Where does a newbie RN go??


Hi all! :D I will be graduating within the year! Hooray! :yeah: I am very good at the 'knowledge' part of nursing, but am a little weak on the clinical aspect. My two favorite areas of nursing are Cardiac and OR. Where do you suggest I work upon first graduating to get my feet wet? And to be honest, I do not like the Med. Surg. floor (a lot of people have said start there, but I really do not like it). Do you all have any other suggestions for a new nurse? I do not want to feel too overwhelmed. :chair:

Thank you very much!!! :clown:


310 Posts

You're interested in OR and Cardiac? Those are 2 very challenging areas-especially for someone saying that they don't want to feel too overwhelmed!

The truth is that as a new grad, you will feel overwhelmed anywhere you start.

If those areas are your interests, apply. You will feel overwhelmed more times than not, but if you're up for the challenge, then give it a try.


784 Posts

Thanks! Yes... I like a challenge and like the intensity of those two disciplines. I know I would do well in them eventually, by for the first year wanted to 'get my feet wet' in an area that was not so intense. I will work my way up to that comfort level. I feel pretty strong in those areas mentally (book wise), but not so sure 'hands on.' I just do not want to make a mistake and hurt someone. Should I just jump into those specialities anyway?? :rolleyes: You said it will be overwhelming pretty much anywhere.....:uhoh3:

Thank you for your input! :hngon:

bill4745, RN

874 Posts

Specializes in ICU, ER. Has 15 years experience.

Try telemetry. It's halfway between M/S and ICU in terms of intensity.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Keep in mind that some hospitals will be willing to train a new grad for those areas, and others will not. Some will be willing to work with you for a period of time to see if it's a good fit; others will require a year or two of med-surg before even looking at you. Alot depends on the needs of the facility, the resources it has to train new grads, and the supply of nurses in the area.

You will be overwhelmed pretty much anywhere you start. However, HOW overwhelmed you are might be related to how prepared you are to enter a given area. In my own facility, no new grad is let anywhere near the OR or L&D until there's a solid med-surg background to work from. But I know that in other hospitals, they are more willing to "risk" the new grad in an orientation program.

Find out what options you have in your area. Then you'll have a better idea of where to go. No sense in deciding on what you're thinking about right now, if you don't know if they are options!

Best of luck to you :)

1TachyRN, RN

144 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, Adolescent/Child Mental Health. Has 2 years experience.

I'm a little over a year and a half out of school. I went straight into specialty areas, and after a rough first year I really like where I'm at now. I do think, however, that a good solid year (at least) of med/surg is what most nurses need to build their skills and knowledge base. Those are things that are going to follow you regardless of where you feel you "belong".

I kind of feel like I may have missed out a little by not going to a hospital environment for that first year. But four ten-hour shifts, no nights and weekends was nice for a little while, too.:)


33 Posts

Specializes in Stepdown/Tele/MS.

Hopefully you live in a large area with at least a couple different hospitals.

I would look at different intership programs that accept new grads. They give classroom training and peer mentorship.

Hopefully something should be available to you like this.



784 Posts

That was very good advice. One of the hospitals I am looking at does offer an OR internship. Not sure if it is for new grads. OR nurses who are already there. I will certainly inquire about that.

Thanks again to all of you!! :) E

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