Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Published Jul 1, 2018
You are reading page 2 of What is your favorite specialty of nursing? (ER, MedSurg, ICU, Pediatrics, etc.)
I do think that you can have an affinity for one speciality over another. For instance, I love labor and delivery & NICU but could never do pediatrics because I'm lousy at it. That being said, there is no harm in trying a specialty and seeing if you like it. You can always, always change if you don't. That's the beauty of this wonderful career!
I love the Peds ED. Adult ED, Prehospital, ICU, and PICU all come in a moderately close second.
I enjoy peds in general, kids just want to be kids but the adults seem to live in their disease state.
As a group of patients I like caring for oncology patients. In my opinion it is more emotionally draining than other specialties and there are many poor outcomes, but the patients who beat cancer make it worth it - especially the kids.
The EDs feed into my somewhat ADHD tendencies and general dislike for routine.
I think that if you know what specialty you want to be in go for it early. Nothing will teach you how to be an Peds nurse like working in Peds, ED for ED, ICU for ICU, NICU for NICU, et cetera.
I think that the ICU is a great learning ground for those who aren't quite sure of where the want to be, it teaches critical thinking, how to take care of emergent patients, how to care for patients over time as they stabilize, et cetera. I would recommend working on inpatient unit for new grads rather than starting in outpatient clinics, home health, LTCs, et cetera for any nurse that wants to work in an inpatient environment. The tempo is hard to get back into after spending any amount of time outside of the hospital after nursing school.
Mavrick said:New grads should not specialize. They don't know enough about nursing to know what they know or don't know.
New grads should not specialize. They don't know enough about nursing to know what they know or don't know.
Definitely disagree. I worked many years in the ICU as a tech and knew it was exactly what I wanted to do once an RN. Working with those nurses and that patient population for so long gave great insight on its realities.
Here I am 3 years later still in the ICU. New grads can absolutely specialize and be successful.
I think a lot depends on your temperament. During nursing school clinical's I *hated* ICUs, all of them without question. I hated NICU/PICU/Cardiac ICU. I didn't like how sick the patient was, how emotional the family was, etc. I did 1 shift in the ER and I fell in love with it. Most of the patient's walked in and walked out, families were there sometimes but not nearly as emotional.
Of course, three years into ER I realize how much time is spent taking care of the sick patient's before they get to ICU (if they get to ICU at all...) and their families are just as emotional. However, the ADD nature of the ER helps me with this. If my patient is sick/dying/dead and the family is there and I feel overwhelmed I can often times see my other patients who might be a three-year old with a cough that is smily and happy. It helps me balance out the emotion of the more critical patient's.
There are weeks at a time when our ER is just a second ICU, filled with ICU holds (which does suck), but overtime I have gotten better at taking care of ICU patients and dealing with my own emotional response to really sick patients. I have the skill set but I still mostly hate it. Reminds me too much of when my mom was in the ICU.
But when ED is at it's ED prime, there are so many other types of patients that I still love it. And I love my coworkers too!
bgxyrnf, MSN, RN
In descending order of preference:
1) High-acuity, high-census, academic, urban ED... get to see it all... from neonate to 108, from burns to worms (maggots, to be precise), swinging psychos, twerking tweakers, eviscerations and lacerations, fractures and ruptures (arteries, globes, and esophageal)... stabbings and shootings... through the sack, the neck, the eye, the head, the chest... Blood shooting 10 feet across the pod... cops tazing people and wrassling people... all kinds of things stashed all kinds of places and some of the most entertaining XR ever... intubations and drips and ECMO and post-mortem c-sxns and canthotomies and open heart massages and on and on and on... You want to be the best, most well-rounded nurse... this is it... 14ga IVs into trauma patients, 24g IVs into neonatal scalps, I/Os... EJs... ABGs... Vents... Lots of needles, lots of tubes...
2) Cardiothoracic ICU... sickest patients and coolest toys
3) Peds... just because you can always care about your patient... and it's the most rewarding field ever... (PICU, peds ED, or peds ward...)
4) Procedure labs... GI and IR... 9-5 for the most part, no weekends and holidays... except for call... which can be very lucrative. Time-limited encounters... and in the latter case, interesting as heck.
5) PACU... "We're almost through here... I'll let your nurse know" and it's a hugely sought after specialty for the service missions
These are mine...
ICUman said:Definitely disagree. I worked many years in the ICU as a tech and knew it was exactly what I wanted to do once an RN. Working with those nurses and that patient population for so long gave great insight on its realities.Here I am 3 years later still in the ICU. New grads can absolutely specialize and be successful.
If you're fortunate enough to have options, do what you want... you can always change later.
Sure some nursing students through personal experience or by working as a CNA or tech know exactly what speciality they want.
If you do not have some personal experience or exposeure such as that, a new grad can't know what area they will like.
As a nursing student and even working a few years acute care I thought L&D nursing was really lame, not "real" acute care nursing.
I became a house supervisor and learned L& D nursing is the scariest, hardest, most critical care area a nurse can work. This is after 5 years of ICU. I even kind of wished I had gone into L & D nursing.
brownbook said:I... learned L& D nursing is the scariest, hardest, most critical care area a nurse can work.
Two lives on the line... or 3 or 4...
And those moms can go all kinds of bad all kinds of fast...
I've worked in Mother/Baby, L&D, Cardiac Step Down/Post Open Heart Progressive Care, and CCU, as well as an Urgent Care that also functioned as a psychiatrist, physical therapist, pain management, and PCP..and hand downs my favorite has been the last 7 years I've been in the ER. I will never go back.
Mavrick, BSN, RN
OP asked a generalized question about an opinion and wasn't talking specifically about YOU.
Of course there will ALWAYS be those individual students who have a clear idea of what they want and are fortunate enough to get exactly that.
I gave a generalized answer/opinion because I don't know the exact career path of EVERY SINGLE nurse out there.
I worked in the ICU as a student nurse and had a definite idea that I wanted to do that. My first year out of school I worked an ortho/neuro floor and use the knowledge I gained there even in my current position as PACU nurse. Sometimes it clarifies what you don't want. And it certainly gave me a better idea of what challenges other nurses have. (NEVER send a patient with a "questionable" IV to a post op floor. They don't have time for that kind of nonsense.)
FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN
I've worked child psych, adult psych and community psych.
Maybe you can tell that I like psych.
Out of all three, I like working in the community the best. I found out that I really like supporting parents when I worked in child psych, which was something that I imagined would be miserable.
The best specialty for a new grad is the one she is interested in.
Corrections!! Bet I'm the only on here that says this lol
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