Best training ground for PICU wannabe - page 2

by TrophyWife

4,792 Views | 13 Comments

Hello everyone. I would like some advice please. I am aware of the current new grad job market so I realize my question is potentially purely hypothetical. However, I am a strong candidate among my new grad peers and I firmly... Read More


  1. 0
    Given that your goal is PICU I would start in Peds, which is what I did. After two years I moved and got a job in the PICU at CHOP, I worked there for a year and it was a great experience but I believe my peds background was very helpful. I now float at a different hospital between NICU, PICU and general pediatrics. While the some critical care skills are similar in NICU the mindset is very different and I had a hard time learning the NICU ways after being a PICU nurse. NICU is much more wait and see and less reactive. For example in the NICU if my pt desaturated to 70% I wait to see if they will recover without help for 10-30seconds. However in PICU I would turn up the oxygen and suction the patient almost immediately 9times out of 10. Do Peds if you can get PALS, chemo certification, IV placement skills whatever you can pick up along the way. I enjoy working in NICU but it is not the best training ground for PICU, personally I believe a trauma adult ICU would be a better preparation.
  2. 0
    Thanks for all the advice. And even though I truly, deep down didn't think it would happen to me for a handful of reasons, the new grad market claimed me too. I had big dreams, but my eyes are wide open. Neither opportunity (peds or nicu) presented itself to me and I accepted a position I was offered in adult med-surg. The one thing I did NOT want to do with my nursing degree. But I am giving it 100% and, surprisingly, I enjoy it even though it's in a speciality I have zero interest in. I just enjoy being a nurse at this point. No experience is wasted (especially as a new grad). My new plan (I always have a plan lol) is to begin looking for a peds med-surg spot in a year. My road to PICU will have to have an extra stop or two (if an adult cardiac opportunity arises, I would jump on that too), but the dream remains! Again, thank you all for helping me!
  3. 0
    Look for PICU as well many hospitals will accept people with adult experience. Good Luck
  4. 1
    For what it's worth, I graduated almost 2 1/2 years ago, with my dream being to go into NICU or PICU after graduation (our local hospitals DO hire new grads). I was turned down for a PICU job and it seemed like NICU never had an opening when I needed a job so I took one in adult med-surg. Like you, it was one of the last things I wanted to do, and I never got "into" it. I cared for my patients the best I could and got good feedback from them and my peers, but my heart wasn't into it. I finally decided a month ago that I was ready to do something else so I applied for pedi and PICU at another hospital. I got the PICU job today, and with it, I will cross train in pedi, NICU, and newborn nursery. My new supervisor told me that she strongly feels that even if you want to be a pedi nurse, you really need a background in adult med surg first, and that is one reason she hired me. So hang in there and learn everything you can - it will NOT go to waste. I am SO EXCITED now about my new career path (I just had to take the scenic route to get there!). Good luck to you!
    TrophyWife likes this.


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