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When to leave Med-surg?

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

I started around May/June this year. I knew med-surg was never where I wanted to be, or even start at. I preferred cardiac and wanted to start at PCU, though I believe it would be difficult to transfer units at my small hospital.

At this point in my life, I think that I would love to work in the ED. There's an opportunity available in a more rural area, with little to no experience required. My question is, would it be appropriate to being applying to specialty jobs only 6 months after working in Med-surg or should I stick it out for the full year before looking on to greener pastures?

I don't want to seem like a job hopper, but I don't want to pass up a good opportunity.

PCnurse88

Specializes in medsurg, progressive care.

Just my two cents, I think you should start applying.

1) There is no harm in applying. I applied to well over 200 jobs to land my first one, and it got me all of 3 interviews. Applying for a job doesn't mean getting an interview or getting the job, and would be good practice to start writing cover letters geared towards your second RN job in the specialty you're choosing.

2) It took me 9 months to get a job after graduating. Yes, you now have at least SOME experience, but there are also a lot of new grads (myself included!) who did the same- took a medsurg job because it was the only job they were offered, and have no intention of staying in medsurg forever. And as you mentioned, this job you're talking about now has "little to no experience required". Well, there's a class of new grads graduating in December, so you're probably going up against them, too.

3) I interviewed for my first job in the beginning of January, was not offered the job until the middle of February, and didn't start until the end of March - over 2 months later. Another new grad who was hired with me applied in November, interviewed in February, and started at the end of March - over 4 months later. Apply now and if you do get hired, you might not start for 3 months, and you'll have been at your first job for 9 months then.

4) I've started applying to jobs in the specialty I want, and I've found that they are currently few and far between. Some require experience that I don't have and will never get at my current job. I've been looking for about 3 weeks and there are only 6 jobs posted that I want as my "dream specialty".

Good luck in whatever you choose.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

One short-term job doesn't usually hurt your career much. But 2 or 3 short-term jobs often hurts your career by making you look like a job-hopper. (Well actually, by definition, a person with 2 or 3 short-term jobs IS a job-hopper.) So ... if you decide to jump ship now, you had better be sure that you will stay at the next job for more than a year -- preferably, more that 2 years.

How sure are you that you will like the more rural area? the ED job? etc. Because if you end up leaving that job quickly too, you will be digging yourself into deep hole that might be difficult to get out of. So I would only make the leap now if I was confident that the ED job would work out and that I would be willing to stick it out for 2 years.

Also, do you owe any loyalty to your current employer? Have they done you any favors? Did they give you special/extra orientation? Have you worked sufficiently long for them to have been worth the investment they made in orienting you? You don't owe them the rest of your life -- but if they have treated you well and made a significant investment in you, I think you should take that into consideration as you decide when and how to leave them.

I would wait until at least the 1 year mark unless (1) They haven't treated you particularly well or done you any favors or (2) This ED job is so wonderful that you are unlikely to get anything nearly as good later.

KimberlyRN89, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

Just my two cents, I think you should start applying.

1) There is no harm in applying. I applied to well over 200 jobs to land my first one, and it got me all of 3 interviews. Applying for a job doesn't mean getting an interview or getting the job, and would be good practice to start writing cover letters geared towards your second RN job in the specialty you're choosing.

2) It took me 9 months to get a job after graduating. Yes, you now have at least SOME experience, but there are also a lot of new grads (myself included!) who did the same- took a medsurg job because it was the only job they were offered, and have no intention of staying in medsurg forever. And as you mentioned, this job you're talking about now has "little to no experience required". Well, there's a class of new grads graduating in December, so you're probably going up against them, too.

3) I interviewed for my first job in the beginning of January, was not offered the job until the middle of February, and didn't start until the end of March - over 2 months later. Another new grad who was hired with me applied in November, interviewed in February, and started at the end of March - over 4 months later. Apply now and if you do get hired, you might not start for 3 months, and you'll have been at your first job for 9 months then.

4) I've started applying to jobs in the specialty I want, and I've found that they are currently few and far between. Some require experience that I don't have and will never get at my current job. I've been looking for about 3 weeks and there are only 6 jobs posted that I want as my "dream specialty".

Good luck in whatever you choose.

