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How do you choose a specialty in nursing?

Do specialties make you more or less attractive to prospective employers? Do you choose based on interest, availability, pay, or other aspects?
#nursing #nurse #healthcare #hospital-and-health-care


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Nathan’s Answer

Hi Logan,

Some people have an idea as to which area of nursing they are interested in, either due to prior exposure (family member works in a particular area or you or someone you know spent time in the hospital and you were exposed to that area). If you are in nursing school, you will be exposed to various units (not all) of the hospital during your clinical rotations. Most of the time, it also depends on your personality and what kind of environment you thrive in (i.e. fast paced environment of the ED, the slightly slower but more intense environment of the ICU or or less intense but requiring good time management skills of the medical/surgical floor nursing. As you do your clinical rotations, talk to the staff on the units and try to take in as much experience you can to help you make the decision. I personally have worked in adult medical surgical (new graduate), surgical trauma ICU, ED, PICU, Flight Nursing and Peds CVICU. The great part of nursing is that if you don't like a particular area or you get bored, you can always change and try something new.


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Jason’s Answer

Generally, when as you go through your rotations, you will find a specialty you like. My best advice towards getting hired for your first nursing job: if your on a unit you like, be professional, friendly, and stay busy on the unit. Tell the other nurses on the unit for them to cone get you for ANY skill or activity. Be willing to do anything to help, be willing to do crudy things, and the nurses will remember and come get you for more interesting . The more active you are on the unit, the increased likelihood they will remember you, a hard working student who was friendly, helpful, teachable, etc.

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Judith’s Answer

Nursing is a versatile career. I have found that as your lifestyle changes, you can change your career direction in nursing. I started out working 3 12 hour shifts on a med-surg unit. As my family needs changed, I went into a case management position working 9-5 with no weekends or holidays. Along the way, I have worked in occupational health performing TB testing at a local zoo, worked as a home health nurse seeing patients in their homes, taught nursing students, and picked up shifts on various other units (oncology, ortho, behavioral health). Each position provided experiences that furthered my knowledge. Some nurses that I graduated with went on to advanced degrees, others gained some experience and then went into travel nursing. How and what you decide to do with your career is your decision but nursing does provide an endless number of opportunities.

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