New Grad Dilemma

  1. Hey everyone!
    I am a recent RN-BSN grad who passed the NCLEX in February. Currently, I am struggling with some choices that will be coming up soon regarding my first job as a new grad. I have two interviews scheduled, one for acute care night shift position (Level III NICU) and one in public health in the maternal/childhood department. While many new grads would probably want to slap me for even writing this post, I am torn between the two positions. During nursing school, I found myself more and more disheartened by the inpatient setting. Almost every nurse I met seemed upset, burnt out and spoke of moving on to bigger and better things. This is understandable since the workload placed on bedside nurses is absolutely nuts. While the NICU would be an amazing opportunity for a new grad, there are many things about public health that really interest me. I found a new love and appreciation for preventative care and patient education in school and public health really focuses in on that.

    My long term goal is to someday go back to school and become a FNP and work in the outpatient setting. I have no interest in working in the acute care setting as a FNP. My long-winded question is are there any FNP's out there who worked solely in public health before becoming a FNP? There is this stigma associated with nurses who never step foot in a hospital after they are licensed and I would love to get everyone's thoughts and opinions!
  2. Visit CARN2018 profile page

    About CARN2018, BSN, CNA

    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 16; Likes: 21

    8 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Slap! There's no decision to make until you get actual job offers.
  4. by   CARN2018
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Slap! There's no decision to make until you get actual job offers.
    I totally realize these are preemptive questions. I understand that I would be EXTREMELY lucky to have both options on the table simultaneously. I was simply asking for some thoughts/opinions and in no way trying to offend anyone.
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from CARN2018
    I totally realize these are preemptive questions. I understand that I would be EXTREMELY lucky to have both options on the table simultaneously. I was simply asking for some thoughts/opinions and in no way trying to offend anyone.
    You haven't said anything offensive. I just can't understand why you want to agonize just yet. Hopefully, you'll have offers soon and a legitimate reason to torture yourself.
  6. by   OldDude
    Quote from CARN2018
    I totally realize these are preemptive questions. I understand that I would be EXTREMELY lucky to have both options on the table simultaneously. I was simply asking for some thoughts/opinions and in no way trying to offend anyone.
    That's OK, I promise you haven't offended anyone. Baby steps.
  7. by   mmc51264
    If you want out patient setting, then start there and see if you really like it. then you can always go to inpatient. I admire those than can do outpatient. I dont think I could.
    Best of luck!!!
  8. by   SopranoKris
    I don't know of many NICUs that take new grads. Typically, you need experience in peds or mother-baby first. Do you mean neuro ICU for adults?

    Secondly, if you get away from the inpatient acute care setting, it can be difficult to get your foot back in the door if the program you want to attend requires inpatient experience. If you love public health and want to remain in that capacity, have you thought about getting a masters in Public Health instead of going the NP route? It really helps to have that underlying base of nursing experience to grasp the medical portion of NP training. However, there are programs out there that don't require inpatient experience as an RN for admission. (Whether I agree with that or not is a topic which I don't want to broach in this thread). There are programs, like Frontier, that specialize in FNP & CNMW training for rural and under-served populations. You do need a year of acute care experience minimum for the FNP program.

    Bottom line: go with what makes you feel fulfilled and happy. The good thing about nursing is that there are many opportunities to change specialties down the road.
  9. by   not.done.yet
    If you think you may wish to go on to more advanced practice roles, such as being an NP, a nurse educator, case management or many others, you will need 2-5 years of acute care experience. However, NICU would not meet many of those requirements either, as it is so specific.

    Keep applying. Go to your interviews. Keep giving it thought. You may do just fine in community health. You may do just fine in NICU. Both tend to have higher than average satisfaction scores from the nurses who work them.
  10. by   CARN2018
    Hey guys! Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement. I received offers after both interviews and went with my gut and chose the NICU position. It's a level III NICU so I think it will be a great learning experience, regardless of where I head in my future nursing endeavors.

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