Hi Nurse Beth,
I am a nursing student getting ready to graduate soon with my BSN. I have been an LPN for 6 years. I am starting to apply for GN residency/job opportunities. I know that I like the ICU and hope in 5 years to graduate to an ICU trauma unit eventually. However, I have a lot of nurses tell me to get a medical surgical background. The only thing is I know I do not like having a large patient load of 6-8 patients. The small patient to nurse ratio is of the reasons ICU appeals to me, I feel like I can give better patient centered care.
My question is - I do not want to pass up opportunities, but I also do not want to accept a position as a med surg nurse when I already know I do not like the patient to nurse ratio. In an interview I am afraid this will make me sound like I can't handle it, or am unorganized or have time management issues. How do I make this sound like a positive attribute?
Basically I do not want to settle.
Dear Don’t Want to Settle,
Don't worry about what the other nurses are telling you. You will find strong opinions either way on the "start in Med-Surg or not" debate. Just nod and thank them for their input.
Hiring managers will not judge you for applying to and preferring ICU over Med-Surg. It's very common and everyone has a preference.
The question is, what will you do if you are not offered an ICU position? I would take a hospital position in Med-Surg over no job. You always want a backup strategy, and you can transfer later.