Nurses Are Talking About: Jobs for New Grads

Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS


December 12, 2011

In This Article

The Holy Grail

The fear expressed by the new grad working in psych is a common one. More than a few new grads have taken ambulatory care and other nonhospital jobs because these jobs were all they could get at the time, but many perpetually worry about not getting their 1-2 years of med-surg experience under their belts.

"I've been working in home care, and while I'm grateful to have a job, the pay is minimal, the hours are terrible, and the benefits are nonexistent. My boss treats me like a second-class nurse for lacking the holy grail of hospital experience. But what can I do?"

"Without the magical 1 year of med/surg, you're sunk."

Do these beliefs prevent new graduates from seeking positions and finding gratifying and challenging careers outside of the hospital? Health industry forecasters tell us that healthcare is moving into the community. (See "Ambulatory Care Nursing: Yes, It's a Specialty") Strong clinical skills are required in ambulatory and non-acute care nursing positions, yet newly licensed nurses still overwhelmingly want positions in adult or maternal-child nursing -- primarily medicine, surgery, or obstetrics -- but not with the elderly. Most prized are positions in large, urban, acute care hospitals which are believed to offer a faster pace and a broader range of technical skills.[1]


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