When nurses think about all the career options available to them, medical-surgical nursing (known most often as med-surg) is one they hear about frequently–and there’s a good reason behind it. For nurses who want to spend a career constantly learning about different health conditions and issues and who enjoy the variations that come with working with patient populations that differ throughout the week, or even the day, medical-surgical nursing is an ideal career path that helps nurses specialize in this distinctly broad category of nursinggraphic I (image of a red heart) med-surg nursing

This week celebrates Medical-Surgical Nurses Week, which launches on November 1 annually. According to the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) this week is an excellent time for nurses in med-surg to advocate for themselves and for their patients. Nurses can use the platform of Medical-Surgical Nurses Week to help answer questions about this area of nursing and encourage new nurses to consider this area of the nursing profession for a long-term, rewarding career.

Almost all nurses work in med-surg during their careers as it offers the kind of hands-on, direct interactions with patients that nurses depend on for building their skill set. But med-surg nursing is much more than a launching pad to a different specialty. Patients who are cared for by med-surg nurses depend on their deep experience to know the subtle differences in patients that can signal a potential issue. Because med-surg nurses see so many different conditions across a spectrum of patient ages, they have a fine-tuned intuition reinforced with critical thinking.

AMSN is a driver of change for med-surg nurses and makes advocacy a priority. At any given time, AMSN is monitoring and promoting varied legislation, proposed policies, and agendas that could have an impact on med-surg nurses and the patients they care for. If you’re a med-surg nurse, the organization is one that will help you find connections that will advance your knowledge and your career.

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Because med-surg nurses have so many varied opportunities to work with patients, a professional network in which they can talk with other nurses who do what they do is essential. Being able to bounce around ideas about career growth with a more experienced med-surg nurse or being able to hear what med-surg nurses in other facilities and offices are doing in their day-to-day practice can be eye opening and inspiring.

A career as a medical-surgical nurse offers opportunities to work in different settings and locations including hospitals, offices, and even through telehealth platforms. Because of this variety, med-surg nurses can find roles that work for their own lifestyles and capabilities. Because of these choices, the opportunities for career growth in the specialty are broad. According to AMSN, “medical-surgical nursing is the single largest nursing specialty in the United States and beyond.”

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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