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Specialisation too restrictive?

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Author Specialisation too restrictive?



  • Joined: May 2014
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  • Posts: 3

Thu May 22, 2014 3:05 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm about to finish my Bachelor of Nursing and have applied to do a graduate year in rehabilitation. I have always been interested in pursuing perioperative nursing as a specialty, but more recently I've also become very interested in IVF/fertility nursing. These are quite different areas and both require further education, plus I also want to do a diploma of Midwifery to further my interest in Women's health. The way the system works in Australia is disappointing because almost every single job wants you to have at least one year of acute experience, if not 3-5 years! I don't want to become married to a specialty and then want to change and essentially have to start from scratch or get a whole other postgraduate qualification. I guess my question is - what is a good way to structure your career path if you're not interested in general ward nursing and how you can keep as many doors open for specialties?



  • Joined: Mar 2013
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  • Posts: 57

May 23, 2014, 05:58 pm Last edited May 23, 2014, 05:58 pm update #2

I honestly don't see why other countries' healthcare system will be any better in term of allowing you to explore your options. For every speciality, they requires different knowledge and skill sets. In short, you will need to start from scratch whenever you start at a new speciality. However, your wages will grow every year by means of experience. So why would they pay you year 3 RN's wages for you to function as a year 1 RN? The only time for you to explore is during your university year, when the university tries to get you placements at different places. 

IMHO, I believe you should explore your options within the initial 2 years of your nursing career (Since you are already finishing uni). The best option to keep most of the doors open are places such as Emergency or ICU. However, the positions are highly competitive and may not be given to you. There are specialities allow you to go different specialities and many are inter-linked. For example, age care allows you to explore into community health and rehab. From community health and rehab, you can switch to mental health department. Perioperative - scrub/scout nurses will find it hard to go back to the wards, but they can switch to anaesthetic nurse and recovery nurse and transit back to wards from there. While ICU/CCU can switch to both recovery and anaesthetic nurse and from there go to scrub/scout. Emergency nurse is pretty much in demand everywhere...

There are other ways to get into departments which you want even if it is not linked together. 1 is to be employed in a major hospital permanently and attempt to do an internal transfer. The other option is to attempt to get into the speciality from the normal process. There can be others, but these 2 are the ones I could currently think of.

I also hope you understand, rehabilitation, peri-operative and IVF/fertility nurse have nothing in common.  

Word of advice... Be decisive on what you want to be in. Time and opportunity does not wait for anyone.

modified: Friday 23 May 2014 6:05:16 pm - seraphim



  • Joined: Jul 2014
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  • Posts: 14

Jul 13, 2014, 09:24 am

I agree having a year or two of acute care experience allows you to check that off the (experience) list and you have that under your belt. I did wards and ICU then moved into (out patient style) clinical research which is where I have stayed.

I am often looking for new RN's for my clinical research unit - I usually want some sort of hospital or outpatient style experience (not necessarily 3 years). If you are Sydney based feel free to PM me if you think research may be something you are interested in down the track (as it is not a general ward nursing type set up and when nurses want to move from wards/units they sometimes consider research, the hours tend to be much more attractive).

Note that if you have done research in one area then this can often translate to research in most areas. If I had someone come to me with research experience in a cardiology practice or IVF I would be happy to have them as it translates to my area even though our research is not in cardiology or IVF.

Hope this helps!!

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