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As a new nurse, is it okay to go from specialty to specialty (new job to new job) within the first year, for the sake of knowing what your niche is? Im currently in rehab nursing but I dont feel like this job isnt giving me the experience I need.


December 23rd, 2021

New grad here! “Older” nurses may not agree with what I’ve done but I still figured I’d share. February makes a year since I’ve been a nurse and I’ve switched jobs twice already. Started in cardiac step-down, which wasn’t bad. However, it was a very toxic work environment. I didn’t feel supported as a new grad so I decided to leave. Initially, I was about to accept another offer on a similar unit but took a chance and applied to the ED. I knew the ED experience would help me get into the specialty I really wanted which is L&D. I saw a few openings after being in the ED for a few months and took the chance and applied. To my surprise after 6 months in the ED I was able land my dream job in L&D that I’ll start in January.

December 29th, 2021

I think changing jobs is par for the course with nursing. Nursing sucks. Administration is usually horrible and we are worked beyond belief, coworkers are lazy and good nurses are set up for failure. Back in the day there were reasons for longevity but not anymore. You can buy your own insurance, roll over a 401k etc. As nurse we are expected to pick up the slack for other disciplines. Help the CNAs, help anesthesia, help pre-OP but nobody ever helps the nurses. Most places where nurses work have a revolving door. The only downside for switching jobs is that the next
endeavor may require 1-2 years of experience.

January 27th, 2022

I graduated from an Associate Nursing program in 1971 as a RN. I marched into HR at Ascension Health Care (they are great to work for) and requested a day position in ICU. Well, they told me to work the floor for a year and we would talk about it. From there I worked at the VA, Home Health, Hospice, Geriatric Rehab & moved into psychiatric nursing. I took a long term care prn position and liked it so moved into that field where I did wound care and later a Director of Nurses position. I am now taking college courses to become a Nursing Home Administrator. All of my varied jobs never seemed to hinder my getting a job that I wanted but gave me a diverse & interesting career.
I say talk to other nurses in different areas and see what will be interesting to you. Examine what your interests were in nursing school and GO FOR IT!!! You have 1 nursing career, don’t get stifled in one you don’t like!!
Annette

December 16th, 2021

Most definitely! I have been a nurse for 30 plus years! I know it sounds old. I would try to stay close to a year for first job. Just to get some experience. Then decide where you may want to you go next. Thats what great about nursing! I even did travel in my younger years! Best of Luck!

December 26th, 2021

Length in a position counts, I like to encourage my new grads to spend at least a year in a position before moving on. I believe nurses need to have experience in different areas to decide where their true passion lies, but they also need to spend enough time in an area to truly experience it.
On the other hand if I'm interviewing and a nurse has spent less than a year in multiple facilities I put that application at the bottom of my list to interview.

January 1st, 2022

Our community of nurses can be extremely critical. The most important aspect is YOU! Put yourself first. I’ve been in this business a very long time. If I saw that you moved around a lot I would not reject your application instead I would provide coaching. Perhaps you don’t like long term commitments? Or you are not ok with toxic work cultures. Try a float pool or travel nursing. Job behaviors can grow in non traditional ways that many nurses have never seen or don’t allow themselves to think outside of the box. The other thing is—what if nursing is not for you or have you thought about how you grew up?? Have you ever had to stay in one job for a while? There are so many ways to be a nurse that does not always include bedside or hospital work. Go explore and don’t let the opinion of others who are not walking in your shoes stop you from finding your fit in nursing.

January 27th, 2022

As an “older nurse”, I have learned that if you don’t take care of yourself and your needs, no one will. Move around, discover what is a good “fit” for you. Along the way pick up skills and knowledge you can use in the future.

January 27th, 2022

I highly recommend going to a med surg floor or anywhere where you will see a variety of things you will see a lot and learn a lot get as close to your year mark as possible until you transfer that way you've built up some skills and won't feel as lost when you go to a different floor.

December 29th, 2021

Try PRN along with your current job, maybe try PRN in an ER or some other setting until you find your thing!

January 29th, 2022

When you interview, the first thing I look at is "job jumping". Employers invest a lot of time training and hope people stay. It looks better if you stay 2 years before moving, otherwise you may limit your ability to get the next job. Good luck!

January 29th, 2022

Recommend staying in your current position for a year. Then explore other specialties.

