how to get in the elusive ICU club...any suggestions

  1. 1
    this may seem silly, but how can I get into the ICU? I have been RN for 2& 1/2 years. I have worked med surg & long term care, and briefly in home health.

    They dont want new grads...so I am not a new grad anymore. But they still don't want me.

    What is it that they are looking for, or what can I do, to become what they are looking for.

    please HELP!
    libbyliberal likes this.
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    What skills do you posess that the position requires? Have you had a dysrhythmia course, telemetry experience or progressive care unit experience, or any experience with ventilator dependent patients. Have you taken the Critical Care Courses offered by your hospital or local AACN chapter or attended any Critical care seminars.

    I am sorry to say this but your Med Surg, HH, and LTC experience and record of three positions in 2 1/2years does not make you a good candidate for an ICU position. Maybe you could apply to a larger hospital which offers six month ICU internships or take a job in telemetry as a bridge to that ICU position. Good luck.
    HazelLPN and nursenotamaid like this.
  5. 2
    Shadowing is a good start... Email the managers of the ICUs in your hospital and see if you can set something up. Then you will have a chance to chat with the nurses and they can clue you in on what they're looking for. And keep in touch with the managers to find out when they are hiring.

    But if you are still having difficulties, experience on a tele unit will go a long way... Very few nursing jobs will actually "prepare" you for the ICU, though. You have the experience so rather than wasting another 6mo to a year in a new position, I'd start working on the networking. Get your name and your interests out there and well known. Don't give up and it'll come!
    libbyliberal and HazelLPN like this.
  6. 1
    You could also contact the nurse manager and inquire about getting cross trained in the ICU so you could volunteer to float down or be added to their contingent staff list. Showing personal interest and forming relationships are the best way to network. Every job that I ever had, including the volunteer job I now do in my retirement, has been obtained though personal human connections.

    Best to you,
    Mrs H.
    libbyliberal likes this.
  7. 1
    At my current hospital they just opened two internal positions for ICU positions. They wanted nurses that were already ACLS certified and had a tele background who worked within the hospital.
    So I would suggest getting into a hospital where they do offer these opportunities on occasion, and also try to at least get in a tele unit.
    This economy has made it much more difficult to transition to different departments.
    libbyliberal likes this.


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