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Too scared to go back to MedSurg

Specializes in Urgent Care, Research, Care Coordination. Has 9 years experience.

So...after getting my RN I worked 4 months on an ortho/medsurg unit in a local hopital doing night shift. I generally liked my job, but night shift (I have a small child) and rude cna's drove me away. I now work in an urgent care facility and I feel like a "fake nurse". While I learned some useful skills, I feel like I couldn't crack it back in the hospital doing floor nursing. I've had my license for about 1.5yrs now, if I go back to the hospital, they're going to expect me to know way more than I think I do. So I'm scared to go back even though I am somewhat bored in my current position. Plus I think I'd be more desireable and hire-able as a nurse if I put in more medsurg time. Down the road, I want to do research, case management, or nurse education...anything but floor nursing...

Has anyone else taken an alternate path rather than going to medsurg right after graduating like recommended? Do you stilll regret it? Did you get over it? How was it going back to the unit?

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

While I didn't hate med-surg, it's not something I see myself doing for a long time. I too work nights and have a 3 months old (so understand how difficult it can be)-especially as a single momma.

I stayed for exactly a year and then transfered to my passion (NICU). I learned lots and will never regret my decision to have done a year of med-surg. I also PRN @ our local prison and county jail so my skills are still in use.

My advice is that if you are miserable in anything you are doing in life......change!

Best wishes!


Specializes in BHU, ICU, ER, Med / Surg, OHN. Has 16 years experience.

My experience was a bit different. I worked about 6 months med / surg when i first graduated. Then the hospital did a bit of re-organization and the last hired were the first to have to find somewhere else to go. I had a choice between mother / baby and BHU. I picked BHU with the stipulation that if i didnt like it, in 3 months they would find somewhere else to put me....I hated it !! 3 years later, they still hadnt found somewhere else for me to go. The whole time, i feared that i was becoming less and less "marketable". Because my nursing skills werent in use at all. Finally an ICU position came open and i applied. I was sure i wouldnt even be considered for it, since in my mind, i had become useless as a nurse. They hired me, and i stayed for nearly 7 years before staffing became a HUGE issue. I feared for my licence every night that i worked. I was assigned 4-5 ICU / PCU patients each night. I moved back to med / surg "for a break". Boy, was i in for a surprise. At least those 5 ICU patients were sick and didnt live on their call bell. They basically wanted to be left alone unless you had to be in there for something. These med surg patients (sometimes 10 at a time), call you for every single thing. And my preceptor assumed since i was from ICU i'd have it all under control. I had no idea how to budget my time for 10 patients that get together and all call you at once. I had no monitor to tell me what the patients rhythm and hemos were. I felt completely lost. So, long story short. Everywhere you work is hard. For a while. You can get used to just about anything. Just be aware that its YOUR license youre working on. If it gets out of control.....get out.


Specializes in med-surg, OR.

Hi, I figure if you really didn't like med-surg, what's the point in going back? Unless of course, you feel this is a challenge you really want to master. If that is the case, you should look for a place that offers reasonable orientation days and a has a supportive floor. Ask for a shadow day, if you are interested in working at a particular hospital, ask lots of questions, and follow your gut. Not everyone is meant to be a floor nurse anyway. I know I am not, though I work floor now, I am just waiting till I can transfer out to another area a really want to work. Good luck with you decision....I say try and go for your passion area.


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