Who went straight to ICU after getting your BSN

  1. Hi, I'm currently in a BSN program, and I am aspiring to be a CRNA. I'm just wondering who in this forum went straight to the ICU after graduating, because a lot of nurses I'm working with are telling me to work med-surg first before going to the ICU. I really want to tackle ICU, but is it possible couple of years in med-surg all that necessary?

    Thanx!
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  2. 39 Comments

  3. by   CougRN
    Don't waste your time in med/surg. It's a totally different animal. If you find a good hospital that offers an ICU training program with good mentoring you won't have any trouble moving straight to the ICU. Everyone has their own opinion on this but I went straight to the ICU. I wouldn't have liked med/surg at all personally. You will get to have great experiences in the ICU which will help you tremendously. If ICU is what you want don't wait.
  4. by   DNRme
    I agree with skipping med surg. I did my senior elective in the ICU. Since the staff knew me and what I was capable of, I was hired as a GN in the unit.
    I think I learned soooo much more than my counterparts. Since you also know that you eventually want to go to CRNA school, you really can concentrate on the skills you will need for that. Good Luck.
  5. by   are-in
    I also agree. I worked as a tech on the floor while in school. I knew that I wanted to eventually go to CRNA school so I transferred into the MICU halfway through nursing school with the intent of proving myself and getting offered a position after passing the NCLEX. It all worked out and I had a wonderful preceptor (vital to new grad success in the unit). Those who say that you need to "pay your dues" on the floor are usually the ones that HAD to do it themselves and think that everyone should have to.
    Stay with your short and long term plans. Write them down and look at them often.



    Quote from UpwardMobility
    Hi, I'm currently in a BSN program, and I am aspiring to be a CRNA. I'm just wondering who in this forum went straight to the ICU after graduating, because a lot of nurses I'm working with are telling me to work med-surg first before going to the ICU. I really want to tackle ICU, but is it possible couple of years in med-surg all that necessary?

    Thanx!
  6. by   zenman
    ICU patients are just med-surg (or trauma) patients that are really sick. :chuckle
  7. by   pinkisnoopi
    Hi! I worked in a SICU immediately after graduating w/ my BSN & I'm so glad I did it. Usually, larger teaching hospitals, especially those w/ higher nurse ICU vacancy rates will have "new grad" programs that incorporate rigorous classes (w/ exams!) even before you step foot on the unit, like mine did. And then they transition you slowly onto the unit, giving you a few preceptors to work with. I highly recommend looking into hospitals w/ this option.
    In addition, the "ICU mentality" is that you assess your patient as a WHOLE & know every little detail about them. This is very different from med-surg. Therefore, sometimes it's even harder for former med-surg nurses to transition into the ICU (I've seen a couple). (And I've floated to the floor on occasion, so I know how it works there)
    If that's where you want to work, do it!! There's such a nurse shortage right now, it's definitely possible! :wink2:
    ps. I know non-BSN nurses who did the same thing too!
  8. by   Havin' A Party!
    Intend to go straight to an ICU upon graduation (ADN). By that time, should've accumulated approximately 18 months' experience as a tech there.

    Presume this plan will work, but I'm seeking your further input to make ensure it'll be successful. Thanks in advance!
  9. by   hulk
    I say go for it. I went straight to icu out of school. I had not even worked as a tech anywhere first. I just knew that the icu looked more interesting and that I thought if I really liked it, it would give me a better idea of whether crna school would be a possibility. When I started in the icu, I truly didn't know squat but the theory, etc. I had learned in school. Now, a few years later, and I start crna school this August. I agree with the other posts about good preceptors making all the difference. I had a few that had the old "sink or swim" way of doing things and, luckily, I had a few preceptors that genuinely took an interest in showing me the ropes. I have been a preceptor for a couple of years now, and I always encourage new nurses to come to the icu if they are interested. In my experience, I would rather teach a new nurse who is scared to death and admits they don't know what the heck is going on than work with a nurse who is new to icu and thinks they know everything. Whether a new graduate or a floor nurse transfering to the icu for the first time, I believe the key to success is admitting to yourself and your co-workers, "I need help". Unfortunately, there will always be nurses who hate new grads in the icu and will tell you so at every opportunity. Too many nurses are stuck in the mind frame that if a new nurse doesn't go through the same hell and follow the same route to the icu that they did, they will not be learning as much or be as good a nurse. Ridiculous! Every person is different-this is true whether doctor or nurse, and different people need different styles of teaching, experience, etc. to bring out their potential. I cringe when at three in the morning, here comes the poor resident, dragging themselves to the icu in the midst of a 36 hr stretch. The mentality of "we did it so you should do it" should have been retired long ago. Generally speaking, with physicians it is the long hours during residency. With nurses, it is many things, among them "new nurses do not belong in the icu". I say with the right support and attitude, new graduates can easily succeed in even the busiest icu (I did). So, to sum up, if you really want it, do it. Go in with the right attitude. Admit that you don't know much, but are desperate to learn. Good luck!
  10. by   EmeraldNYL
    I went straight to the ICU after graduation and got accepted to CRNA school after 8 months. If I had started in med-surg I probably would be much better at inserting IV's, but why waste a whole year in med surg just for that? Be really careful about what ICU you start in though, make sure they hire new grads on a regular basis and that the environment is conducive to learning. Interview them as much as they interview you, especially about what type of orientation you will receive. You can do it as long as you are a good student and motivated to learn things on your own.
  11. by   LadyBugLass
    Just started my orientation last week, actually!

    I have an ADN, actually. I also have LOTS of paramedic experience too.

    So far, so good! It is a real challenge...so many new things to learn. The staff has been wonderful. I think I might have been a little bored on a general floor.

    I think it depends on your previous experience. Are you already comfortable with just BEING with the patients? It is easier to learn how to communicate with patients and (especially) the families in a less intense environment. A stay in the ICU a major stressor. The family members are on edge and have a TON of questions, and the patients tend to be heavily sedated, on vents, and in a lot of pain. It can be tough to know what to say and how to say it.
    If you are still wanting to "get your feet wet" and you are uncertain, you might try an intermediate or "step-down" unit. The environment is a bit calmer, but you will have more patients!
  12. by   Kiwi
    Quote from are-in
    I also agree. Those who say that you need to "pay your dues" on the floor are usually the ones that HAD to do it themselves and think that everyone should have to.
    Stay with your short and long term plans. Write them down and look at them often.
    This is a great point. There are SO many nurses who think that somebody needs to do med-surg then ICU. Some have even told me to work in the OR for a year! In my experiences, these people have a hard time accepting their colleague's goal of attaining a higher education. Don't be surprised if some nursing professors turn out to have this mind set.

    ...And writing down your plans and "masterminding" your future is a smart thing to do. It's like making a contract with yourself. This BB has been the greatest thing for me. I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate all of your advice and well informed perspectives.
  13. by   ahearthealer
    Quote from ether

    ...And writing down your plans and "masterminding" your future is a smart thing to do. It's like making a contract with yourself.
    Great idea!!!!

    I went into critical care right out of school and never regretted it!

    Todd
  14. by   CCURN
    I guess it depends on what your overall goals are. It is difficult when starting your nursing career, to really know what it is all about. I have met many RNs who started there career in ICU, and they are excellent. But remember that there is also something to be gained from some floor experience. You can always do one year in med/surg or tele and then ICU. I am thinking that to start CRNA school, you will probably need a good two or three year ICU experience. Good luck

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