As a new nurse, you can work as a nurse in many different settings. Each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

In this post, I’ll explore some of the most popular nursing settings to help you decide which is right.

Do New Nurses Have to Work in a Hospital?

You do NOT have to work in a hospital as a new nurse. There are plenty of other nursing specialties new grad nurses can work in, such as community health, hospice, and home health. Many nurses have not worked in the hospital and have had solid careers.

New Nurse Academy

Trusted by 430,000+ future nurses and new nurses everywhere. Check out the course that helps new nurses bridge the gap and transition smoothly to becoming nurses.

What does it cover?

  • IV Insertion
  • EKG Reading
  • How to Chart
  • How to Prioritize
  • Nursing Interviews & Resume

Just to name a few.

Hospital Nursing is Not For Everyone

nurses talking

The most popular setting for new nurses is the hospital, and for a good reason. Hospitals offer a wide variety of opportunities to learn and grow as a nurse.

You’ll have the chance to work with many different types of patients, from those who are healthy and just need routine care to those who are critically ill and need around-the-clock monitoring.

You’ll also be able to work with various medical professionals, from surgeons to pharmacists.

However, hospitals can be very hectic places, and you’ll need to handle stress well to thrive in this setting.

Even if someone gets past the high pressure of hospital nursing, the new nurse might not want to deal with the patient population or the workflow that comes with working in the hospital.

While I know you’ll constantly hear other nurses cringe and say things like:

  • You need to develop your skills!
  • You’ll have a hard time getting a job!

Most of those feelings and statements will be overexaggerated from the truth which is that not everybody wants to work in the hospital.

This was my same feeling when I heard senior nurses talk about how every new nurse should work in med surg.

Ultimately you have to make the best decision for yourself and your family. Nursing skills are very relative.

The skills needed for a job will vary. Ultimately, most nurses will adjust and adapt to the skills they need for a particular nursing specialty.


With that said, it’s important to note that while it’s not impossible to move, certain jobs may be harder for you to get once you’ve been in a certain field for so long.

For instance, being in mental health nursing and then wanting to jump to the ICU may be a little tricky.

You might have to go from psych to med-surg and then maybe step down before being able to jump to the ICU.

Non-Hospital Nursing Specialities

Non-Hospital Nursing Specialities infographics

If hospital nursing as a new grad nurse isn’t for you, here are some other options.

  • Home health nursing
  • Community nursing (Public health nursing)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Mental health nursing (psychiatric nursing)
  • Nurse case management
  • Corporate health
  • Correctional nursing
  • Hospice nursing
  • School nursing
  • Infusion nursing
  • Utilization review
  • Clinic nursing (rural, private physician practice, etc.)

Related: Hosptial Nursing vs Clinic Nursing

Find Your Future Non-hospital nursing job

The most important thing for new nurses to remember is there are many different settings in which you can work. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks.

When deciding which setting is right for you, it’s important to consider your goals and interests.

If you’re interested in working in a non-hospital setting, go here to find your future nursing job.

Find Your Next Nursing Job
Use the NurseMoneyTalk job board to look for and apply to great nursing jobs near you.

Have You Read These Yet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *