New Graduate Nurse into ICU

  1. 0
    Hello fellas!!

    And so I have passed NCLEX in summer of this year (2012) in New York and just recently was told that I am hired for an ICU position in Texas (Wichita Falls). It was an intimidating processes of interview but to my surprise I went through all of them and was offered a classical training -- only three months.

    I always wanted to be an ICU nurse, helping people right there on the spot where their life depend on my proper functioning. However at the same time I am intimidated by such small training time and moving from NY to Texas all on my own from my parent's house (I am 22, male). So far, I found a hotel close to the hospital, but that's it as far as my plans go. Can someone provide any suggestions, what you would have done if all you had is this information; how to prepare for ICU new grad position, etc.

    PS. This is the first job offer that I was responded to and I cannot miss this opportunity. This IS a new grad position, since they asked for letters of recommendations and transcripts from college. Also I only have an Associate's degree, doing RN-to-BSN.

    Thanks so much!!

    Vlad
  2. Poll: Would you go to work in ICU without expereince

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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I just wrote you a long post of stuff to study and the site ate it. I will repost it, if I remember it all. In the mean time. Here is a link to certify in NIH stroke scale online for free. NIHSS - English - NINDS : Home
    cleopatra_1972 likes this.
  5. 3
    ICP -normal range, what can cause it to increase, how to decrease it. What does the wave form mean? Why is a high ICP bad?

    CPP- Normal range, how do you come up with the numer. (ICP-MAP=CPP). Why is it important?

    EVD, bolt- function/purpose, advantages/disadvantages of each

    hem. vs ischemic stroke

    areas of stroke- what area of the brain is damaged, what will the symptoms be? What type of bleed (epidural? subdural? venous or arterial?)

    brain tumors and cysts- If it is not cancerous, why is it so bad?

    MRI, CT, with and without contrast. When would you not use contrast. IE hem. stroke or allergy.

    lumbar drains- use (IE CSF leak), danger (IE brain herniation with too much drainage)

    tpa- when is it used and why/ What are the dangers associated with tpa?

    A-fib- what does it have to do with strokes?

    Make sure to ask questions, never let your fear of feeling stupid stop you from getting answers. BSing your way through things is how people get hurt. If you feel like your orientation is not long enough let your manager know. If you preceptor is not doing a good job, let your boss know early on. You only get one orientation. Also, remember we were all new once. It is expected that you will not know everything, even once you get off of orientation. They will likely give you easier patients once you are off of orientation, and not give you real difficult patients until you are 1 year out.

    I graduated with an assoc. RN and did a 5 month ICU internship. I then got a 3 week neuro orientation before I was cut loose. So, I had more ICU experience than you will, but you will have more neuro experience. I now, 3 years later have my BSN (UT-Arlington) and CCRN and NIH cert. You will do great, just don't expect too much of yourself. You are moving to a new place, starting a new profession, and do not have family present. that is a lot. Pace yourself so you do not burn out.

    Some of this info may seem silly, but remember you have to explain this to the patient and/or family who may have little to no medical background. One of the best things a nurse can do is explain things to the family in a manner they can understand. They are after all the decision makers.
  6. 0
    Sounds awesome!!! A new start to the rest of your life! I got a job as a new grad in the Neuro ICU a year and a half ago & its all been great Have fun on this journey & get ready to learn tons!
  7. 0
    it's not really that short of orientation! When I transitioned to the ER I had 6 weeks, then when I went to the CVICU I think I only had 4 weeks. I know you are a new grad, but do not be intimidated by this. They should be able to really help you learn the ropes, know what your resources are, and recognize when you need help. You will always be looking stuff up on your own, I still do 15 years later. They do not expect you to be an expert during that timeframe. They expect you to be safe. If you need more time, just ask them.

    good luck!


    are you more worried to be moving out of your parents and being on your own? If you do not have your own furnishings, just rent a small apt and get what you need from thrift stores and craigslist when you get there. Then you don't have to ship a bunch of stuff.

    again, good luck
  8. 1
    Thanks you all, particularly CPhT2RNstudent, thanks for your support. They are giving me ~21/hr. And yeah, I really don't know what to expect from new place!! I guess 3 mo is ok, and I am sure they will be ok extending it if I may need it ))
    CPhT2RNstudent likes this.
  9. 0
    you can do it!

    after orientation either buy or get from the library a ccrn review book. I studied one and renewed the check out several times. It was great info even after 5 years of being in critical care.

    good luck
  10. 0
    Best advice, don't act or think like you know it all just from the books, ask questions, ask lots of questions from experienced nurses. They are your support, they can make or break you. Seek out learning experiences, and do some studying and case studies on your days off and you would be a great ICU RN and a resource for upcoming RNs.

    Ayo, BSN, RN, CCRN,
    MSICU, CVICU 4+ years.
    Last edit by CVICURN22 on Dec 10, '12 : Reason: spelling
  11. 0
    Quote from CVICURN22
    Best advice, don't act or think like you know it all just from the books, ask questions, ask lots of questions from experienced nurses. They are your support, they can make or break you. Seek out learning experiences, and do some studying and case studies on your days off and you would be a great ICU RN and a resource for upcoming RNs.

    Ayo, BSN, RN, CCRN,
    MSICU, CVICU 4+ years.
    This is a great advice for all new grads!!!
  12. 0
    I started out as a new graduate in Neuro ICU. All I did was pray and study when I wasn't working. It was a ROUGH first year, but totally worth it. Don't let people scare you off and ask lots of questions!


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