January 28th, 2022

As an old nurse no, but if you work in a large hospital, try their float pool. This gives you a wide range to experience, and I would bet the float gets more money.

January 28th, 2022

In my opinion I feel like you should first (within the first year) get to know how things flow, get used to rules and regulations before switching around. -nurse of 12 years 😀 good luck 🍀

December 31st, 2021

When hiring managers see that you bounce from job to job especially when first starting out it may not look good. They may think you will do the same with them. I would say get a good solid year of experience in a good specialty. Here in California it seems that every place wants you to have a solid two years of telemetry experience. A good telemetry unit can give you a really solid nursing foundation that will help you to move into the specialty you desire in the future. If you can get straight into a specialty you like such as ED or ICU that of course would be better! Don’t bounce around too much but definitely if you hate where you are at and it’s an awful place to work don’t settle either!

January 30th, 2022

It is not a good idea. What is best practice as a novice nurse is to get the theory application tied into practice on a general med/surg unit get some solid experience with the ability to tie all the body's systems in place and how one organ affects others. You need a solid foundation in order to be successful and develop professionally and impact our discipline efficiently and effectively. When I first became an RN we were never allowed to move into a specialty area until we had a solid med/surg foundation at a minimum of two years and demonstration of such. You will be doing yourself a disservice otherwise. Thank you
Vincent

January 27th, 2022

You could try being a float nurse. That way you don’t have to commit to a specialty and can do a little of everything. It’s not always easy and comes with it’s own challenges, but that’s what I did as a new grad and I’m grateful for the experience.

January 27th, 2022

If it were within the same organization, maybe. One warning I can give you as a hiring manager, if I see someone "bouncing" around, I'm a bit reluctant to hire. Now the shortage is what it is and you won't have trouble finding a job in this climate BUT; let's say you are gunning for your dream/ideal job and it's between you and a few others. That could be one of the factors that takes you out of the running. Am I saying to stay for ten years? No. The standard seems to be about two and then move on. Rehab/LTAC nursing definitely isn't for everyone, but that can be said about many specialties. I can tell you though that there are hospital systems that offer "residency programs" where you can do rotations and possibly find what you love or are at least happier with. Best of luck! -VV

January 27th, 2022

It's probably not the best for your resume to leave a job within a year. That being said, get the most out of the position you are in at the time (ask questions!) and then move on when the time is right. I would say, give each position at least a year, you may find out that you like it more the more you learn and comfortable you get. Eventually, you will find you're specialty!

January 27th, 2022

I did that but I spent at least a year in each specialty for the experience and not to look like a flake on my resume. I did 1 year in school nursing, then 3 years in mental health then 1 year in surgery and then 1 year in family medicine. I finally got back into school nursing and have been here 6 years. Time flies.

January 27th, 2022

I would recommend that you get a sound foundation in adult internal medicine. This will afford you the opportunity to see cardiac, pulmonary, renal failure, wound care, general diseases. It will also give you the exposure to different types of medication s and classification of medications.
Once you feel confident in you assessments skills, by all means move on but spend a year in each place unless you know within three months that you have no interest in the speciality.

January 27th, 2022

Taking the health and well-being of our patients and the member community very seriously. Like you, we are closely monitoring the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In nursing you should explore, get to know all health related job. Be patient, you will enjoy it.

December 24th, 2021

If you are spending less than a year in a new job you are not fully giving yourself or the job enough time to decide. Also if I saw job hopping on your CV I would not hire you because I would figure that you would be a waste of my time. If you are very unsure try traveling to experience different types of nursing as well as types of institutions.

January 27th, 2022

Older nurses 'EAT THEIR YOUNG" been lvn for 30 years i recognized ,some they are not KIND,or HAPPY CAMPERS ????????? so i stayed away -from them eat in my car not saying much or make friends . Love my line of job , im very good on what i do .

February 17th, 2022

I personally feel a year of med/surg nursing in a hospital is the best teaching tool for an new nurse, giving plenty of variety and experiences , after a year or two can move to other dept. in the hospital or various other nursing outside, your chooses are endless. Forty plus years of nursing and wasn't much I didn't do, learning and growing with each adventure.

