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What to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Specialty

What to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Specialty

What's your nursing specialty?

Jennifer LeClaire | Monster Contributing Writer

New Programs Narrow the Field

Programs are emerging in hospitals across the country to allow nurses to test different specialties before making a career commitment.

For example, the Ohio State University Medical Center offers a nurse internship program that allows newly licensed RNs to learn technical skills and experience the cultures within various medical units during a 16-week stint.

“Interns can choose from critical care, women and infant, cardiothoracic and four other specialties,” says Gina Hirth, RN, MSN, nurse manager for the program. “Nurses receive full salary and benefits, formal classroom instruction specific to each track and clinical rotations that allow them to make important contacts that could lead to job placement.”

Externships Offer Hands-on Experience

New Jersey-based Atlantic Health System offers its Hire Learning program to place new graduates in different divisions within the medical/surgical floors of its hospitals, such as oncology, surgical, renal and telemetry.

“We provide new nurses with medical/surgical training to ease their transition from a student nurse to a nurse graduate role, and then we link that training to a specific specialty they are interested in,” says Corky Holm, manager of strategic recruitment at Atlantic Health System. “Meanwhile, our eight-week summer externship programs allow student nurses to experience different types of specialties.”

Nurse recruiters recommend new nurses begin on a medical/surgical floor before venturing into a specialty. With that experience under your belt, it will be easier to choose a specialty that matches your interests.

You have many options for a career in nursing.

This article first appeared on

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