Difficulty finding jobs outside of psych?

  1. Hey all..

    I am just wondering if any of you have been interested in a nursing job outside of psych and if you find that it is difficult to get a job in med/surg (or something similar).

    My first job offer is psych, and I accepted it. I am excited about it. But as a new grad, I'd like to still have a med/surg or position on some type of floor outside of psych. I am not sure if it is difficult to get a job outside of the specialty and what you have to do to stand out when you don't have experience in that area.
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    About Stephieee

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 57; Likes: 11
    Registered Nurse; from US


  3. by   Whispera
    I've had lots of different jobs besides psych. My first psych hospital closed and I had to get something else. I had no trouble getting a med/surg job.
  4. by   beth.grossman
    I'm a new grad in psych and in my area it's difficult to get anything EVEN psych. I've been here a little while but a slot opened up for entry level at local hospital - 500+ applications with current down to 150. Somehow i made that cut, probably because i at least had some kind of experience. We shall see if i make the interview cuts. I actually am enjoying psych more than i had anticipated and i truly had to fight for the job but i still find sometimes that I feel a little cheated that i don't get to do the "medical" aspect.
  5. by   Feistn
    I just got hired as a mental health associate at a psych department in a hospital. They just opened a new building. Each hospital is different, but in this unit, they do plenty of "medical" things, and nurses float from other units to psych when the need arises. One of the nurses I was hired with said that when you think about it, everyone who is coming into a hospital is having some kind of mental crisis, whether they're anxious, hostile, scared, depressed or whatever. And the statistics showed us that nurses in ICU were as or more likely to experience physical violence than psych nurses. Think about it... you can brush up your skills, but either you know how to relate to patients or you don't. That can't be taught.
  6. by   Orca
    I worked mental health immediately after nursing school. The last mental health facility I worked for closed, and I found it nearly impossible to find work afterward. In fact, I drew unemployment for 90 days before finding another job - and I had five years of experience as an RN. At the time, hospitals were running full page ads looking for RNs, but I couldn't buy an interview. The hospitals in my area had the attitude that if you didn't have the exact experience they were looking for, they weren't interested.
  7. by   MedChica
    I don't think it's that difficult to get out of you want to. The nurses at my job don't have difficulty.
    - One of my old baby charges got picked up by the hospital. Now she's doing neuro (icu).
    - One of my coworkers just rec'vd her RN. She could've gone to the hospital, but she psych/LTC/hospice/HH is her arena.

    I have no plans to move on until I get my RN or not. I suppose my psych exp is somewhat atypical because I work with elders (and some young persons) in a behavioral health setting. 80% are on antipsychs and we span the range from those pts with cognitive impairments...to personality disorders ...to schizophrenia...to anxiety/OCD-like disoders...to Bipolar Disorder/depression...to dementia/alzheimers...to suicidal/homicidal/psychotic ideation...to substance-related issues and everything in between.
    But...because it's an LTC type setting? We get to do hospice, woundcare, vent care, trach care, etc...on those that require it.

    Of course, psych exp is valuable but it's not enough by itself. You either have to find ways to hone your 'other' nursing skills and not seem like a 'one-trick pony'...or network your way into a hospital position.