February 17th, 2022

To gain more exp in other areas I would suggest picking up a per-diem job. I worked FT 12hr shifts in PICU and after a year I started doing pediatric home heath, then teaching pediatric clinicals with nursing students, then working in a PICU burn unit, then cross trained to PACU and worked with adults. For me I loved staying in PICU but it was so much fun gaining experience in all those other areas. On a side note if I'm looking at resumes and see a frequent "job hopper" they'll be my last choice for an interview unless their resume addresses the frequent changes.

February 11th, 2022

It is best as a new nurse to first get 1 year of consistent experience before moving to another specialty. However, withe current nursing Covid environment and shortage of nurses you can always apply to other specialty positions and see what happens.

I have been an RN for 42 years and have moved around be for settling in Infectious Disease/Control for the past 20 years.

Good luck in your endeavors

February 1st, 2022

Considero el area de rehabilitacion tiene muchas oportunidades podrias hacer una sub especialidad en rehabilitacion pulmonar que es super interesante y muy bien pagada espero sirva mi consejo.

January 31st, 2022

Nurses are notorious for job hopping period. Don’t worry about it

January 31st, 2022

i believe it is best to stay in same area for a year and then branch out. I also think that experience working in a hospital setting, med-surg, tele, ed, icu, neuro, will give best experience. Emergency room is where i recommend starting. I was always afraid to do ED and at beginning of COVID, my boss asked me to go help out as the house supervisorr was out with COVID. I will tell you it was the best experience in nursing, within the hospital setting, that i have ever had. ED folks work as a team and they help one another learn. Spend a year in rehab, then the ED and you will have enough creditionals and experience to go anywhere. You want experience, go work on a med surg floor dealing with covid patients. you will learn more than you know.

January 29th, 2022

I do not agree with that. Specialty areas often take at least a good year to get comfortable in them to know whether you are going to like it or not. I can understand you wanting to transfer to a different area than rehab nursing though because even though it can be challenging you do not use a lot of the critical care things you learned in nursing school.

January 29th, 2022

Need more experience prior to transfer to specialty areas

January 29th, 2022

I believe that a new nurse should try to stay with one job for at least a year to show that she is reliable and accountable to one employer. By doing this I feel it will help with obtaining future jobs. With any job that I have had, I always learned new things through the experience when I allowed myself to do so.

January 29th, 2022

Absolutely. I wanted to gather experience from every field so that later, when I was ready, I could be a wiser nursing leader. I started in dialysis which helped me hone multi-organ failure. Then I worked ER, ICU, MICU, CCU. I did a couple of years in psych. Then I completed 2 years in long term care as a DON and became a certified RN.. I often had full time jobs with part time jobs (in the ER). Finally, I felt ready to enter hospital nursing administration. I was very successful because I took time to gain a variety of experiences.
After 40+ years of nursing, I have never regretted going from specialty to specialty. Now as a semi-retired nurse, I am happy doing home health. I love teaching my patients about their illness and paths to wellness. Have no fear… and you will find your niche.

January 28th, 2022

Hi! Many large Healthcare facilities want their new RNs to experience each Unit/Shift. This is mutually beneficial since it prepares Nurses to work any Unit and it allows the RN to see which Units 'ring their chimes'. It may not be just the specialty. It may be the culture of the Unit. The word 'culture' just means collective behaviors: does the Unit feel good? Are Staff communicating? Do you feel welcomed? If you have been assigned a preceptor (may be part of Orientation), this can be discussed with that person. If there's not a preceptor, a friend or family member could also be a good listener.

January 28th, 2022

Speak up,nothing happened then you can look for another one

January 28th, 2022

as a nurse it is not advisable first you need to have the experience before going for specialization or changing new job.

January 28th, 2022

You should stay in one speciality for at least 6 months to see if you like it before changing. Just being in a speciality for a month or two doesn’t give you enough time to see what it’s about. You spend the first 30-90 days training. So if you change specialities every 3 months you basically spend your entire career in training. Hope this helps.

January 28th, 2022

Now that I am in management, I would suggest spending at least 1 year in each position. There is a lot of time and money spent on training/ orientating new hires. It is usually 6 months to 1 year before units payoff new hire orientation. It takes 3-6 months to become acclimated to a new unit, and about a year to really understand the complexities of a specialty. Spend that year learning as much as you can and figure out what you like and don’t like about it. Then you can decide what type of unit you want to try next. Also try to get shadow shifts before you transfer.

