Getting into ICU?

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    hello everyone, I was wondering, in order to become a ICU nurse, do you have to generally work in a particular ward (eg. med-surg.) before getting into ICU, or can you directly enter ICU right after getting your BSN?

    Thanks for future responses...

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  2. 9 Comments...

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    I think that there are a lot of threads on this topic already, but I don't know how to include them in this reply. I was able to directly hire into ICU as a new grad but my situation was different because I had worked as a resp therapist at the hospital for 6 yrs; I knew all the ICU nurses, they knew me and I got hired.

    The usual route is: work in med-surg for some time, transfer to stepdown ICU (aka transitional care unit, progressive care unit) and work there for some time and then get into ICU.

    However, everything depends on the timing; about 5 yrs ago, they could not find enough RN's, experienced or new grads to fill all the open positions, so hospitals were hiring new grads directly into ICU and training them.

    Today, the job market is very tight, so the hospitals can be very picky and require years of experience to work in ICU.
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    I really like to become and ICU or ER nurse!
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    I'm a new grad in the surgical trauma burn ICU so, no, you don't HAVE to work anywhere else before.
    Canadian eh? likes this.
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    Im not quite sure though. I also want to be an ICU nurse someday,I worked for 2 years in a medical ward, not my first choice, but they needed a nurse there at the time of my employment. I have heard of trainings for you to acquire a certification that you are indeed a special area nurse. I need to be enlightened on that as well.
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    Quote from Canadian eh?
    hello everyone, I was wondering, in order to become a ICU nurse, do you have to generally work in a particular ward (eg. med-surg.) before getting into ICU, or can you directly enter ICU right after getting your BSN?

    Thanks for future responses...
    I think it depends on the facility. Some may require prior med-surg experience, while others may be willing to accept new grads into a training program (after an interview). In my case, I did a 6 week new grad internship before interviewing & being accepted to an ICU Fellowship program at the same facility.
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    I am also a nurse interested in becoming an ICU nurse, after working one year on a med-surg unit I am certainly ready to transition into a ICU position. I recently applied for a position and was told that they are strictly hiring experienced ICU personnel only. I am really considering giving up my current position and focusing on taking classes for additional certifications that will hopefully give me an edge when applying for future ICU positions.

    What do think? Should one walk away from his/her current position in med-surg ( hated position) to prepare for the position of his/her dreams in ICU?
  9. 0
    Quote from Texcal43
    I am also a nurse interested in becoming an ICU nurse, after working one year on a med-surg unit I am certainly ready to transition into a ICU position. I recently applied for a position and was told that they are strictly hiring experienced ICU personnel only. I am really considering giving up my current position and focusing on taking classes for additional certifications that will hopefully give me an edge when applying for future ICU positions.

    What do think? Should one walk away from his/her current position in med-surg ( hated position) to prepare for the position of his/her dreams in ICU?
    Why would you quit your job, when jobs are scarce? How about applying for a transitional care unit (aka progressive care unit, intermediate ICU)? It's slightly lower acuity than the ICU but many TCU's have stable vents and titrate some gtts. As I mentioned in my previous post in this thread, there's the "traditional" route to ICU and the "new grad to ICU" route, which occurs when hospitals cannot find enough experienced RN's or internal transfers candidate. In this tight job market, the "new grad to ICU" route is harder to find, though not impossible.
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    sunnycalifRN,Point well taken, however I believe 2010 will bring about many changes in the nursing Job market. When the economy begins to take a turn and positions open in the area of ICU. People like me need to ensure that our skill base is up to parr.
    futurernjap likes this.
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    Not always...depends on your hospital. Make sure if you are working med-surge that you work in an area that will get you into the ICU that you want to work for, this def helps!....For instance, I worked up on neurosurgery for one year then tranferred down to the surgical-trauma ICU. This got me in the door...I hope this helped!


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