I am about to graduate nursing school in May and am interested in getting into an ICU. I am a 22 year old male, have a 3.8 GPA, phi theta kappa, and crimson scholar at New Mexico State University. I would be willing to relocate anywhere in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, or Texas.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Preferably in a large teaching/trauma hospital...
I would say talk to your clinical instructors and ask for an honest assessment. If your instructors include teachers with ICU experience, that would be ideal. My hospital is a teaching hospital and we always have some nursing students on the floor. Their instructor, an ICU RN, actually writes them letters of recommendation for ICU if she feels they are ready. The bad news is very few are ready-she says it takes a very special kind of person.
I just want to remind you there are consequences of screwing up in this profession. Terminations happen all the time--if you are lucky they will let you resign, but that still looks very bad on your resume. I had to resign from my first job in 2008, it was ICU-stepdown, and I had problems later on, because a resignation makes you a high risk candidate.
This is a paranoid industry. Recruiters are paranoid-there is no other way to describe it-because if you hire the wrong candidate she can kill the patient in 10 minutes (e.g. blood transfusion) and the repercussions of this death will reverberate throughout the organization for years, legally, financially and in terms of the damaged reputation.
If you are not sure, perhaps you can try progressive care or ER for about 2 years. ICU managers like ER nurses and I just spoke to a guy who transitioned from ER to ICU and he seems to be doing very well.
Having 3.8 GPA is better than 3.0, but it doesn't tell me if you can work well with others. It tells me you can stay alone in your study for 10 hours at a time until you master the material. This hardly makes you a people person. Some of the overachievers in the program, the alpha females, the ones who always had to get a perfect score on their papers, will never work out as bedside nurses, because they behave like prison wardens and they treat the patients like convicts. Some of them will eventually end up in administration, or informatics, or other capacity that doesn't involve patient contact.
Last edit by Concerto_in_C on Apr 20, '14