Published Feb 18, 2005
I am wondering what other people think about new grads going into speciality areas right after graduation. Do you think it is better to do some med/surg and get some basics down before jumping right into a specialized area?
llg, PhD, RN
Definitely not -- unless you like adult med/surg nursing and want a career either in that field or in one of the sub-specialties of adult med/sug (such as cardiology, adult oncology, adult ICU, etc.) If you want one of those adult specialties, the general adult med-surg experience can be helpful.
However, if your interest is in pediatrics or maternity or something like that, then the adult med/surg experience will not be particularly helpful and may even complicate your orientation as a peds nurse later. You will have to "un-learn" some of what you learned and that is difficult. Also, if you don't particularly like working in adult med/surg, you might get burned out, discouraged, etc. and lose some of your enthusiasm for nursing. By the time you reach your desired specialty area, you may feel "old and burned out" before your time. That might taint your whole career.
Go where you will be happy ... where you will get your career off to a good start ... and to a place where you will feel good about yourself and your career choice. That's the best start any new grad can get.
llg, most nurses tell you to get good at M-S before any specialy area, so I find your point of view refreshing. Does your opinion also go for psych? Thanks.
I agree with llg.....
Unless you plan on working med-surg for years....I wouldn't.
If you know what specialty you want, then go for that.
I think med-surg is for people who don't know what they want to specialize in, or for people who are not confident enough to enter ICU straight out of their nursing program.
just my opinion....
I am graduating in Mayand the reason I am thinking about med surg is because I feel that it will provide an opportunity to synthesize all the stuff I have "learned" in bits and pieces in nursing school.
What do you think?
I've been in staff development (and a little management) for over 20 years focusing on neonatal and pediatrics. I have also been active in professional organizations etc. and have discussed this issue with many other leaders in the peds/neonatal/OB fields.
While many med/surg nurses will tell you that their specialty provides a good foundation for the others ... most experts in peds and neonatal will not tell you that. All of the major children's hospital that I know of are quite happy to hire a high-quality new grad.
In fact, I keep the recruitment/retention data for my children's hospital and have compared our numbers with those of another very large prominent children's hospital. In both hospitals, the people who work adult med/surg before starting their peds careers have the lowest rates of successfully completing orientation and staying in peds for at least a year. Many people find it hard to become a "beginner" again in a new specialty after they have become comfortable in another. Of course, there are some people who find that experience helpful, but the majority find the switch from one specialty to another very difficulty.
I'm afraid I don't have enough experience in psych to answer your question.
llg (ddd is my home account. llg is my account at work that I use most often.)
I think med-surg is for people who don't know what they want to specialize in...
NOT attacking you here at all...but I think med-surg can be considered a specialty cant it? Can a nurse be certified in Med-surg. Like a certified nicu nurse. I don't know if that would make it a specialty in the sense of OR and L/D type specialties. Some people actually like med surg. Not for me though.
I agree with some of the other people to...if a specialty is what you want to go into then try to get right into it. In some areas med surg doesn't really help. NICU being a good example. I worked telemetry/medsurg for 2 year before going to NICU and my experience didn't really help me all that much. It gave me a little edge but not much. But I caught on quickly.
I think med-sug is a specialty in its own right and therefore should not be considered a basis for all other areas.
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