Advice for new grad: CCU/CSU vs. CVT to start?

  1. Hi there,
    I am a new grad with a BSN. I have been offered jobs at two different teaching hospitals. The pay is comparable, the hours are the typical 3 - 12 hour day/night shifts, the training programs are 10 weeks. Neither of them offer share/shadow days.

    Hospital A: Offered me a CCU/CSU position (Cardiac ICU and Cardiac surveillance (intermediate/stepdown)). They typically have new grads work the CSU side for at least 6 months to a year before they train them on the CCU side.

    Hospital B: Offered me a CVT (Cardiovascular Thoracic) position where they have a blended intermediate/step down with regular acute care for cardiac patients. New grads work with all patients on the floor.

    So my question is: where is a better place for new grads to start? Would it be better to work with the blended unit at CVT and get more "med surg" exposure? Or would it be good to go to the higher acuity hospital CCU/CSU? I don't want to get in over my head since the transition from BSN to 1st year nurse is stressful enough, but didn't want to miss any opportunities or narrow my options.

    I've read several posts of new nurses who found their first job was not what they thought, so I'm trying to choose carefully. Thanks!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   BackPackerRN
    I don't think you need to worry about missing an opportunity. Positions open up all the time. If you don't like where you are you may be able to go to the other hospital later on. Personally I think the CCU/CSU sounds great. You can get some med/surg exposure on the step down side and be able to work up to the critical care side without having to change positions.
  4. by   Pbelle
    I graduated this week with my ADN, and have accepted a position in a tele unit - the majority of our patients come from the CCU, or from the ED. I have a 12 week training program, and also will be working three 12-hour shifts a week. I did my preceptorship on this unit as an undergrad and loved the staff and the unit, and was wondering what advice you could give me as I start my new career. I worked as an LPN in a GI practice for nine months before entering the LPN-RN mobility program, and am very anxious and happy to be starting!

    Thanks!
  5. by   BackPackerRN
    Always seek out learning experiences. If someone is doing something you have never seen before ask to watch. Ask lots of questions. Anytime you don't understand something, ask about it. Don't worry about looking like you are incompetent. It is much better to ask and learn than to pretend you know and cause harm because of it. Most hospitals offer classes ie Rhythms, 12-lead EKG, diabetes management, ect. Even if it is not required for your unit, take them. Be proactive in your nursing development. Another thing to keep in mind is a couple of years into your career retake some of those classes you took at the beginning of your career. The learning curve is so big at first and you can't retain everything. When you retake those classes you learn things you missed the first time around, and it is a great refresher. I have really benefited from this. I also know a nurse on our unit who has been a nurse for 20 years and she retakes the classes every so often as well.

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