I am getting ready to enroll in a program at my local College that will earn me a Certificate in ER and Critical Care Nursing. It will take me some time to earn as it is 11 College Credit Hours and I can only take one or maybe two classes at a time. I have a family and a FT job. My FT job is pretty easy IMO compared to past jobs working in home care (doing high tech visits), and in hospital positions. I have not worked in a hospital for a year now and don't plan on returning to floor nursing...ever. I have Critical care experience but that was over 10 years ago. I have minimal ER experience also but not recent. I worked MICU for about a year and wanted to transfer to SICU but the hospital wanted to keep me in MICU so they didn't let me transfer, so I quit. In nursing school
all my instructors, mentors, and the nurses in the units said they thought critical care would be my forte' and I agreed. Dreamt of working in ER but never followed my dream b/c of other opportunities and also the ER nurses told me to forget about it, not worth it, etc. More recently, I have experience doing chart reviews and care planning in ICU. My skills are great. Like ridding a bike. Can stick with the best, tube the rest, etc. The clinic I now run gives me limited availability to perform the high tech skills, but does allow me to triage emergency situations constantly. My assessment skills are also very good. I think that with my background and years of experience, coupled with the certificate and ACLS is enough to work in the ER or other critical care area. BUT, I do have reservations about just jumping into the ER or ICU to work without formal orientation. I'm brave and confident but not totally stupid. I do not plan on quiting my current job at the clinic.. I love it too much but the pay is awful! I need to make a little more than I do and thought I'd contract myself to the hospitals, no agency, and work 1 shift per week. I don't think I'll get an orientation without becoming a FT employee but I have a feeling they'll contract with me b/c the local hospitals are hurting so bad for nurses especially in the ER and ICU's. I'd like to hear your advice, opinions, ideas, encouragement, and thoughts on all of this. Please don't flame me, please! The reason I'm posting this is b/c of my own reservations. 15 years ago there would've been no way that I'd get a job in those areas without recent experience but things are different now. Is this opportunity or the beginning of a bad plan? Thank you to all who reply.