Picked wrong unit?


Okay so I am in need of some help, and advice. I'm a nursing student, graduating in May from an accelerated program.

I was offered the opportunity to apply for a internship/ preceptorship last minute a couple of months ago due to last minute changes in our curriculum. I decided to a apply, in hopes of getting good hands on experience and also having a job secured before graduation.

I got the internship, but not in my first choice unit. I chose my top 3 units without much thought being that I haven't spent enough time in any one unit to know what my "niche" was, but regardless was apprehensive and almost declined the offer. My unit choices were NICU, L&D and ICU.

I had a hard time deciding at first between L&D and ICU as my 2nd (and ICU even as my first) choice. Well I ended up with an offer for L&D, which I ended up taking. My coordinator told me that if I found it wasn't for me, he's try and find a position in another unit.

Although I don't hate it, I don't love it and I don't feel it suits my personality. I've spent time on the unit, and even though moms and babies are a happy environment, I just don't feel that I made the right choice as a new nurse.

I could kick myself sometimes, and I believe its a challenging area, no doubt. For me though I feel like I'm not using my critical thinking, and not using pathology the way I'd hope to.

I wanted to train in a Critical Care area to learn as much as I could as a new nurse, and I'm finding that L&D is very specialized, and there isn't much outside of women's services that you could easily transition to.

I'm still early in my preceptorship, and could possibly change if I want to. I met a nurse today though that said she was "put" in L&D but wanted a critical care unit or NICU as well, but ended up loving it.

Any advice?

My dilemma is if I wait to see if it grows on me, and end up not feeling any different from how I feel now, I will either have to work it out for 2 year (contract for internship) or turn down a job offer.


144 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac/Transplant ICU, Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

I will tell you this. I work in a top 10 hospital in the country and my unit, the Cardiac/Transplant ICU, takes the sickest of the sick that the world has to offer; Im taking Cardiac transplants, with open chests, Swans, on ECMO, Tandem, Balloon pumps, Impellas, CVVH, Nitric and the list goes on and on. The kind of stuff that we see makes the nurses on other ICUs with 20+ years of experience nervous and somewhat on edge. But one time we had a 36 weeks pregnant pt on the unit that was having cardiac issues and the L&D nurses were bringing all of their devices and parking it outside of the room just "in case" we have have to deliver in the ICU :nailbiting:..........the look of panic in all of our eyes was by far the worst I have ever seen in any of my coworkers :eek:. :roflmao:

Although L&D is highly specialized, there is a lot to learn and a lot of skills that you can bring with you anywhere you go. I would say take the job and if it is not for you, try to switch into Critical Care.