This has been my rationale too. I started my job (also med-surg) in January and I have started the application process a couple of weeks ago. I figure by the time they call me, it will probably be January by then. I'm not only tired of med-surg ,I'm tired of the area I'm in..but that's a whole `nother thread lol.

When I graduated, I took the first job I found. Huge mistake. I was at that job for 4 months and all I accomplished was learning what I didn't want to become. I was working in a private hospital, and the unit was run very poorly. Staffing levels were always unsafe. There were 2-3 nurses there who I could work with and trust and who helped me learn what I could.

My second job I was at for 8 months. It was miles above my first job but still what you think of when you hear any description of a med/surg unit. I intended to stay there for a year to 18 months. I found my current job kind of by accident. It was posted as a new grad job and required 0-12 months experience. I applied, figuring that the worst that could happen was I'd be told no. I've been in my current job several years. I would say if it's unsafe or you are treated poorly you should look at moving on (to protect yourself and license) because eventually you'll find somewhere you choose to stay for a decent chunk of time that will not feel like that long. It does no real harm to look, and it might take months between when you start looking and find somewhere to land. It's probably not great to have several short term jobs, so I would advise not making it a habit.

WannaBNursey, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

I applied to another ER job on the advice of a friend who works there. I was called on Tuesday to set up an interview, but I didn't receive the message until Thursday. I don't know if I can still get the interview. :(

We'll see what happens, God works in mysterious ways.

So did you get the job? I am in the same boat. I had to take a job in Med Surg because I figured it would be better than no job at all. I also new I would get to work on skills, time management, and be exposed to a lot. I had no idea how insane it would be. Acuity levels are high and I often feel that management is out of touch with how crazy things are. Regardless, I have already learned a lot and I know med surg is not for me. Applying for endoscopy, PACU and OR. Sure hope I land an opportunity.

WannaBNursey, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

I got an interview, I was told by the nurse manager that I WOULD be contacted by HR soon. It's been a week and nothing yet. I called HR and was cut off before I could even tell them my name. They said they would call me if I was offered a position. Kinda disappointed. I wanted to give my two week before the new schedule was out.

I like my floor and the people I work with, but I can't develop my skills, we don't get a lot on the floor. It's really disappointing. I realized that I love emergent situations. I love codes! I hate to sound morbid, but they're really fun! I really hope they give me a chance in the ER.

Dont lose hope WannaBNursey. I think we just need to apply, apply, apply. I would try HR again if you don't hear anything. They really should contact you either way. Did you email a thank you letter to the manager after the interview?

WannaBNursey, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

Just to update, yes I did get the ER job! Good bye Med-surg hello ER!!!

That's great Wannabe! I sure hope I get an interview soon. Your story gives me hope!

nurse.j., ADN

Specializes in Med-Tele, PCU, Home Health Case Manager.

That's awesome!!! I have to wait til Feb 23 (when my contract is up) to even apply to a different unit within my hospital system...but I can start applying outside, knowing it may take awhile. I'm struggling with staying with the same system or applying outside since I can start the process sooner. Congrats again and let us know how its going! ER sounds so much more fun than M/S PCU where I'm at now.

I never wanted med/surg but that where I ended up. I'm 6 months in and got a new job in what I love. So my advise is atleast apply and see what u get

That's great wannabe í ½í¸ƒI got great news a couple days ago! I got an offer to work in a day surgery center and be trained to be a circulator. I am really excited to get my foot in the door and get started on my OR careerí ½í¸· NO MORE med/surg! I must say though, the OR manger I interviewed with was impressed by me going in to med/surg for experience. As hard as my floor is I know my experience there is invaluable!

I started in tele and have done "floor nursing" for 3 years. I always wanted to do ICU but couldn't break into it.

Now that I finally landed an ICU job I'm googling and buying books to relearn things I haven't looked at since nursing school.

With that said, I think anyone can start out where they want to be. If you have a passion for something you will learn it.

I know my floor experience is invaluable for time management but at the end of the day, medsurg isn't ICU at all.

I worked on the floor with people that aren't exactly happy nurses with medsurg but they claim to have no desire to work in other areas, so they stick with it. It's not for me because I love high acuity, emergent situations, trending labs, etc. Some people don't want that type of stress.

I'm really excited to start working with invasive devices and all that goes with ICU, I love learning about it and the technology fascinates me. So, I don't think medsurg is a necessary launchpad.

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