How stressful and rewarding is working in any intensive care unit?

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    I'm considering starting my future career as nurse in a critical/ intensive care unit. Trying to weigh the pros and cons as far as a life-long career, room for advancement, pay, work condition, flexibility, stress... Etc.Also want to know if anybody knows which hospital is the best in this field to learn and get experience from in Columbia, SC.Thanks
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  4. 10 Comments so far...

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    I see you are a pre-nursing student and have asked many questions in many forums. I think it will be easier to get a handle on what type of nursing will be best suited to you once you enter nursing school. Critical care is difficult to enter and is a high stress job. Nursing as a profession is very flexible in scheduling as long as you understand that hospitals are open 24/7 and that you will work holidays and weekends. Salary varies from state to state and facility to facility.....if you are able to secure a position. Contrary to populate belief and perpetuated urban legend.............There is no nursing shortage.

    New grads across the country are having difficulty finding positions....the average time to find a position appears to be approx 10 months but can take up to 2 years. Many hospitals are not hiring new grads for they want experience making residency programs the new hot commodity. Another factor is a nationwide movement towards BSN grads with New York and New Jersey having pending "legislation", BSN in 10.

    Look at the following links for a ton of information/threads. I wish you the best.

    NO nursing shortage

    New grads having difficult time finding a job

    BSN in 10
    Getting To Great, Lovely_RN, and Amine like this.
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    Now that was some helpful piece of information. I have to admit that I'm shocked a little bit about new grads struggling to get a job. 10 months to 2 years! Wow... I guess I was misled to believe there is a job for every nursing graduate.. Sorry about asking a lot of questions but I'm very methodical and I believe in being prepared and knowing what to expect. I appreciate you reading my posts and providing all this good info. As you might noticed from what I posted I'm headed to this path:Finishing my pre-reqs by next spring, doing a 6 week apprenticeship to prepare for clinicals in a local hospital, starting clinical rotations fall 2013, sit for lpn license by 3rd semester and hopefully get a job while continuing towards Rn graduation, then of course rn-bsn and acquiring enough experience to apply for a good Masters program ( hopefully CRNA or NP). I fully realize it's a long shot but I'm very excited and accepting the challenge!Thanks!
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    You are welcome......picking your specialty will be easier when you start your rotations. Questions are great.......I just wanted you to know I looked at all of your posts and tried to answer accordingly. Many new grads are angry and hurt for they were told the same thing....a job for every grad and that just doesn't exist right now.

    Keep your GPA up and work hard......I wish you the very best!!!!
    Amine likes this.
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    Quick question, how do I enable private messaging. Anything I should do or it's a premium feature or sth. I'm a new member as you can see :-)
  9. 0
    If you become a paid member you automatically get private messaging. For the registered membership it is 15 "quality" posts. Support the site and get more perks in the process!
  10. 0
    Very true Esme. When I was in nursing school every semester that went by my classmates slowly figured out where they wanted to work. (The PEDs/ob semester especially) I thought I'd be a med/surg nurse until I hit my critical care clinical. To the op, keep your mind open to all the experiences and you'll fall in somewhere. Just keep in mind you might not get a position in that type of unit right out the gate.I had to work the ICU step down and transfered as soon as I could.
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    Going the LPN route first might be a bump in the road, many hospitals in SC no longer hire LPN's and rarely do you see them in the ICU. I am in SC also. I work in florence county but live in Horry county.. None of the hospitals in the two areas hire LPN's in the ICU.. Horry county hospitals no longer higher LPN's at all.
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    I'm definitely keeping my mind open about all possible options and that's what I've been telling my friends. I would love to do ICU and be exposed to challenging situations but I don't really know until I experience it. I really appreciate the helpful advice guys. And hospitals that don't hire LPNs anymore that's total news to me that I never thought about and nobody in my school ever told us about it, makes me more cautious choosing my path because now I have more info.
    I really really appreciate all the advice and I really love this forum already!
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    Don't give up on LPN route. Even if you don't land in your desired unit as an LPN, if you maintain your position though til your licensed as RN, you might find it easier to get in to the same hospital (perhaps a different unit) than your colleagues because many places post positions in house first, then open them to external candidates. This could definitely give you a leg up on the 'competition'. Always good to get a foot in the door, no matter what your job details or where it is.


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