Where Do I Belong?

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I'm in my third year of nursing and I am feeling VERY stuck. I have a lot of varied experience including: adult oncology/telemetry/medsurg and general pediatrics. At this point in my life I do not want to leave hospital nursing because I like working night shift (for the money) and I really like working 3 shifts a week. Can anyone provide any insight on units that might be a good fit? I'm not feeling very passionate right now and I have no clue where to start looking for a new unit. I am thinking ER but I am worried what COVID has done to critical care areas in nursing....HELP please...

NightNerd, MSN, RN

1,129 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 9 years experience.

What tasks do you enjoy the most? What kinds of conditions do you like learning about or find interesting? Which groups of patients tend to stick with you (in a good, I liked taking care of them kind of way)? What about ER makes you feel like it would be a good fit?

Has 5 years experience.
12 hours ago, NightNerd said:

What tasks do you enjoy the most? What kinds of conditions do you like learning about or find interesting? Which groups of patients tend to stick with you (in a good, I liked taking care of them kind of way)? What about ER makes you feel like it would be a good fit?

I really enjoy educating patients and family members. As far as tasks go, I really hate doing all the med passes and trach care. All other tasks are fine. I find myself drawn to taking care of teens and young adults and then the elderly. (The happy elderly that is). I’ve really enjoyed taking care of teens with mental health issues and post op teens. And when it comes to elderly, I’ve found I enjoy taking care of them at the end of life. They’ve always been grateful for my care. When it comes to the ER I find that it will be challenging for me in a good way. I’ve gotten comfortable in my nursing (as in I come to work, have my shift planned out, and I usually know what to expect with certain patients). I think I need something challenging and something new to learn. And I’d most likely see groups of all ages come through the ER. I’m terrified of critical care but I think that’s in a good way. 

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

The ER can be a good learning experience.....there are some signs though in your post that you may want to look at and decide if you want to go to the ER. Many people in the ER are not appreciative of the care....some are actually downright abusive. You won’t have much time for patient education - the ER is mainly focused around tasks, priorities, and life saving skills. I am not saying the ER would be bad, but I just want to prepare you for the reality of it.

You mention you like mental health, peds, post op, end of life care, etc. Have you thought of exploring these? Hospice or palliative care? PACU or pediatric PACU? Some form of patient education specifically like diabetes educator? It’s just some things to think about.....

JBMmom, MSN, NP

4 Articles; 2,353 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.
15 hours ago, jellybean570 said:

I really enjoy educating patients and family members. As far as tasks go, I really hate doing all the med passes and trach care.

Might be hard to find an environment that get what you like without what you don't. Critical care can be a great place for learning, but we do get the trach patients, especially fresh post up. Our med passes tend to be smaller, with only two patients, but usually much more frequent, with many patient getting meds frequently throughout the shift. If you're on night shift, though, less educating and less family member interactions take place. Good luck finding what you're looking for!

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB. Has 53 years experience.

If there's a big peds hospital nearby, apply to work in the adolescent units, with an eye to eventually transitioning to their education team.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,661 Posts

Specializes in dialysis. Has 30 years experience.

possibly a psych facility or unit in hospital, maybe working with teens if possible

frozenmedic

58 Posts

If you enjoy education but hate med passes, you could also consider mother-baby.  These patients are on far fewer meds than a general med-surg/oncology unit but have LOTS of questions about everything newborn/breastfeeding etc.  

StrwbryblndRN

658 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

Maybe consider looking into in-house Hospice.    Some hospitals have it or lease an area in the Hospital to a hospice group.    Not very common though.   You have less meds, except frequent end of life and a lot of education for family.    This is what I want long term but it is highly coveted and hard to find openings.  I am 100% night shift and prefer 12 hour shifts too.