ICU as a new grad

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    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...
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    I am in a similar situation and would appreciate any advice. I am also graduating May '13 with 4.0 and I am doing 2 different preceptorships in the ICU. I have heard that it helps to precept in the ICU if that's where you will be applying. However, I worry that I am making a mistake by only precepting in the ICU since these jobs are so competitive. Will this make it harder for me to get a non ICU job? My dream is to work in a burn ICU or any ICU to start, but it is most important that I start working within 6 months of graduation, so I will take any position or move anywhere to make sure that happens.

    I am limited because I will have an associates degree, but I see that University of Utah and UCSF both hire new grads into their ICU and you don't need to have a BSN. My plan is to apply to these kinds of schools and to rural hospitals. Good luck to you Francoml, It's going to be an exciting year!
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    I just graduated from CNM in Albuquerque. It is nearly impossible to get a hospital job here as a new grad. I have 136 applications with the local hospitals and have had no calls. I am working part time in a SNF just to keep my skills current. I have yet to see an ICU position that doesn't require at least 2 years experience. I am hoping to find a Med/surg job and then maybe move to slightly more acute units. I know there are some rural areas that require nurses and hire new grads like in Idaho. Try linkedin. Recruiters advertise there all the time.
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    With the utmost respect, those wanting to go into the ICU as a new grad should first read the many threads in the forums from/about new grads who crashed and burned when they tried to start out in the ICU--many of them were overwhelmed and couldn't handle the pressure. I've never worked medical ICU, but even I know that these patients are the sickest of the sick, and there's little wiggle room for newbie mistakes.

    The same applies to psych ICUs (now these I know very well!). Again, sickest of the sick and little room for error...not really the best place for a new grad to start out in.

    This isn't to say that new grads can't be successful in any ICU--they certainly can! But be aware that there is an exceptionally steep learning curve ahead of a new grad. Find a new grad program for the ICU, or a place that will offer you a very long orientation.

    Hopefully, medical ICU nurses will wander in here to give you more specific info.

    Best of luck in your job search.
  7. 0
    There are various threads on starting in ICU as a new grad -- start by reading them. And there are threads on improving your chances of being hired. Read those, too.
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    I live in Reno, NV ( I know NV isn't one of the states you wanted) but we have a big new grad program at one of our hospitals here. They hire new grads into the ICU program every 4 month. This time it was around 16 people. Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less. It's a cool program because you get to rotate through 3 different ICU settings over a one year period. Cardiac ICU, and then two is known as more of a trauma ICU and the other more medical. The hospital is called Renown you can look it up if you are interested.
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    I know of people starting out in ICU in las cruces.I think most got them because they have already worked there, know someone, or precepted there. So try to request for ICU if you can to increase your chances. Also depending on how many nurses are needed, if they are short staffed or not.