Help! I can't get a job in the ICU!

  1. 0
    Hello all,

    I have been a frequent reader of this great forum. I am about to graduate with my BSN this December. I have been interviewing and talking to recruiters on the phone, but they all tell me that they only want to hire a new grad into the ICU if they are are currently a patient care tech. I am in St. Louis and never thought I would have this problem because of all the hospitals in the area. Any suggestions? I really want to get directly into an ICU. I have shadowed a few times in a SICU and CTICU and loved it!
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Well December graduation is 3 months away....apply for the Nurse Tech in that dept. There you go you are a Nurse Tech in the ICU. Also being a new grad, it may be to your advantage to do Med/Surg or better yet Telemetry for 6 months before ICU. I was a Nurse Tech in the ICU/CCU/SICU for 2 yrs but I went to a telemetry floor for 6 months and then moved over to the units agai nas a nurse. I think it was for my benefit and 6 months goes by very fast when you are a new nurse! I would try to get in as a tech, if there is no openings....consider telemetry for 6 months and propose that to the recruitors. Also, of course keep in touch with them if you are on another floor and you will get into the unit much quicker.
    Hope this helps...
  5. 0
    Just keep trying. Like mrod said, if you can't get a job right away in the ICU, try going to a tele floor and then transferring into the ICU. I worked tele for awhile before transferring to critical care and have been told that the ICU managers prefer to hire nurses from the tele floor because they are easier to train as they already have experience with many of the drips as well as having a good understanding of cardiac monitoring.
  6. 0
    Try to get your role transition there...even if you can only do 40hrs there it may get you in front of the Unit Mgr who can see your skills and hear your pitch! I'm suprised that an area university hospital won't hire on a new grad in the ICU...
  7. 0
    Look for a hospital that has an ICU internship. They may be called different things, but at the hospitals I applied at (and the one I got hired at) they were all seperate listings from other RN jobs. They were listed as either RN I or GN Internship or something of that nature.
  8. 0
    Well I can just tell you about my experience in IL. I know here, most hospitals would like you to have some type of ICU or at least med-surg experience, but I knew that I wanted to go into ICU, so I applied to as many as I could. I think that you should just try and apply for an ICU job if that is really what you would like to do. I think it really depends on the interview because it was the staff nurse who interviewed me and luckily she liked me so I was offered the job.
  9. 0
    I'd suggest mostly looking at hospitals with new grad programs into the ICU. I've heard pretty mixed feelings about new grads in ICU settings from educators and staff. I started off on a tele floor, and moved to a surgical step down and i'm really glad that I did all that before going into the ICU. I'm confident in my skills and knowledge base, and that made going into the ICU a lot easier. I had a point of reference for what was being talked about in terms of blood gases, reasons people get put on vents, different vent settings and invasive monitoring.

    Definitely apply to as many places as you can, but don't rule out the idea of a tele/stepdown unit either. you'll still learn a lot, and can always move into an ICU and be a stronger candidate in my opinion because you'll have skills and knowledge to back yourself up in an interview.
  10. 0
    Thanks for your suggestions. I just found out that I will be doing my senior preceptorship in an ICU and now suddenly hospitals are more interested in talking with me :-)
  11. 0
    Quote from nursingdude78
    Hello all,

    I have been a frequent reader of this great forum. I am about to graduate with my BSN this December. I have been interviewing and talking to recruiters on the phone, but they all tell me that they only want to hire a new grad into the ICU if they are are currently a patient care tech. I am in St. Louis and never thought I would have this problem because of all the hospitals in the area. Any suggestions? I really want to get directly into an ICU. I have shadowed a few times in a SICU and CTICU and loved it!
    Try to look at it this way; when you started your nursing classes, did you find that it might have been a LOT easier if you were able to concentrate on one subject at a time versus having all those classes thrown at you all at once? Sure, there were subjects that you liked, and some that you didn't like, but it was all bookwork, and there was very little, if any, patient impact at that time. You are expressing a desire to go right into the ICU. You will be handed a LOT to learn in short order.....with what seems like very infrequent repeating lessons.....at first. This time, there will definitely be patient impact to what you do with the information that you are given. Oh yes....It definitely can be done. However, it is in retrospect that you will ask yourself the following questions: With this picture in mind, do I learn and retain well under this added stress? Was I ready for some really intense on the job training while I was beginning to mold what I learned in school as my new life as an RN? I find myself wanting to be protective of new nurses that come in to the ICU from out of school. It's a little harder on someone who has to go through a steeper learning curve right off the bat. Newer nurses need a little more TLC when they go right into a specialty area like the one that you are currently desiring to go into. Take it easy on yourself and go into med/surg or telemetry for a little while first. Get the newness out of your system first. Get your bearings.


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