January 28th, 2022

For the sake of knowing what your niche is? Probably not the best reason. If you feel reasonably supported and you don't hate the work I would put in at least a year.

As a new nurse longevity does matter. They want to know that you are reliable and have an established skill set. Now after your first year you can move around as much as you want. Couple months a couple weeks sometimes at a job doesn't matter. I wouldn't put them on your resume after the solid year if it was shorter than 8 months experience.

Nursing is the best! I moved around many times but always spent at least three years in a position. Except hospice I was there 6 months and went right back to the hospital. Didn't work for the best company. Anyway good luck!

January 28th, 2022

It is ok to look for job you love and learn more things if interested and not satisfied with the place you work .I think loving your job makes you more responsible and doesn't make you frustrated ,mental health is important.

January 28th, 2022

It would seem to me that it would be better to spend at least one year in each specialty because there is just so much to learn and you will not encounter all types of patient in less than one year. I think that if you really want to learn as much as you can maybe at least 2 years would be a better amount of time to spend in each specialty. but after being an LPN for 30 years and working in several specialty, that is just my opinion.

January 28th, 2022

As a manger, that is something we look at because it’s costly and time consuming to hire and train new staff. Be honest and tell why you are looking to switch. Some managers like to see at least a year on the job. On my unit, if we really like someone we would take a chance.

January 27th, 2022

As a nurse of 21 years I would suggest you spend 1 solid year on a med/surg floor to get true knowledge and experience. You learn so much of your foundation there. Then start moving around and trying out different specialties!

January 27th, 2022

I don’t think it is wise just for the simple fact that you are getting comfortable with your basic skills yet. Specialty is great but you have to be family with the patient population. It’s not like in the nursing lab where you all your patients have regular sinus rhythm, no fever, RR 16.

January 27th, 2022

Hi there! From my own experience, I worked a position in behavioral health for 8 months as a new nurse, and quickly figured out that I HATED it and began looking for new opportunities. I then got a job in med-surg at a hospital that has several different med-surg units, specializing in different conditions. I started on an oncology specialty unit, then moved to a neuro specialty unit within the same hospital after 6 months. No one seemed to question me moving to different specialties, especially because it was within the same hospital. I’d say med-surg is the best place to start as a new nurse because you’ll have lots of different patients with different conditions and you’ll be able to float to different units in your hospital, gaining the experiences you’re seeking. It’s ultimately your practice and you have to make the moves that are best for you and what you want to do! Good luck!

January 27th, 2022

Job jumping is probably the worst thing to do in your first year. You're new and don't know what you don't know through experience. My advice (and experience) is to gravitate towards the area that drew your most interest while in school. The one that wasn't hard to study for, the one you enjoyed learning about... Because that way it doesn't feel like work once you're there. I mistakenly jumped into medsurg/ICU because other nurses told me it would be the best in getting body and assessment experience. I hated it! Did 9 months and cried over half the time. I LOVED women's health but chose not to go there out of school for fear of not having the necessary medical experience to be a well rounded nurse. Once I found a job with maternal child health, i flourished! It was my niche all along and i dedicated 15+ years to becoming the best i could be without feeling like it was a chore.

January 27th, 2022

no

January 27th, 2022

move to other areas to feel safe in their work, and do it with more efficiency and performance.

January 27th, 2022

move to other areas to feel safe in their work, and do it with more efficiency and performance.

January 27th, 2022

i think it is fine for one nurse to have broad experience in the professional world before exploring out for more opportunities. this also gives one room to grow.

January 27th, 2022

Absolutely, however you may try looking into a facility that offers multiple internships (rotating various roles through different specialties).

January 27th, 2022

In my opinion, it is okay to go to a new job if one does not feel genuine patient care commitment, but strongly recommend completing at least the first year. I may add to do some soul-searching and pin down the desired specialty one want to grow in and follow that pursue.

January 27th, 2022

No you need to gain a few years of basic nursing experience and learn how to critically think in a med surg position to problem solve hard cases to strengthen your base knowledge to move on.

January 27th, 2022

I believe new nurses should get a sound foundation of at least a year in med /sur!

January 27th, 2022

I feel you.

I started off in medical-surgical. I did that for a year, then transitioned to ICU, and eventually ER, which is my current specialty. Bear in mind, I’m a 6 year nurse.

