Ugh! Should I make the jump?

  1. I'm a RN BN with 19 months (count 'em) experience on the busiest medicine ward in the city. We also house the high observation unit, which is essentially a "step-up" to ICU, wherein patients who are too sick to be managed on a regular medicine ward are housed. I love stress, I love learning, and despite the countless codes and intense pace, I am starting to get bored. I've been charge nurse, I am precepting a senior student nurse, but I'm starting to think that in order to maintain my interest, I may need to go elsewhere.

    I've ruled out ER, but I am interested in ICU. Unfortunately, in order to work in the MICU, SICU, CCU or PACU, we need to complete an 8 month ICU Course. Anyone under 1 year experience is not permitted to take the course and thus work in ICU. Fine, I've got more than that. However, I would need to stop working, and take this course full time, with a weekly stipend much smaller than what I am currently earning. Frankly, I'm not eager to earn less, nor am I particularly fond of the school which I will be returning to for the theory and lab end of the ICU course.

    I am also concerned that I will miss the comradery of my current unit, but the lack of supplies and archaic equipment is annoying. On the bonus side, the ancient ICUs of my hospital will be moved to a brand new facility by the time I would even start this course.

    Decisions, decisions. Any insight on moving from med/surg to ICU? Would you have done it if you had to essentially quit your job for 8 months to go to ICU?
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    Take the course and grab a shift on the weekend to bring your income up to par.
  4. by   LaurynRN
    Make the jump!
    Aren't there other hospitals and other ICU's to choose from so you can avoid the 8 month long class. (Having said that I wish I had an 8 month class when I started!).
    Your post reminded me of my predicament when I left Med/Surg. I worked on an onc/organ transplant unit where we practiced medicine on a dirt floor so to speak. I had done charge, precepted, etc, and knew it was time to move on. I hated going back to being the low man on the totem pole. I went from doing the schedule at my old place to being at someone else's mercy. I left behind all my friends that I worked with . I am nearing the end of my orientation at my new place. I moved hospitals and everything but I don't regret it yet. It is an awful feeling to start all over and go from expert to novice in 2.2 seconds. It's awful to not know anyone and be the newbie. But I still pick up shifts at my old hospital whenever I need a boost of confidence and a reminder of why I left. There I am still an expert and 'everyone knows my name'.
    It soudns to me like you are ready for a change. I didn't want to be one of those nurses who stays because it's all they know. I didn't want to get stuck.
    Good luck to you in whatever you decide!

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