So at clinicals today i expressed my desire to go into the critical care specialty after i graduated and she said theres no way new grads get ICU jobs....but everday i log on here i read about new grads getting ICU jobs right out of college. Any pointers on how i can make this happen? I won't settle for anything else and willing to work hard to get in there.
Jul 17, '12
Look at hospitals that have nurse residency programs.
You might also keep an open mind and come to grips that it is still a tough job market. So if you are not willing to "settle" you may find yourself out of school a year or more with no job and no experience, when you could have been gaining experience during that year to make yourself more marketable for an ICU position.
Jul 17, '12
thanks for responding. Well definitely if i applied to CC positions and didn't get one and months went by of course I would accept a different position. When i say settle I am just saying in my mind I will work hard to get a CC position, i wouldn't put myself in financial difficulty by turning down jobs.
Jul 17, '12
Try to get an externship/practicum in the ICU. That might help.
Jul 18, '12
Although it is possible to get an ICU position right after graduating, it is not as likely in some geographic areas as in others.
There are far more posts here from new grads who can't find any position, then from those who get their 'most favored' position.
Whenever you can, offer to do whatever comes up during your clinicals, even when it is not your patient. Pt in the next bed need a foley? Offer! Need assistance in dropping a g-tube? Pop in there! Ask, of course, but do not be afraid!
Best wishes! BTW - you may find you enjoy something else.
Jul 18, '12
I am one of those fortunate few that got an ICU position directly out of school. It seems to me that here, where I live, it's about networking. I was already an employee of the hospital I currently work at. I had been a nurse tech in the medical ICU. I also applied for my hospital's scholarship program and externship program. Externship is a great opportunity. It allowed for me to work outside my home unit on a Neuro ICU. This also allows for networking. I got to know the nurse manager and other nurses on that floor. Also, attend any recruiting events offered by the facility you want to work for and make every opportunity to talk with ICU nurse mangers. Show them you're interested. That way when you apply, they have a face for the name. Employee references help as well. I recommended my best friend from nursing school and she was hired along with me on the neuro ICU. Just know that it is possible. You just have to do some leg work. I hope you get the opportunity to work ICU. I love being part of my unit and feel really lucky to have the position I have. Good luck!
Jul 18, '12
1. Networking is important ... as is doing a senior year practicum in an ICU ... or working as a nursing assstant there while in school, etc. Most new grads hired into ICU's have at least one thing "special" working in their favor.
2. As someone else said, it is more likely you can get hired as a new grad in some cities than in others. It all depends on the job market where you live. What is it like in your area? Have you talked with anyone in the hospitals/units where you might like to work? Only they can tell you what it is like there.
3. It may partly depend on the school you are attending as well. My hospital rarely hires a new grad into an ICU that doesn't have a BSN or higher. Even then, it helps to graduate from one of the more highly respected schools. What do the ICU's in your area think of the school you are attending? A lot of people don't investigate that when they choose a school. They focus on convenience and cost -- and don't notice that the graduates from that school aren't working in the most desirable jobs. That's not always the case of course -- and you might be going to a terrific school. But not all schools are equal -- and most of the better hospitals prefer to hire new grads from the better schools when they have a choice.
Jul 23, '12
I am a new grad in my Trauma Surgical ICU... I worked as a tech during my last 3 semesters of nursing school, 4 months in float pool, and 8 months in my unit. It is possible to get an icu job as a new grad, you just have to be willing to work hard and get to know people. Also, don't be too picky, we have 4 specialized adult health icu's at our my hospital, TSICU, MICU, CCU and CVICU. Most new grads get hired in either TSICU or MICU, at my facility, its pointless for new grads in my area to apply to CVICU, very few actually get the job, unless they worked as a tech in there during nursing school. In the area I live, our ADN program is more highly looked upon then the local bsn program, because the ADN program is more clinically focused than the BSN.
Jul 24, '12
Hey there! It all depends on the hospital policy on hiring new grads into the critical care/emergency areas. I live in NY (near PA) but chose to work in PA because the Trauma Hospital there hires new grads for ER/ICU/MICU areas. I got a job without a hitch in the ER right out of school, and had several friends go to the ICU's and MICU. It also depends on the job market at the time, as mentioned in some of the above posts. Make some phone calls and ask the HR dept
Jul 27, '12
I got a job in icu right after graduation from RN school. I had LPN and CNA experience.
Aug 1, '12
Yes, it is. I got a job too as a new grad, and I love it.
Aug 5, '12
We are soo short we will give you a job in one of our ICUs even if you haven't graduated yet.
Aug 5, '12
I would also recommend doing a "ride along" with a Flight Nurse or Surface Critical Transport Nurse if you can, just to make sure "critical" is what you want. Try to shadow an ER Nurse and a Critical Care Nurse if you can. It's all about networking!
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