Job searches

All you lucky students out there who are graduating in May should check out this site to help in your job search:

I’m jealous of you soon-to-be-grads because you are almost done with
school, but at the same time I’m really scared about my own graduation-
I still don’t know anywhere near enough to have someone’s life in my
hands. Plus, I have no idea what area I am going into. I am leaning
towards pediatrics or ER, but I don’t have my Peds rotation for a few
more months, and I will never get an ER rotation (and my school won’t
even let us shadow in the ER).

A question for the students out there- have you figured out what area
you are going into? If so, how do you know it’s right for you? Did you
enter into school already knowing what you wanted, or did it just hit
you during one of your clinicals?


13 thoughts on “Job searches

  1. Hi Katie,

    Well, even though I am not a nurse, I thought I would comment on my decisions for specialization.  

    Even before i started my program in radiography i was pretty sure i
    wanted to cross train into other specialties.  Radiography is great
    because you have so many choices as far as other modalities including
    CT, MR, PET, sonography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, bone
    densitometry, vascular ultrasound, cath lab specialties and cardiac
    cath lab.  I have already started thinking about crosstraining in bone
    densitometry, CT and maybe eventually MR.  These modalities dont
    require additionaly schooling but rather on-the-job training, self
    instruction and then a certification exam from the ARRT.  Then you get
    bunch of other cool letters after your name when youre done. 🙂 

    So thats my two cents. 

    Desert Imaging

  2. Hey Katie,
    I take my NCLEX exam on Monday and still do not know exactly what area I want to go into. I think I will just get some experience doing Med/Surg for a while and maybe one area will stick out. It\’s pretty scary to be this far along and have no idea what area I want to specialize in.
    I went into Nursing school wanting to do pediatrics, but as I am sure you have heard, it really does take a special person to do peds. I love and adore children too much to have to do some of the procedures that you are required to do. I know it is something that must be done for their health, but I am just not the right person to do it.
    I love your site because so many things you think and say are the same things I have thought. It\’s good to know that you are not alone. Good Luck in school and I promise you will be graduating before you know it.

  3. I know here locally that you have to have several years experience before you can work in the ER because of what you encounter intensity wise and it is so fast paced. I have always wanted to work onocology but that is until I possible intern in that department.
    JJ Green
    Ft.Smith, AR
    Nursing 1

  4. I just graduated in December and started work a week ago (our hospital won\’t hire grads until they have passed their NCLEX). After my third semester I also thought about Peds. I did an internship over the summer in peds and knew it wasn\’t for me, but still didn\’t know what I wanted to do. My last semester was in Med/Surge again. In our hospital the two are split up on two different floors. Med is on one and surgical on another. I had done this rotation in my second semester and didn\’t really care for either one so I was really worried, but for whatever reason, sometihing clicked for me and I really enjoy the medical floor. I like variety and lots of it, plus I like dealing with adults better than kids. So, I applied to the medical floor and got hired. So, don\’t despair, something will click for you too.

  5. Don\’t know where you\’re going to school, but if you are anywhere near rock-chalk country let me know.  My better half is ER Doc.  I know several students shadowed him for a day or two informally before starting med school to get a feel for it.

  6. Katie,
       I graduated from an LPN program in December. The entire time I was in school I wanted to to psych nursing. I loved my rotation in psych, and have a BS in psychology also. I was already and was offered a job on the psych unit at the local hospital here when a friend of mine talked me into interviewing for a position in the ER. I got the offer and after a lot of soul searching I decided to taker the ER job. My reasoning is that I want to go back for my RN and CRNP. In the ER I will be exposed to everything; peds, psych, oncology, respiratory, surg, trauma, you name it. I was very frightened at first about if I would be able to keep up. The ER at my hospital is a level 2 trauma center, so we have a very involved orientation program that you have to test out of. That by itself was like being back in nursing school. I have learned so much already, and there is no rush like working a trauma alert. I know that when I am older and burnt out on trauma and need a change that I will go back to psych, but I am so glad that I made the choice that I did. Check out That is the Emergency Nurses Association. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. GOOD LUCK!!!

  7. Katie,
    I graduated from the RN program one year ago and I have spent my time since graduation at a rural hospital.  I think our average census is 10, but we do OBs and cover the ER as well.  When I am the only RN on at night, things can get a little hair-raising.  It is definately a sink-or-swim situation and I must say, my confidence has grown immensely in this year.  I think rural nursing is something to think about – you learn by doing everything yourself and then can make an informed decision on what specialty suits you. 
    My last day at my rural hospital is Saturday and I am sad about that… but I got hired at a Regional Hospital ER and I am really excited!!  ER is definately my favorite area.  I think rural nursing has prepared me well.
    I read your blog every single day – thanks!
    Jennifer, RN

