What was your first Nursing job?

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315 Posts

Specializes in Perinatal.

Started in L&D on night shift as a new grad. My whole reason for becoming a nurse was to work in L&D. After 19 months I switched to MBU at a hospital where I have no commute, I work days and PMs, and I make twice as much. I love my job and I'm so much happier. I was really anxious working L&D, although I can't be sure if it was due to the job itself or the shift. Either way, I feel like where I am is a great fit for me. I may venture back to L&D eventually but I'm good for now.

Zelda, RN

70 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

First job was child psych. I love peds, I love psych, and I loved the job itself. I left 6 months in, however. We were constantly understaffed, administration cared more about their social workers (which they also kept losing) than their nursing staff. I still miss "my" kids; I loved getting to spend time with them, connecting with them in ways that you don't have the chance to do in an acute medical situation. However, right after that I got my job I have now - med/surg in a pediatric hospital. I love it, I actually wake up halfway excited to go to work. I intend to stay here for a year or two, then I want to try to transfer to PICU.

I was somewhat picky when applying for jobs; I applied mostly for L&D and peds jobs, though I did drop a few applications for adult med/surg and telemetry units, just in case.


9 Posts

Specializes in acute & emergency.

Nursing home assistant. I wasn't even a student nurse yet when I first started! After graduation I worked in a clinic and assisted in small operations like IUD insertions, skin biopsies, mole removals, suturing wounds, all sorts of things. Also answered the phone, provided information, booked appointments, took care of the mail... Basically everything but cleaning and the actual doctoring ;) I really enjoyed the job but unfortunately it was only a temp position. Currently I'm working in home care and continuing my studies further :)

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma.
Not OP but I am a charge nurse in long term care. It's incredibly challenging and varied, in my opinion. We deal with tons of comorbidities and assessing patients I'd a challenge because many of them can't tell you what's going on. You don't have as many disciplines to work with so you end up doing a variety of things that you wouldn't expect. You become great at critical thinking and decision making because there aren't as many people to bounce ideas off of. I love it and am challenged everyday!

I had this position as well; the qualities of this position helped me re enter acute care in a PediED.

My first positions (yes 2! This was in 2005) were in Pedi Home Heath and in Acute Rehabilitation as a LPN; my Home health position notified me that I passed the boards and I started orientation the next week; I interviewed with a Rehab hospital prior to boards and was offered a position to start a month into my position in home health as a float nurse who went through each floor.

My mainstay ended up being in home health in Peds; I had complex pts that had trachs, vents, complex cases; I transitioned into a medical day care and stayed there for 5 years; I precepted new LPNs and RNs, wrote policies, and were on committees; those attributes made it very attractive when I started looking for jobs as a new RN.

My first job as a new RN was in a PICU at a renowned Children's Hospital; they have so many nurses lining up that I felt what I needed as a transitioning nurse and what they we willing to give and a sink-or-swim attitude made it not a good fit; hence, I went into LTAC to the job I described in my initial statement, transitioned into a Post-Acute Pediatric facility where My experience prices I could be a shift supervisor and precept new nurses, and that experience allowed me to accept a position as a Pediatric ED nurse at a Level 1 Trauma ED, where I plan to remain indefinitely-this is the specialty I feel comfortable in! :yes:

RNperdiem, RN

4,592 Posts

First job was a rotating 7-3 and 11-7 med-surg job in a hospital that I did clincals in.

It was called Family medicine, so it was the medical patients only. The surgical patients had their own floors.

Pros: It was mostly days since there was a group of nurses who only wanted to work nights, so I didn't have to work many nights. It was a paying RN job in 1998 when hiring was down and it was difficult to land a new grad RN job. (If I had graduated a few years later, when the demand for nurses picked up, I might have had more choices of jobs. Job market is not something you can control)

I didn't like the job. The work load was crushing, the patients never really got better, depending on CNAs can make life more difficult, and going without lunch was a bad idea. Eight hour shifts felt like always being at work, especially staying late to chart. After one year, I was grateful for all I had learned and was ready to move on.

I wanted to go to OR where there were no call bells, no family, one patient at a time and the doctor was always there (no more answering services). I was offered ICU instead; OR was for internal candidates only. Seventeen years later, I am still there.

Specializes in Emergency.

Cardiac/Telemetry...nights...2 years...now full time days...love it! Was a PCT on floor before I got the RN gig so I already knew about the "idiosyncrosies"


89 Posts

ER in level 1 trauma center.

Specializes in Emergency.
What was your first nursing job and where are you now? Pros and Cons of each job? Were you picky about what kind of job you had right off the bat or did you narrow your focus later on?



No routine.

No routine.

Get to save a life NOW.

Get to serve refreshments & narcotics often.

Didn't think I was picky, but everybody I interviewed with said "you belong in emergency". So that's where I am.

Skips, MSN, RN

516 Posts

Specializes in L&D.

My very first job was a small little ICU at a tiny hospital. Not much support, quit after 6 weeks. Then I moved to Minnesota and got a job in an allergy and asthma clinic and I went part time to work at a school part time. Now I work full time as a school nurse. I love being a school nurse! I am very grateful for all of the allergy and asthma knowledge I gained at the clinic.

Med Sure/Tele for 2 years in 2 different hospitals, then went to PCU for 6 months which was not my cup of tea. I now do inpatient dialysis.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

7 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Lets see...

Grad. in May 2011 with BSN – I have been a nurse for 5 years total but have a lot of different experiences because I work multiple jobs on a part-time basis.

1st Job – Pediatric Psych RN. in Pedi. Psych Hospital (PT with Job #2, Former Employer)

Charge RN after 1 year, Hospital Supervisor after 1.5 years

Worked here for 3 years but took no further growth in management so I took job #4.

2nd Job – Adult Med/Surg. and ED RN in Community Hospital (PT with Job #1, Former Employer)

8 months in Adult Med/Surg Float Pool and then transferred ED for 1 year. Took job #3 because it offered better scheduling and flexibility.

3rd Job – Adult Psych. ED RN in an Adult Psych. Hospital (Per Diem, Currently Employed)

Part time initially and now per diem for 2 years total, currently employed.

Great facility with a lot of resources, a well regarded facility.

4th Job – Nurse Manager Adult Psych, Inpatient (FT, Former Employer)

Full time job for 1 year.

Great opportunity for someone with 4 years experience but limited resources/support and a desire to return to bedside nursing so I took job #5

5th Job – ED RN in Community Hospital (PT, Currently Employed)

Part time for 8 months and currently employed.

Good learning opportunity, a lot of support from my manager.

6th Job – Adjunct Clinical Professor in BSN University Program (PT, Currently Employed)

Good use of my degree, a lot of support from my department chair.

This is a crazy timeline but it really has provided me with a lot of experience and I still have 3 out of those 6 jobs (LOL) so it's not so bad!

!Chris :specs:

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

30 Articles; 13,755 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

First job: ER, in 2008. I've been 100% ER until now; currently I am in a trauma department doing education and PI, I've only been here a few weeks but I love it so far. Still, I am anxious to get back to the bedside just a little with our traumas. :)

Totally agree with emtb2rn's pros/cons. lol

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