I am currently in the process of preparing for my post-baccalaureate BSN in Nursing and I am really interested in attending either Simmons, Northeastern, MGH, RIC, Regis, or Umass Boston. I am not sure which is better at preparing for clinical over the other (however, if I had to guess, I would assume it to be Northeastern). My main question(s) are 1. Can a new grad be hired in a critical care role after certification? 2. Which school regardless of cost is most helpful in preparing you for various roles? 3. Which offers the best financial aide package? Lastly, with the shortage of jobs is it likely for a new grad to be hired right out of school? If not, what are some recommendations to help you retrieve a position in the hospital and in the role of a critical care nurse?
Thanks in advance everyone,
Sep 12, '12
Yes a new graduate can become an ICU RN. I went straight into ICU after i graduated with my ADN. I continue to tell people whom pursue nursing as a career to not really worry about "what" school you get into as opposed to what works for you and your family should you have one. Reason being is that all nurses take the same exam. Doesn't matter if you graduate from Harvard, Yale, USC, Miami, a community college, etc...We all had to pass the same exam to obtain liscensure. On that note, I am honestly not knowlegable of any of the schools you were asking about. I will say though that I have not really heard of a nursing program "catering" to one specific area of nursing as their goal is to graduate a nurse who can function independently in a general setting.
I would encourage you to find a hospital that offers new graduates ICU internship/externships. That way once you graduate from a program you could seek this opportunity out. Yes, with the current economy and the influx of nurses, landing a job in the ICU directly after graduating will most likely be tough however it can be done given the right place. As far as certifications go, most places will request that you have your ACLS/PALS certifications. Many nurses evenutally obtain what is called the CCRN (critical care registered nurse) however you must have well over (i think) 1500hrs of direct bedside care of an ICU patient before you can sit for this exam.
There will be many people-instructors, other nurses, MD's, etc..--who will tell you that you should get a year's experience on the floor first. I strongly disagree with that as it is two different types of nursing. I graduated from an ADN program, went straight to the ICU doing an "ICU residency for RNs", then worked in a Surgical Trauma Neuro ICU for 7 years and now will be graduating from CRNA school in 10 months! The learning curve is steep and quick. But if you want to take care of critically ill patients then there is NO point in having to gain experience elsewhere. It does NOT make you a better nurse. However remember one thing, and i'll say it again....Floor nursing and ICU are two 100% different styles of nursing. You CANNOT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER THOUGH!!! A floor nurse will be able to run circles around you with 8 patients and have their charting done before you gave your first patient meds! Whereas an ICU RN will find the gallop in heart sounds or notice the twitch of the patients left pinky (exaggeration but true).
Sorry that i do not know more about the schools you wish to apply to however I am passionate about ICU nursing. Don't settle. Move if you have to. Best of luck to you.