Wow! I am a new grad, and this is EXACTLY what happened to me! I did my senior practicum in ICU, (not neuro) and was hired in a neuro ICU unit upon graduation. I have a TON to say about this, and will hit the high points here, but would be happy to be your "mentor" if you go into this position, because it is very unique and challenging....and I wish I had one! We can exchange phone numbers if you would like, and stay in touch about this.
Here are my highlights.
1. You can do this. Yes, it will be difficult. The only opposition you will have will probably be from seasoned nurses who think you must "walk through the trenches" before you will succeed at this. As a result, you might start out having to "prove" yourself....over and over. I had daily reminders of how long others worked in general nursing for years before they were considered for ICU positions. Respect them, but ignore any suggestion that you will not survive. Remember, there is a shortage of nurses. ICU's don't have time to wait for nurses to be "seasoned".
2. Make sure the hospital had a top notch training/preceptor/mentoring program to support you through this, including a "zero tolerance" policy for lateral undermining or bullying. Sorry to say, it happens and it brings your learning to a screeching halt.
3. Neuro ICU rocks. It is very complicated, patients are very sick, and outcomes are often not good for patients and families. You will feel your schooling didn't prepare you to be a nurse, (it didn't/couldn't prepare you for ICU) so plan on lots of at home studying, reference cards/notes hanging out of your pockets, and generally feeling like you are back in school. I found this a vey fullfilling experience as I was learning the "real" stuff.
4. Neuro meds are terrifying, and you should have great respect for them. Google neuro meds and start studying them now. They always change.
5. Study neuro anatomy. Have it down cold. As well as electrolyte imbalance/replacement. I do this all day long.
6. Be prepared for double standards. You will hear, "ALWAYS ask if you don't know"...then when you do ask, someone will say, "what? They didn't teach you that in nursing school?" Just let it roll off of your back and remember, you are there for the patient first. Get accurate information.
7. Find your support systems/people and utilize them. Family, friends, co-workers. Avoid those who will bring you down with bad attitudes or those who undermine you. You are a nurse. A new grad, yes, but a nurse. Be part of the solution in being the new generation of nurses who will not "eat their young" but welcome fellow colleagues.
8. Last but not least, GO FOR IT. We need you. You will succeed.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you would like to communicate more. Good luck in your interview, and congrads on your graduation.