Take the MedSurg job or wait for a residency?

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

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Hi Nurse Beth,

I am a new grad that missed the boat on all the new grad residences for the Winter. The next round I believe is in January for a March start. I've applied to one hospital near me that is a med surg, and I was hoping to get into the ICU. I feel inclined to take the opportunity to start learning but worried that I could miss the boat on applying for new grad programs. Some recommend I take it because I could learn my skills, gain time management, and get my foot in the door. Others say that waiting even though is risky can also work out because they also do fine when they get into the ICU new grad program. Anyway, I was wondering your thoughts if I should take the job?

Dear Worried,

If you are offered a job in the hospital near you, take it. You won't be missing the boat, you'll be landing a job in a competitive environment.

You don't want to hold out for a residency position only to not be selected, unemployed, and possibly ineligible for future residencies. 

Once you gain 1-2 years of experience, you will be marketable and can start applying to ICU positions if that's what you still want to do.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Damion Jenkins, MSN, RN

Specializes in NCLEX Prep Expert - 100% Pass Rate!. Has 12 years experience. 25 Articles; 160 Posts

I would like to add that as an experienced educator in both the academic and staff-development clinical space - Nurse Residencies do NOT determine your eventual success or ability as a nurse. 

I have created, implemented, evaluated, audited and even helped to get Nurse Residency programs accredited - and they often face many of the same challenges as an institution that doesn't have a residency program. 

I agree with Nurse Beth - take the first job you can get! You will gain valuable experience and begin to apply what you've learned into practice - and that is what will make you a confident and successful nurse. 

Best,

Damion

2BS Nurse, BSN

Has 9 years experience. 670 Posts

Are they starting new grads in the ICU now? We were always told to get at least one year of med surg first. 

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience. 149 Articles; 2,671 Posts

7 hours ago, 2BS Nurse said:

Are they starting new grads in the ICU now? We were always told to get at least one year of med surg first. 

Nurse 2BS- they do start new grads right off in ICU now. There's been a big change in thinking on that practice, and it no longer seems to be controversial.