When do you pick your specialty?

  1. When do you pick your specialty? I hope to start the LPN or RN (whichever I'm accepted to) this fall. Do you pick it when you do your clinicals? Is it on the NCLEX? I'm sorry, not too hip on all this yet. I have alot to learn!
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    About montinurse

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 217; Likes: 135
    ICU RN; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in ICU

    7 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Are you talking about after you graduate, which speciality you are going to work in? You really don't have to choose until you interview after graduation. Most people though during their clinicals find an area that interests them like OR, pediatrics, L&D, etc. Many come into school knowing exactly where they want to work. Myself, I didn't know so I went into med-surg, where I've been ever since.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   Altra
    Quote from hanesjenny
    When do you pick your specialty? I hope to start the LPN or RN (whichever I'm accepted to) this fall. Do you pick it when you do your clinicals? Is it on the NCLEX? I'm sorry, not too hip on all this yet. I have alot to learn!
    Hi hanesjenny. RN & LPN programs educate you as a "generalist" nurse (can't think of a better term). RN programs will include courses in some specialty areas including pediatrics, psych/mental health nursing, OB and critical care, but at least at the ADN/BSN/diploma level, there aren't different degrees for specialty areas. If you have a strong interest in a specialty, you can try to seek out extra experiences in that area during clinicals, if that's possible, or try to work as a tech/aide in that department while you're in school.

    I'm not familiar with additional credentials or certifications available to LPNs, but after initial licensure as an RN you could pursue certification in the specialty area of your choice - they are numerous, and can only help your marketability in the job market.

    Graduation from a nursing program and licensure are two different things -- after graduation you'll apply to your state to take the NCLEX-PN (for LPNs) or NCLEX-RN. Passing this exam gets you licensed as a nurse in the state of your choice.

    Hope this info helps a little -- good luck on getting accepted to the program of your choice!
  5. by   montinurse
    Is ADN an associates degree in RN? Thanks for the advice...

    Jenny
  6. by   Altra
    Yes, an ADN is an associate's degree in nursing. All three options - an ADN, a BSN (bachelor's degree) or diploma are considered the entry-level nursing education.
  7. by   klone
    In your last semester of the nursing program, you generally do a preceptorship. At that time you can express a preference for a certain unit or area. Doesn't mean you're guaranteed a preceptorship in that area, though.
  8. by   LilPeanut
    I'm in an MSN program and we had to have our specialities decided upon application.
  9. by   robynnelpnstudent
    When I first started the admissions process, I had to declare which areas I wanted to focus on for my clinicals, and that's without even being accepted yet! I told them psych, ER, and peds. I am just soooo glad to finally be a nursing student, I am no longer pre-nursing, just on here giving advice to those that will soon be moving up the ranks from pre-nursing to nursing!!

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