New grad wanting to work in ICU.

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    I was wondering what I need to do in order to work in ICU. I looked up an online job description and it said that I need an ACLS, and CCRN. I'm confused about the CCRN. Does that mean I have to work elsewhere for so many hours, and then apply to ICU after I complete an CCRN?
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  4. 4
    Quote from cindycin35
    I was wondering what I need to do in order to work in ICU. I looked up an online job description and it said that I need an ACLS, and CCRN. I'm confused about the CCRN. Does that mean I have to work elsewhere for so many hours, and then apply to ICU after I complete an CCRN?
    Cindycin,

    I think that it is great that you want to work in Critical Care, I find the job myself to be quite exciting and a very great place to actually feel like your nursing care is going somewhere, because you can actually see progress happening right in front of you and that is an experience that makes being a nurse so great.

    I would suggest you working in a PCU (Step-down unit) or a Med-Surg unit at least for 6 months before venturing to a Critical Care Unit. The only reason I suggest this is because most new nurses do not have the "Time-Management" skills or nursing experience to actually do the job in Critical Care areas effectively, or feel like your actually doing the best you can do. Thats not to say that your not educated enough to do the job, but it has a lot to do with experience. You learn how to be a nurse after you graduated and not while in nursing school. Nursing school equips you with the education, but not the experience required.

    Working on a PCU or Med-Surg unit first, will equip you with the experience to take care of acutely ill patients rather then critical care and will actually give you better time-management and experience to better take care of your patient and give you the nessecary patient assessment skills required for the critical care area.

    While you are working in a PCU or Med-Surg unit you can still take classes and train for your CCRN certifications, and getting the nessecary requirements such as BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, and other things that will make you a better critical care nurse.

    This is just my opinion of course.

    But to answer your question... CCRN is just extra credintials and classes that you take to become more qualitifed to work in critical care. Must facilities actually pay for their ICU nurses to attended these classes and will pay for the certification test as well, that is just something you need to talk to your supervisors about.
    Last edit by JTworoger on Apr 7, '11 : Reason: I can't spell and I have poor grammer. lol
    jacks76, cindycin35, eagle78, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    Hello,
    I entered ICU as a new grad. It will be two years in august. You might want to call and see if they accept new grads into ICU as I believe not all do. I planned on going into a tele unit but couldn't pass up the opening in ICU. It is possible
    DFWgal likes this.
  6. 0
    I agree with JTworoger.

    I went to CCU as a new grad...and I only stayed about 8 months. When I took the job, I had felt confident because I had done very well in school and had been working as a CNA, and then LPN in LTC/Vent unit while in school. I knew I wanted to work in the ICU all through school. Anyways, it was just waaay too much. I left voluntarily and went to another hospital. I was doing "ok" in the unit, but was so sick to my stomach with stress every night. When I went to the other hospital, I started out in the telemetry area for about a year and a half, then I went to ICU again. The second time around was much much better for me because I was alot more comfortable in the basic skills that you need to have (time management, assessments, critical thinking, med administration, etc.)

    That being said, only you can make your decision. Lots of people advised me not to take that CCU position right out of school, but I didn't listen. I do believe the best way to start out is to do at least about a yr in a Telemetry unit (ex: the step down of the unit you would eventually like to move to) and then move to the ICU.

    If you choose to take the ICU gig right out of school, hopefully you will get a very long orientation and have a better time than I did. Good Luck!


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