Question from New Grad RN regarding ICU/first job

  1. For someone looking for their first job as an RN that wants to work in an ICU (aware that there is not much hand holding in an ICU & jobs for new grads are not abundant in ICU, SICU, CICU, etc.).

    Does a position in the PACU put me in a significantly better position to eventually move into the ICU than a Med-Surg position?

    NY state RN as of July 19th...
  2. Visit Benj2610 profile page

    About Benj2610

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 51; Likes: 8


  3. by   jennycRN
    I can only give you my perspective from my own facility, which is a large teaching hospital: right now the ICUs don't hire new grads, but it is not difficult to transfer to an ICU after two or three years of med surg. Our PACU only hires nurses with critical care experience. Our ED hires new grads and some of my coworkers began there, rather than with floor nursing.

    Good luck!
  4. by   ktliz
    I will second that. At my hospital, PACU is staffed with highly experienced critical care nurses. That is where ICU nurses go when they get tired of ICU, haha.
  5. by   Benj2610
    Thank you for the replies. Interesting comment ktliz because I was wondering if the PACU might be a place to get experience before moving into the ICU. I know what I've seen thus far & it seems that the PACU is more low key (for lack of a better term) & that seems to support your comment (if I am reading this correctly).

    That being said... I may have an opportunity in a PACU. So given this context (new grad RN in 1st job), would this in fact help get me into the ICU after gaining experience more so than a Med-surg job (which seems by all accounts to give the best all-around education to new RN's)?

    Again, always grateful to hear opinions & gain insight...

  6. by   Mully
    Hmmm, I've never heard of any PACU hiring new grads. I'm not sure if it would be better or not, I don't think many people have done that route.

    For what it's worth, I worked 1 year Stepdown and occasionally floated to critical care. This was the best learning experience I could imagine and I think it'd be good for any new grad. You get to learn the basics of med/surg while having more fun and learning more because of the higher acuity.

    Now I'm going to a level 1 Surgical/Trauma ICU and I feel well prepared.

    For what it's worth.
  7. by   Benj2610
    That is exactly what I am looking for... a good place to prepare me for the ICU. But judging by the responses, it sounds like a PACU offering a new grad a job is even more rare than an ICU job for a new grad. Not what I expected. I thought it would be the other way around.
  8. by   godfatherRN
    Worked in a high-risk 30 bed CVICU as a new grad for 3 years and am in anesthesia school now. I work with PACU nurses on a daily basis and I have never met a PACU RN who was not required to be an ICU nurse first (jobs I've generally seen posted require at least 5 years ICU experience). Would PACU help you transition to ICU, absolutely. If you do happen to get the job PM me because you will be the first nurse I know getting hired in that area without ICU experience.
  9. by   Benj2610
    LOL... I'll let you know but after reading the comments (especially yours godfatherRN), I'm guessing that the specific opportunity I have is not for an actual PACU nurse. I'll soon find out.

    Thank you all for the education...
  10. by   Benj2610
    FYI... It was for a PACU position
    FYI... It was over before it started

    ** I get the sense that they only saw me because my connection probably asked they interview me. As a former sales person, I recognize the "Thanks, but no thanks" speech. They do hire new grads occasionally, but as indicated by much of what I've learned in my research thus far, it is rare (at least for ICU & almost unheard of for PACU according to responses above). And those that do get hired typically have interned there during school. So all in the world is consistent!