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Is it true that once I graduate, I need 2 years of experience in med/surg?


Dear Donna,

I am a student nurse in her third year of a BSN program, and I don’t like med-surg nursing. Everyone is telling me I will have to work in med-surg for two years before going elsewhere. Is that really true? If it is true, I don’t think I will make it. Should I just throw in the towel now and not waste any more time or try to tough it out?

Doesn’t Like Med-surg

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Doesn’t Like Med-surg,

Take heart. While many well-meaning nurses may pass on age-old advice about working in med-surg for two years right out of school, it is not now, and never was true for all nurses. Many nurses, including me, never worked in med-surg at all. We are all different, with varying interests, backgrounds and experiences. Med-surg used to be considered a good training ground for the novice nurse. The high-acuity, complex work environment and high patient-to-nurse ratios in many units makes it a very challenging environment even for experienced nurses. Just for the record, med-surg is a specialty
in itself.

The other issue is due to shifting care practices and settings, many hospitals are not even hiring new nurses into med-surg or any other any specialty. So you are definitely off the hook.

Each nurse has to carve out her or his own path in this profession. There is not one path all nurses must follow. You have to follow your heart and do what works for you. You also have to follow the opportunities. Read “New nurse, new job strategies” (

Best wishes,

By | 2014-09-18T00:00:00-04:00 September 18th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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