Should a new grad go into med/surg or into the specialty that they would love to be in?

Posted
by StudentRNmt StudentRNmt (New) New

I am about to graduate in December with my ADN. I would really like some opinions on whether I should apply to med/surg positions or if I should try to get into the NICU, which is where I ultimately want to be. The hospital that I am going to apply at does except new grads into the NICU. Thank you for your comments.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 11 years experience. 2 Articles; 6,837 Posts

You should apply all over the place. It is rare for a new grad to get into their specialty of choice these days. You most likely will not have the luxury of being picky.

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

I am about to graduate in December with my ADN. I would really like some opinions on whether I should apply to med/surg positions or if I should try to get into the NICU, which is where I ultimately want to be. The hospital that I am going to apply at does except new grads into the NICU. Thank you for your comments.

I agree that you should apply for everything, but don't feel like you have to work in med/surg before NICU. NICU is one of those specialties that med/surg experience isn't as helpful for.

In fact, I think I'd try L&D, mother and baby, or anything pediatric before adult med/surg ...assuming I couldn't get into NICU.

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 13 years experience. 3,878 Posts

I agree with the posts above--apply a variety of places. Don't apply to positions you think you hate, but keep you options only, and realize that you may not get that dream job right away.

I almost hate to bring this up, and I am not saying this to be mean, but make sure you application/resume is free of grammatical errors. The errors in your post might be because you posted quickly on an anonymous message board, which is fine, but don't shoot yourself in the foot by having a glaring grammar error in the first thing an employer sees about you.

AxelNewRN86

AxelNewRN86

69 Posts

if you can get into the speciality of your choice, take it. But if not take med surg for the experience.

JKL33

6,205 Posts

JM $.02 -

A new grad should apply widely and if at all possible accept a position where there is good reason to believe the unit's situation and culture will allow for an excellent new-grad foundation. There are several things that decrease the likelihood of a good foundation, so pay attention to details.

AJJKRN

AJJKRN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience. 1,224 Posts

Accept the job that hires you and pays your bills...and with any luck it will turn out to be your dream job.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

I am about to graduate in December with my ADN. I would really like some opinions on whether I should apply to med/surg positions or if I should try to get into the NICU, which is where I ultimately want to be. The hospital that I am going to apply at does except new grads into the NICU. Thank you for your comments.

For your first job, it doesn't really matter what patient population (specialty) you choose. You want to be somewhere that has a good orientation program for new graduates, a cohesive unit culture with a good emphasis on teamwork and a manager who is willing to work with you. That may or may not be the specialty of your dreams.

Many of us found that the specialty of our dreams wasn't really all we thought it would be and ended up loving other specialties. Keep in mind that could happen to you as well.

Apply to many jobs, and remember that when they're interviewing you, you should also be interviewing them. If something doesn't "feel right" or seems "off", don't go to work there, even if you believe it IS your dream job. Work someplace where you'll LEARN. You can always transfer to NICU after you've got some experience under your belt.

And watch that spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Keep your options open. Apply to any position that interests you that specifies new graduates accepted. I didn't get any responses on my dream job applications but I did get into something that had many of the attributes of that dream specialty.

Best of luck to you.

/username, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. 526 Posts

I am about to graduate in December with my ADN. I would really like some opinions on whether I should apply to med/surg positions or if I should try to get into the NICU, which is where I ultimately want to be. The hospital that I am going to apply at does except new grads into the NICU. Thank you for your comments.

The challenges you're likely to run into are related to having a 2 year degree as opposed to a 4 year degree. This is mediated, of course, if you already work as a nursing assistant, know someone on the unit/manager, have done clinicals there or a similar unit, etc. Many of the competition will have 4 year degrees, and many hospitals are moving to only hire 4 year degree nurses. Virtually every hospital in my area requires a 4 year degree if you have never worked for the health system before. If you have, they'll take a two year degree on the condition that you earn a 4 year degree within a specified timeframe.

That they take new grads into the NICU is a good sign, as they're likely to have a good onboarding/orientation process. If you're looking to get into NICU, I would shoot for anything in the peds/LD realm. Gone are the days where it's expected that you start in med/surg, as each specialty is just that. A specialty just like med/surg.

Another place you may find yourself in a bind is with being picky. At this point, you don't have enough experience or clout to get whatever job you want, so you may not get your first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth choice job. You may have to move, maybe even to a different state or part of the country, but you will find a job if you look hard enough.

ClaraRedheart, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 8 years experience. 359 Posts

I was fortunate to work as a float PCT during nursing school on a variety of units, Med-Surg, PCU, ICU, Post-Partem, Med-Surg, psych, CSU, NICU. I will admit... NICU was one of my favorites. However, I ultimately determined that it didn't matter where I ended up, just wanted to have a good manager and team. I only had one interview, and that was after the NCLEX. I jumped at the chance. It was Med-Surg. It had to be God ordained thing. No other way to explain how I didn't get all of the jobs that I thought I wanted and the job that I needed called me, out of the blue and asked if I could interview. My manager has helped shape me for the better both as a nurse and as a person. She has some serious leadership skills and has done amazing things with our unit in the few short years that I have been there. I'm super glad that I didn't get what I THOUGHT I wanted. Keep an open mind throughout, and during your interviews, consider the person interviewing you, Ask them questions... This COULD be your future manager. Would they be a good leader, mentor? If not, then keep looking. If so, consider it even if it isn't your "dream job".

humerusRN

humerusRN

Has 7 years experience. 100 Posts

My biggest advice to you is if you want that NICU job.... try and get your preceptorship in the NICU area. :) I did my preceptorship clinical hours on a pediatric unit, and ended up getting a job in the hospital as a result. I just used those hours as a very long interview. I was hired into Peds and have worked in peds ever since. Can't imagine working with adults. Gross.