I am going to be a 2nd yr ASN student in the fall. I graduate in April of 2000. I was thinking about working in the ICU after graduation if possible. My long term goal is to be a flight nruse and I know I need ICU experience for this. I was wondering if anyone knows of any hospitals that have ICU programs such as enxtended orientation, fellowships, or other programs. Any recommendations about getting into the ICU would be helpful as well.
Thanx a bunch. Kimberly Rush
P.S. I have been an EMT since I was 16 and I am working as a PCA in a MCICU now.
Jun 2, '99
One of the best internships in the country is at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas Texas... it's tough but worth it.. i've known several nurses who have gone through it and each is now an advanced practice nurse with VERY successful practices..
you rotate through all of their critical care areas with a preceptor, plus classroom time as well.... upon completion of their program you can take the CCRN exam which all of their graduates pass...
i highly recommend their program... but be ready to commit to two years...
Jun 2, '99
Thank you very much for your information.
I had found out about Parkland from searching the net and then I called and talked to them.
I was really imrpessed with them when I talked to them. Thank you for your input once again.
Jun 2, '99
Hello, I will be graduating in December of this year with a BSN. I was wondering if anyone knows of any programs for critical care in the Rocky Mountain Region (Denver, Salt Lake, Seattle etc.) Also would you recommend working on a med/surg unit first and then moving on to critical care or just moving right into critical care? I thought that most hospitals require you to have at least 1-2 years of experience before you can work in ICU. If someone could help me out, I would appreciate it.
Jun 2, '99
Hojo... i don't know of any programs in your area .. sorry..
as for your question <<Also would you recommend working on a med/surg unit first and then moving on to critical care or just moving right into critical care?>> the responses will be varied..
first.. yes ICUs are hiring new graduates these days cuz of the shortage.. and it is possible IF the hospital has a GREAT mentoring program... but even then.. you need to give yourself a year of hell before you even BEGIN to feel comfortable with critical care.. and when you start to be comfortable SOMETHING IS WRONG.. lol.. also, if you have exceptional critical thinking skills and the attitude of a learner you might be able to make the leap to critical care.. however, if you can be a bit patient and go the med/surg route.. i really think it enhances your critical care practice.. i'm not saying it's impossible to do critical care straight out of school (again with a more than adequate mentorship/preceptorship program .. anything less than 3-4 months is NOT adequate and there should be continuing educational opportunities on a monthly basis for at least a year!) oops.. got carried away... where was i? .. oh yeah.. not that it's impossible right out of school.. but it is more difficult.. nurses who've been the med/surg route make smoother transitions to critical care..
hope this helps..
Jun 11, '99
I started in ICU right after graduation with a six month orientation and lots of classroom education as well as lots of studying on my own time. It has been very difficult and stressful. I do not regret it, however, I would have to recommend not doing this for anyone else. The first year of nursing is difficult in and of itself without it being in the critical care arena. Also, you will find that you don't have a lot of support from coworkers because most of them don't agree that RN's should be hired into ICU right out of school. This can make things more difficult.
Jun 12, '99
Have to say I agree with you- it depends on the acuity of the hospital, the support of staff members and more, but I had been an RN for 4 years in a variety of environments before I entered an ICU residency. The residency was excellent but the adjustment to ICU was still tough. I am sure some folks can do it right out of school- but most can't, and the ones who try too soon are the ones that will bail out of nursing entirely.
I wouldn't recommend any new grad going into critical care- get to know how to be a nurse before you try to learn how to work in Critical Care.
My 2 cents.
Jul 4, '99
I was hired into a general icu straight out of school. It has been both a good and bad experience. All the pitfalls that were mentioned previously were made in my case, orientation was practcally nonexistant, no classroom at all, burnt out preceptors who looked on precepting as a chance to take the night off. Although I have progressed and I really feel I have come a long way, I know that there are gaps in my education as a nurse. I would encourage you to find the hospital with the best training program even if it might not fit in with some other reqirements you may have i.e. money. Money is a lousy reason to go into nursing because you'll get burnt out fast chasing the big paycheck. I don't know any rich nurses. Get trained right and you'll feel better about what you doing. If you get really good at what you're doing good money will follow.
Jul 13, '99
new grads with little or no hospital experience should definitely go to med-surg or tele first to learn not only organizational skills, but critical thinking skills, before going to ICU. It will be a lot easier on the new grad, as well as the patients.
Jul 20, '99
The University of Texas here in Austin has a critical care elective and the students do their clinical at my facility. 2 graduates from the BSN program are hired each year and get approx. 6 mos orientation so when they no longer need a "buddy", they have a firm foundation in critical care. For those of you in school who are thinking about going into that area, see if your school or local hospital has some sort of program for getting the basics before graduation. I spent 3 months as a floor nurse and 1 year in the ER before going to critical care and that time helped me develop my organizational skills. However you choose to go the CCU route, GOOD LUCK!!!!