Best ICU for future flight nurse?

  1. 0
    Hi guys!

    I'm in a new grad program at a level 1 trauma center for ICU nurses that takes me through the MICU, SICU, BICU, C/PICU, and ER over a 7 month period. After the 7 months (and successful completion of the academic and clinical requirements and evaluations), I have the option of choosing to interview and work in one of these clinical areas. I know I plan on being a flight nurse in the next 4-7 years, so I'm wondering if there is a specific ICU that I should really shoot for? Most of the patients that are flighted into the hospital I work for go straight to the SICU (car crashed, GSW, etc) so does that mean I should be set on working in the SICU after my residency? Or is an ICU nurse an ICU nurse, with skills that can be brought to the table regardless of what unit I find myself working in? I guess I'm trying to say, that if a nurse with MICU, CPICU or BICU experience is running up against a nurse with equal SICU experience for a flight RN position, would the SICU nurse be favored (or have the upper hand) since a high volume of flighted patients are traumatic injuries? Thanks for your help!
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I would say so. SICU was the first that popped into my head.
  4. 0
    Hey Hockeynpolo,

    I was just wondering what program you are in...that sounds awesome! Have you started yet and if so, how are you liking it?

    Thanks!
  5. 0
    Most friends I've had that have went into flight nursing had either a SICU/STICU/CVICU background (SICU/Surgical-Trauma/Cardiovascular). It's gonna depend upon what's offered in the particular unit. But I'll be honest with you: the jobs I've seen posted over the years have only asked for ICU experience, usually 2 years. They also usually want someone who's got their paramedic license as well. If you don't plan on relocating, why not find the flight program you're interested in and start making inquiries? Jobs are usually hard to come by...trying to get an upper hand now by making yourself known to the powers-that-be can help you. I work at a University hospital, dear friend of mine has been a flight nurse for years and never worked on a trauma unit. He's one of the best nurses I've ever been privileged to work with.
  6. 0
    Hi highlandlass1592,

    Thanks for your recommendations. I'll definitely be working a few years ICU and possibly ER too to get the experience I need before I apply to fly. Before nursing school, I flew with a number of air ambulances as a 3rd rider (ride along) but I never really asked them about what ICUs they worked in. I'll definitely ask around and see what flight RNs suggest.
  7. 0
    Found this link for you:

    http://www.astna.org/

    see what resources they have for you. Best of luck.
  8. 0
    Surgical/neuro-trauma is good.
    I work in MICU, do lots of vents, CVCs, art lines, every kind of drain imaginable, IABPs, PA caths, etc. I've never seen anything on the helicopter that I haven't seen in MICU. It's the critical care experience that's the most important.
    And for flying, does the program do mostly scene or interfacility flights? I've only flown a few IABPs and swans, but lots and lots of vents, art lines, TVPs, etc.
    good luck!
  9. 1
    Don't get so caught up in the name on the door of the ICU. Get caught up on what's going to give you the best experience with SICK and unstable patients with various pathologies. Not all ICUs are equal, even when they have the same name.
    RNFELICITY likes this.
  10. 0
    SICU is the best place for you to learn trauma skills that will be required in a flight nurse position.
  11. 0
    Quote from meandragonbrett
    Don't get so caught up in the name on the door of the ICU. Get caught up on what's going to give you the best experience with SICK and unstable patients with various pathologies. Not all ICUs are equal, even when they have the same name.

    BRAVO!!! You are so true.

    Different areas and sizes of hospitals see such a variety of cases. You really have to look at where you want to live, what you want to do, and look at each hospital and what they take care of. I know the ICU at my local hospital would truly be equivalent to a barely a step down in a larger hospital.


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