To all those who say you "have to spend a year or 2 on the floor", you're wrong. Dead wrong. I worked as a PCT and telemetry tech while in nursing school and at the time I was graduating, there were three other techs doing the same. Our nursing manager advised us that she only had one or two open RN positions, so we should all apply to other units at the hospital. I applied to CICU (at a LARGE, VERY WELL-KNOWN, CLINICALLY ADVANCED TEACHING HOSPITAL). There was an emergency event during my share day and I subsequently impressed the supervisors on the floors during the event, even after being told that it was impossible to get into an ICU as a new grad.
Almost a year out, after an amazing orientation, I am a comprehensive, excelling, critical-thinking nurse. I have been floated to other units (MICU, SICU, Neuro ICU and our step-down, PCU, which is our telemetry floor) where I've done just fine. While our staffing office protects our ICU nurses from being floated to a Med-Surg floor, I've had 4 patients on PCU and my time management was amazing, even compared to their staff nurses. It should be obvious that you have to make adjustments with additional, yet less critical patients. I absolutely love my job and knowing that even being fairly "green", there's really no hospital that wouldn't hire me with my resume r/t the hospital and unit I work on. I know a lot of nurses who's intention was to start out on a floor for a year or two and transition to the unit....5 years ago. Now, ICU's don't want to adopt their bad habits. Start out in an ICU. Ignore the old nursing cliches and unsupportive attitudes; nursing needs to start heading in a new direction.