Don’t underestimate rehab nursing. It’ll teach you the basic nursing and you’ll learn to fall into your own groove in no time, but it’ll take at least a year before you start to feel comfortable with patient care.

Looking back, I have no regrets. Medsurg and ICU gave me the time management, med pass, and drip management skills that have kept me afloat in the ER and continue to.

Give it a little more time, at least a year because of you choose to branch out, your new employer will most likely require at least 1 year of experience. That one year is your ticket to anything you want to do later on in your career.

All the best and stay safe out there, and welcome to the professsion!

January 27th, 2022

No. It will take you at least 6 months to get acclimated and learn what you need. Most facilities, unless you are in a preceptor program will not let you do that.

January 27th, 2022

I've been a nurse for 25 years from a snf to ICU .I don't see a problem moving around in specialties the more specialized training you have the more marketable you become. There was a time when I started nursing in 1998 that new nurses would have to start on night shift, and then wait several years to get into specialty there were no new grad programs to E.R. Icu etc. Just be happy and blessed you are able to get in as a new nurse. My advice no matter what department however never be afraid to ask before doing a new procedure or giving a new med its better to be safe than end a life or your career. If you feel comfortable in a particular specialty then stay and dedicate yourself to it get your certifications and stay up to date . On the other hand if you just are not getting it or do not like it move on you'll find what works and makes you happy. nursing is stressful enough on its own specialties are harder do yourself a favor and choose wisely for your future health and happiness depends on it.

January 27th, 2022

It is okay to try different kinds of nursing. That is the joy of nursing. I would just be prepared to explain the transitions for interviewers if less than 1-2 years between transitions.

I am a huge property for residency programs for new grads or those returning after many years. The healthcare entities that offer these opportunities tend to have better retention rates because nurses get exposed to numerous areas over 12 months to enable them to make a more educated decision on first and subsequent assignments.

January 27th, 2022

Let me preface this by saying that I have been an RN for 35 years. My primary focus is ER MICU AND SICU. I have also taught BSN 1st year clinical students and developed an ER training position for hand picked students that were monitored and matched with nurses who wanted to do advance nursing in the ER.Those 3 positions have mutual similarly requirements.

Changing from 1 aspect to another in 1 hospital may create a thought that you are shopping the hospital and with the shortage of nurses you may become a liability versus an asset. Wherever you go keep your head down and learn it even if you could write a book about it.

January 27th, 2022

No specialty is known in so brief of a time but many companies have rules about internal transfers. Usually you accept a position and are committed to work there for one year.

January 27th, 2022

No, reason is that there are some specialties that are complex and technical, that within one year you would not be able to cover all areas related to that.

January 27th, 2022

yes

January 27th, 2022

I agree that in attempting to figure out what area you'd like to specialize in, there's a need to try a variety of different specialties. However; with that being said, take heed and be prepared to explain to recruiters/managers why you left each position in a way that won't be viewed as flighty, negative, unreliable, or speaking negatively about your previous experiences. Also putting into perspective that you may be doing a huge disservice to yourself by drastically limiting the number of actual interviews received. No one should stay in a workplace where they're completely unhappy, but just keep in mind all the above. Consider working as a nurse through an Agency or as a travel nurse; where they are temporary/contract positions. This will allow you to work different areas without reflecting as negatively on your resume. Good luck! I hope this helps you to make a conscious decision for yourself because ultimately you have to live and be happy with your choices. Only you can decide what is best for you and your career.

January 27th, 2022

No

January 27th, 2022

If you are unhappy in rehab, then, yes, spread your wings! As long as the nursing shortage remains severe, many organizations will be willing to train you. My suggestion would be to try Med-Surg. I say that because you will be exposed to just about everything learned in nursing school and more. Most Med-Surg floors are now "universal" in that they have telemetry included, which will give you another skill. From the perspective of Med-Surg, you will become a jack of all trades, including mental health. After 3-6 months, I have no doubt you will find a niche that interests you (GI, the O.R., Pediatrics, ICU, etc.). Good luck.

January 27th, 2022

I would always be honest about your curiosity and need to experience different areas to find your niche. It is expensive for employers to hire and in some circles, word may get around and make it difficult to find a employer in the future.

January 26th, 2022

No

January 27th, 2022

As a new nurse, you should not box yourself into one specific type of nursing. The only way you will grow is to experience new fields of medicine at different facilities.