good Luck. If nursing is who you are then you will be successful either way. Christel