  8. Hi Katie,
    Wow…that is a really good question. I read your entry and then sat here thinking…when did I know? How did I know? I came up with nothing. I can not conclude when or what made me choose NICU. My family telling me I would not be good at it pushed me harder to specialize in Neotate but…where the original idea came from…for the life of me I can not remember.
    It seems that I choose Nursing and the NICU at the same time? Or vice versa? I do know that I was in 9th grade when I started thinking I was going to be a nurse. I wrote an essay about being a NICU nurse.
    You know…I hated Med/Surg and Oncology. It might be great for some but it was not for me. There were few patients that I actually enjoyed. I especially hated my rotations at the nursing homes. This may sound odd but I think it had to do with the people in New Mexico. They are all rude grumpy, nasty people. I can count on one hand the patients from my Med/Surg and Nursing home rotations that were nice!
    My favorite rotation was OR. Loved it! I loved being the last face these patients saw before going to sleep and the first when they woke up. To have these patients be so scared and you being the only sense of security they have touched me. Many times a patient would say…"will you hold my hand". I would hold it till they fell asleep then be sitting there still holding it when they woke up. 
    Sorry Im not much help…especially since I don\’t practice nursing. You are a very special person…you will find your niche I know it!

  9. Hey Katie,
    I think that its hard in the nursing program to determine which area you really want to be in because there are so many med-surg rotations and not enough of the others, there are so many different areas to work and 4 years is not enough time to see them all.  I was lucky that OB is a rotation because as soon as i started i knew that i loved it.  When you find yourself looking FORWARD to clinical and looking up information solely because you want to learn as much as you can in that area, that\’s when you know its for you.  Many of my friends didn\’t know which area they loved when they graduated so no worries, get a job in a general area, perfect you skills then just keep trying different areas till you find what you love. 

  10. HI: I\’ve always known I wanted to work in Labor & Delivery. However, throughout my rotations, I kept changing my mind! I sat down one night and made a list! I wrote down EVERYTHING that I liked about my Nursing. I loved PACU. I loved the OR. I loved Nursery Admission. I loved my rotation in a community clinic.   Turns out I like fast-paced…but not crazy fast-paced like the e.r.  I heard orientation for the ER and OR is intense, and like being back in school.  I realized that I love therapeutic communication and education.  I love multi-tasking.  I love having one-on-one time with the patients. I don\’t like the ICU-too sick!  I didn\’t like Peds because I had to deal with parents.  Couldn\’t stand Psych, felt I needed to be admitted myself, after 4 weeks! I didn\’t like Mother/Baby- mothers were too demanding.  So…I still may go into Labor and Delivery and later on in life I\’ll do community nursing or school nursing.  EITHER WAY…i\’ve been told by so many nurses that I REALLY should start with MED-SURG to get a foundation of knowledge…from there i can go ANYWHERE! Which…really it makes sense.  I\’m considering the cardiac surgical floor for the first year, and then I\’ll switch to L&D…we\’ll see! I have an interview in two weeks! Wish me luck! :0)  SO…to answer your question…MAKE A LIST and hopefully it will pop out at you.  If anything, start with Med-Surg and you can figure it out later!  That\’s the beauty of Nursing, you can change to another field anytime in your career!  hope this helps! good luck and keep us posted on your decision!

  11. Katie,
    You seem to have alot of "fans" with good advice. One of the things I can tell you is choose your area , don\’t let the hospital choose it for you. Because of nursing shortages many recruiters will try to encourage you into areas (particularlyMed/Surg)that are short staffed.
      If your interest is critical care , alot of hospitals will offer a critical care fellowship for new grads. This usually involves cardiac monitor courses, pharmacology, and some basic critical care skills. We had such a fellowship while I was working a level 1 ER and the "kids" coming into the ER would be placed with a preceptor and then have 6 weeks of working with an experinced RN . You rotate through neuro,ICU,CCU,ER and then can choose the area when your year is up.
      I have to say that basic floor nursing, although not as glamorous, is essential to a new grad. The skills of priortization and time management you gain will help you become comfortable in nursing.There is still no substitute for gaining experience from the "bottom "up.Good luck and happy hunting.
                                                          Nurse Bill

  12. Katie-
    I have truly enjoyed reading along and commisserating with your schooling.  I\’ll graduate in May and still have NO idea which area is where I belong.  Luckily, I work at a small rural hospital and I will have the opportunity to float for a while.  I think that will give me the chance to find my niche and keep learning at the same time.  Good luck and hang in there!
    Mary Lynne

  13. Hi:  I\’m in my 2nd year, i\’m pinned in June, and lucky for me i know exactly what i want to do. I plan on becoming a labor-delivery nurse in OB, i just got done with my PEDS-OB rotation and absolutely loved it, i did enjoy PEDS too but i knew once i stepped on the OB floor it was over. I figured i would prefer the nursery but i didn\’t, sometimes you can assume that you will like things and it will not be what you thought it would be or you don\’t have a good experience and it changes how you think.  Last year i had a 3 week rotation on OB and loved it so i knew this year would be even better, we spent a day on PEDS also last year and i didn\’t like it, but this year it went sooo much better, and i actually enjoyed it, it depends alot on your instructor and the pts you have.  I\’ve been very lucky and had wonderful instructors so that has helped alot.  You will know when you find your area, i knew when i didn\’t want to leave the floor.  Also when i\’m there i don\’t think about anything but L-D, PP moms and babies, i have NO distractions from the outside…i\’m truely focused on that…because i\’m soo interested in it
    Rachel Johnson 2nd year RN student, CMA, LPN

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s