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starting in a specialty


Specializes in CCRN.

RNs- I am curious as to what your opinion is on starting in a specialty?

My instructors have given me all types of different advice.

My interest is in the ED.

I know that the likely-hood of getting hired into an ED w/out experience is slim to none.

However, should that stop me from attempting in the first place?

One of my instructors tells us to go for the specialty we're interested in, and that med-surg doesn't matter because orientation will teach you the specific skill-sets for the area of your interest, and you may be doing or losing skills that apply to your desired job.

She started in the ED, another who agrees w/ her started in a PICU- neither regret their decisions

Others say you should start on med-surg

What is your opinion?

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

If you can land a job in the specialty of your choice, go for it. If not, take what you can get. I started in ER as a new grad. It's not impossible.


Specializes in CCRN.

If you can land a job in the specialty of your choice, go for it. If not, take what you can get. I started in ER as a new grad. It's not impossible.

Did you regret your decision?

Do you think you were prepared enough as a grad nurse to be on your own in the ED?


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

I say do what works for you. If your goal is ED, go for it. Mine is L&D, and I'm applying for it (and a couple of other specialties I like) like crazy (new grad). I have a few per diem jobs in other areas of nursing (non-hospital), but I'm still applying for those specialties. The way the market is, of course, most of us are taking what we can get for now, but if you CAN get into your specialty, I see no reason not to go with it. Most positions want you to have experience in that specialty, anyway. Few specify a desire for med/surg experience. I was given the "do med/surg for a couple of years first" advice too, by some more "old school" teachers, but the way the market is right now, few of us have the luxury. Hospital jobs are hard to get right now. Good luck!

You'll be learning regardless, might as well start where your goal is. It'll take you longer starting from ms

Surprised1, MSN, RN

Specializes in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. Has 9 years experience.

I started in a specialty, and have loved it. Actually it's a double specialty. I was trained accordingly.

Also, many graduates from my program were hired directly into the ED after graduation, so it is definitely possible.

I just granted in May and I really, really wanted to start in my desired specialty, critical care (either ICU or the ED). I applied to every type of job that fit that criteria and pretty much every other position as well. I start Monday at the hospital I wanted to work at AND in the field I wanted, ICU.

I say go for it. Can't hurt to apply! A lot of the nurse managers I talked with, prefer new grads because that means they can train them the way they want things done!


Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

The market is such that that old "spend a few years in med-surg" advice is almost useless to most people. The new advice should be "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit. 😀"

Meaning...network everywhere. Apply everywhere (INCLUDING the specialities that you want.) Don't sit around waiting for that magical med-surg position (because it may not come), and don't sit around waiting for that magical specialty position (see precious reasoning.) Fight as hard as you can for what you want, because it definitely can happen....but be willing to accept what you don't.