New grad, first job in transitional care unit, planning to transfer. Advice please!

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    Hello all, I am a new grad and i just landed my first job at a great hospital, however it is not in my unit of choice. as you all know, we live in a time where we get what we can take, so i took this position because the hospital is prestigious and supportive to their nurses.


    my position is in the transitional care unit, basically a short-term snf/rehab unit. i really love the hospital i will be working with, and i feel very grateful to even be part of it. i haven't started yet, i am to start orientation on january 14th.


    however, i really really want to end up in the ICU because my long term career goal is to go back to school for my master's as a CRNA or NP. most masters programs require icu/ed experience to be competitive. i understand i should not job hop because that doesn't look good on my part, so i am planning to stay in the TCU for at least 8 months. also, in my interview i made it very clear to the manager that my heart was set on the ICU or step down so she knows what my desires are.


    when do you guys suggest i should request a transfer? what should i do in the meantime while i am working in the TCU. (specializations? certs? classes? shadowing?) when should i start talking to my manager about my interest in moving on to a more acute care area in the hospital? how should i initiate this type of conversation with her? will i have a better chance of getting into the ICU being a transfer? has anyone else had experience transferring?


    any insight and suggestions are welcome. thank you!
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

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    So is there an opening in the ICU ? I'm sorry I might get a little slack for this but try Get the hang of it first...the nursing thing you may learn a lot from the experience you get on the floor. If you find different certifications and specialization it will help you for sure in the long run. I would just sit tight, develop yourself as a nurse, and then transfer if the opportunity is there. I'm an fnp, I worked tcu for 9 years as a RN. Good luck to you.
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    hello! thanks so much for your reply!

    there is no opening for the icu, however i just want to plan ahead. just wanted to get insight from others on what i can do to prepare myself for the icu while i am starting off in the tcu.

    wow, how was your experience in the tcu? is it considered acute care nursing experience? i would love to hear more about how you became an NP and what that entire process what like in terms of going from tcu to grad school to np.
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    You are putting the cart ahead of the horses my friend. You are a new grad, has zero RN experience, has not started your job and you already say you don't like it, that it is not what you want to do, and is planning to request a transfer, even down to the exact month. It is unwise to plan your nursing professional life in such minutiae like that when you haven't even started it yet. Take one thing at a time. Don't prejudge the job you have not even started. Don't be cocky, thinking that transitional care or any other nursing field is beneath you. As a new grad, and this is a lesson I learned myself, you know very little about nursing, the real learning is going to start on the hospital floor, and any unit on an acute care facility is a great start. Skills like time management, communication with family and physicians, etc are key to being a professional nurse and these you learn on any unit. I am also confused about your description of transitional care; in my hospital that is the step down unit, where patients come after being downgraded from the ICU, nothing to do with SNF or rehab, but maybe in your hospital it is different.
    itsmejuli and hearts895, RN BSN like this.
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    thanks for your reply! haha, i know i am planning wayyy ahead of myself, but that's just the way i've always been. i plan my life way ahead of myself, and always looking forward to accomplishing more goals. very type A. it has never done me wrong in the past

    yes, in my hospital the TCU is short term skilled nursing for patients not sick enough to stay on the med/surg floor, but not well enough to be sent to LTC facility or home.

    in no way do i feel this job is below me, on the contrary i feel i really lucked out getting my first job at such a great institution. and it is a great blessing. but being the type-A planner that i am, i already want to start planning ahead. just wanting advice on what i can do to PREPARE myself for an ICU opportunity.

    i agree with you that time management and communication are definitely things that i want to work on, and this job will be a great foundation for me. i am actually glad i didn't start in the ICU, and that was never what i wanted to start in as a new grad, because from what i've heard from new grads it's daunting and i don't want my rn license jeopardized. thanks again!!
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    At tne end of the first year. I've read on a another nurse-anesthesia website that 7 years is the average RN experience for those who move to CRNA. I had 10 years myself. You have NO experience and never know what you'll like and what you won't. I always thought as a student that I'd end up in psych. Don't rush too much - you have a very hard year ahead of you.
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    I think you should try out for a year. Then go on from there. As you know, job is really hard to find so it is best that you stick first with your current job.
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    Agree with PP's. TCU can be a great place to build your competency & confidence as a new nurse. Rehab nursing is far more "nursing" focused than critical care (my background - ICU - so I am qualified to make this judgement) where the vast majority of 'interventions' are either Medically directed or Inter-dependent.

    Who knows, you may fall in love with Rehab nursing - I know many instances in which this has happened. Nursing education tends to downplay this critical area of healthcare... and let's face it, it isn't portrayed as a 'glamour' area for nurses. However, this area of healthcare is rapidly becoming more important in the US healthcare system.
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    thanks everyone for your advice! i am definitely excited to start in the TCU.

    does anyone have any advice for me on what i should do to prepare myself for my first year in the TCU? what kind of nursing tasks are common? challenges i will face? etc?
    Last edit by flowerchild89 on Jan 9, '13
  12. 0
    Initially your biggest hurdle will be time management and learning the flow of the unit.

    You'll find lots of great threads under "First Year after Nursing Licensure"


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