New Grad Needs Experience

  1. 1
    So I graduated in May 2012 and would love to get into Trauma ICU. I have my ACLS, PALS, and plan to take my TNCC in October of this year. There are two trauma centers in my city (Omaha, NE) but they require at least a year of critical care/ED experience. The regular ICU's and ED's also require this one year of experience. Where can I get this experience? I currently work as an RN for a home health company with a child on a ventilator. Should I bridge to get my EMT-B (EMT-Paramedic bridge course requires 2 years of critical care to take) and work on a squad for a year to get the experience or am I better off doing what I am now? The bridge class is a week long and will let me sit for the EMT exam. It costs about $1000 but if it will help me to get where I want to be I have no problem paying for it, I just do not want to waste that money. I have no problem working my way up but it seems that in emergency medicine you need emergency medicine experience to land a job and I do not know how to break into that field if I can't get a job without experience.
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 0
    Quote from bubblejet50
    So I graduated in May 2012 and would love to get into Trauma ICU. I have my ACLS, PALS, and plan to take my TNCC in October of this year. There are two trauma centers in my city (Omaha, NE) but they require at least a year of critical care/ED experience. The regular ICU's and ED's also require this one year of experience. Where can I get this experience? I currently work as an RN for a home health company with a child on a ventilator. Should I bridge to get my EMT-B (EMT-Paramedic bridge course requires 2 years of critical care to take) and work on a squad for a year to get the experience or am I better off doing what I am now? The bridge class is a week long and will let me sit for the EMT exam. It costs about $1000 but if it will help me to get where I want to be I have no problem paying for it, I just do not want to waste that money. I have no problem working my way up but it seems that in emergency medicine you need emergency medicine experience to land a job and I do not know how to break into that field if I can't get a job without experience.
    I would ask the nurse recruiters or call and speak to the managers of the units you are looking at getting into. I did EMT-I for flight nursing, but haven't seen it be used as a leg up for trauma ICU. You need to probably get work IN THE HOSP, as home health is often not seen as acute care experience, no matter what you are doing. Some places it's easy to get into any ICU (and you could do that and always transfer later), other places its hard...you have to do med-surg, then tele, then step-down, then hopefully the ICU you want.

    Call and ask.

    Good luck.
  3. 0
    What Missnurse said.

    No replacement for hospital experience. Start in the hospital, and forget about the EMT program. Unless you see your career path leading you to a first responder type position (Flight Nursing or Transport Nursing). However, with hiring being tight in my area, most all the hospitals here have reverted to a more traditional career path for nurses: requiring floor experience before critical care experience. I would try to get employed as Telemetry/IMCU/Progressive Care or ER so you can transition to trauma ICU later on. ER experience is helpful since TICU is a combo of both ICU and ER.

    However, go talk to the managers for the TICU and ask what they look for in applicant. that's the best path to take.

    -Craig
    RN, BSN and others.
  4. 0
    Yes I also would like to work in the ICU but how do you get experience if no one will be you any? How/ where do you start?
  5. 0
    Quote from bubblejet50
    So I graduated in May 2012 and would love to get into Trauma ICU. I have my ACLS, PALS, and plan to take my TNCC in October of this year. There are two trauma centers in my city (Omaha, NE) but they require at least a year of critical care/ED experience. The regular ICU's and ED's also require this one year of experience. Where can I get this experience? I currently work as an RN for a home health company with a child on a ventilator. Should I bridge to get my EMT-B (EMT-Paramedic bridge course requires 2 years of critical care to take) and work on a squad for a year to get the experience or am I better off doing what I am now? The bridge class is a week long and will let me sit for the EMT exam. It costs about $1000 but if it will help me to get where I want to be I have no problem paying for it, I just do not want to waste that money. I have no problem working my way up but it seems that in emergency medicine you need emergency medicine experience to land a job and I do not know how to break into that field if I can't get a job without experience.
    Look into relocating, it's a shame it's come to that, but it's one of the few viable options.
  6. 0
    try a residency program at a hospital. there are many that have 6month to 1 yr programs where they train nurses who want to get into trauma/critical care. You may have to relocate. Applications are typically twice a year, November and I think some time in the spring but not sure since Nov. is what I'm looking at. Georgetown is already closed for applications but you can look at their program to understand what I'm referring to. I wouldn't waste money on an EMT course, a lot of emergency dept will hire a nurse with any type of hospital experience (1yr or more).
  7. 0
    Hello. As a new graduate (as of July 2012), I just got hired at a hospital for a Critical Care Residency. I think that its all about the hospital and what they are looking for. I was truly blessed as Critical Care was a specialty I was interested in. If you continue to search and have faith ( I believe in God/Jesus, so that's what I live by. If you don't just have confidence and resilience), then it will come. Try looking for hospitals with residencies as suggested before. You'll never know what you'll find.

    Take care!


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