What is your favorite specialty of nursing? (ER, MedSurg, ICU, Pediatrics, etc.)

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

You are reading page 4 of What is your favorite specialty of nursing? (ER, MedSurg, ICU, Pediatrics, etc.)

Mavrick, BSN, RN

1,578 Posts

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU.
Tacomaboy3 said:
I disagree, both personally and generally. I think I have a realistic idea of what ICU nursing entails, having been a CNA in one for 3 years and having completed my preceptorship in critical care. I'm a new grad, and I think I should specialize.

And I think the majority of my classmates deserve the chance to do so too. Most have worked in healthcare for years as a CNA, mental health tech, MA, etc. My class was filled with mature people with great and vast life experiences - they have specialty interests and deserve to pursue them right out of school. The idea that new grads should be in med/surg first is becoming increasingly obsolete and outdated, particularly with the number of specialty residency programs out there.

Similar to what you said, picking a "general area" is also a great way of getting stuck in something you never were interested in to begin with.

My opinion on this is I think a nurse with generalized experience can more easily specialize than a nurse with specialized experience can change specialties.

Once you specialize you become competent in a limited area of nursing and are not inclined to want to start over in another specialty. Your experience in one area doesn't necessarily transfer over to another. You generally stay in a smaller network taking classes or going to seminars in your specialty and don't stay current in other areas. You really have to convince an employer that you are willing to start over, possibly taking a pay cut to do so. That's what I mean by getting stuck. Your ego or wallet can't afford to change specialties.

I will stick with my OPINION that MANY nursing students don't have a clue what a real nurse does in any specialty.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

1,578 Posts

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU.
SharePRN said:
I disagree that new grads shouldn't specialize. At my elementary school graduation, we had to get up and say what we wanted to be when we grew up. I said I wanted to be a nurse who "helped women in labor." I didn't even know what labor really was but I KNEW what I wanted to be. And I did just that. I've been a CNM FOR 20 years and I've only worked OB my whole career (except 2 years of school nursing for convenient hours, but I got bored). If you have a dream job/specialty, keep trying. And the beauty is, if you get burnt out at a job, you can do something completely different but still be a nurse.

Well, it worked out for YOU but you don't explain why all new grads should specialize.

I'm not saying that new grads can't specialize I'm saying they shouldn't.

I recently worked with a nurse that stayed at the same hospital for over 45 years. She never applied for a job. Started as a volunteer candy striper and worked her way through practically all the job categories from housekeeper to charge nurse. She was extremely competent and I believe enjoyed her career. However, I would never suggest to any new grad to do that.

As a new nurse after my experiences I feel that working on a medsurg floor for 1 year taught me many valuable skills. It taught me time management and critical thinking skills. It also gave me the opportunity to learn on the job skills such as the proper way to handle things like colostomies and trachs and reinforce the importance of patient care. After a year I went on to a heart and vascular step down unit where the patients required more care that required more acute care. I thought I wanted to try the OR as a circulator in open heart and vascular. I HATED!!!!! It. Now in an ICU in a level 1 trauma and learning so much and enjoying every time I learn something new

I think it's specific to each individual and how strong of a nurse and their skills they feel they are. There are advantages to both specific areas and units like a med surg. One benefit with Ned surg is that you see many different types of patients and learn a lot

OrganizedChaos, LVN

1 Article; 6,883 Posts

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

Corrections. I tried the hospital & hated it with every fiber of my being.

RNJenn47201

17 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

I've been in LTC all 8 years of my career and I don't plan on going anywhere else. I get a little med/surg, a little ICU, psych and hospice. The best/most-rewarding/most-difficult part is that on night shift it's just me, 3 LPNs, 8 CNAs and 148 residents, and when things go south my assessment/organizational/time-management skills need to be top notch.

guest769224

1,698 Posts

Mavrick said:

I'm not saying that new grads can't specialize I'm saying they shouldn't.

Well you are certainly entitled to that opinion but it definitely isn't a hard truth. Countless are the examples of new grads in speciality areas being successful, well-supported, and able to flourish in their job and specialty.

I know because I am one of them. And I am especially grateful that I did not listen to older nurses telling me that "new grads shouldn't specialize", because that is complete bologna and an outdated myth.

I have not been limited in any way by being a former new graduate in the ICU. In fact, it's allowed me to make my way to other speciality areas with minimal orientation. I work PACU and ER as well, and I attribute those opportunities to being a new graduate in a specialty ICU.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

1 Article; 2,594 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.
ICUman said:
Well you are certainly entitled to that opinion but it definitely isn't a hard truth. Countless are the examples of new grads in speciality areas being successful, well-supported, and able to flourish in their job and specialty.

I know because I am one of them. And I am especially grateful that I did not listen to older nurses telling me that "new grads shouldn't specialize", because that is complete bologna and an outdated myth.

I have not been limited in any way by being a former new graduate in the ICU. In fact, it's allowed me to make my way to other speciality areas with minimal orientation. I work PACU and ER as well, and I attribute those opportunities to being a new graduate in a specialty ICU.

Hey ICU man,

I know you've worked NICU and after 2.5 years, I'm getting a little antsy and kind of want to do something else.

Do you like the ED? I have always love procedures and having the day move quickly, and I think ED would be great, plus it looks great on the resume for grad school.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

1 Article; 2,594 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.
Mavrick said:
None.

New grads should not specialize. They don't know enough about nursing to know what they know or don't know.

So many nursing students don't have a clue about what real nursing is. They have made massively erroneous assumptions about nursing from watching too much TV. Picking a "specialty" too soon is an easy way to end up stuck in something you don't really like because your parents thought you should be a CRNA or because you think working with babies would be fun.

I had no idea how much I would enjoy Interventional Radiology until I floated there on a whim at a friend's suggestion.

The only time I wouldn't recommend specializing is if the new grad doesn't have any idea what he or she wants to do. A lot of specialties can box a person in (OB, NICU, OR), so something broader like med/surg or step-down are great places to start.

Otherwise, if you know what specialty you want to try (general you), I say go for it!

guest769224

1,698 Posts

ThePrincessBride said:
Hey ICU man,

I know you've worked NICU and after 2.5 years, I'm getting a little antsy and kind of want to do something else.

Do you like the ED? I have always love procedures and having the day move quickly, and I think ED would be great, plus it looks great on the resume for grad school.

Hey! Yes, I absolutely LOVE working in the ER. It's such a fast pace and you get to see such a variety. My favorite specialty by far. You should shadow! Consider it. There are lots of procedures, a huge variety in meds, and it really refines your critical thinking. I super recommend working in ER.

Getting an acute care job as a new grad can be very difficult in certain areas. A lot of times you just have to pick the first offer you get. When asked as a new grad why I chose Oncology, I liked to say "I didn't, oncology chose me". ?

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes.

I am an orthopedic nurse and I love it. My first job as a nurse was in an ortho rehab and now I work inpatient ortho unit that does TJR, trauma, ortho oncology. After 7 years, it is what I am comfortable with so it is my favorite :) I also am heavily involved in diabetes education of healthcare workers as I have 2 children with Type 1 and health care workers just don't get enough education (or exposure) to type 1s. I also have an MSN in Informatics so I love to help people with EPIC issues and ways to be more efficient and not hate the computers so much.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X