Where are the new grads in ICU? - page 3

by kika72

7,009 Visits | 32 Comments

Hello Everyone! I have just graduated from nursing school with a BSN and I'm currently studying for NCLEX. Since nursing is my second career and I'm already 40 years old, I was wondering where are the hospitals, cities or... Read More


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    Kika,

    Hi, first let me say do not get discouraged. When I finally had my ICU clinical and internships in nursing school I found out how much I loved it and that is what I wanted to do, then eventually pursue my goal as a CRNA. I know a lot of experienced nurses will frown upon a new grad entering the ICU but I could not see myself being happy in a med-surg unit. I applied to well over 100 ICU jobs (I am from Chicago) and kept on getting turned down so I took the matter into my own hands. I started to research directors in the large teaching hospitals in my area (Rush medical center, University of Chicago medical center, Northwestern University, University of Illinois) and explained to them that I am more than a piece of paper and would like to simply talk with them. This got their attention. I got an interview at the University of Illinois Chicago and eventually was hired a week later in a very high acuity and stressful Neurosurgical ICU and as of now we get a lot of regular Surgical ICU patients. One thing that stands out in my interview my boss told me that there were over 500 applicants for 1 position and what stood out was my email. Or else he would have never even taken a second look at my application.

    When people say that we should not be allowed to start in an ICU, I disagree. Yes, there is no substitute for experience and wisdom, but you can learn a great amount of information from a great preceptor. I am very successful in my unit being a team leader in our hospital wide task force and being charge nurse. It does take a great deal of hard work and keeping calm under pressure, but if that is your dream go for it and do not let anyone tell you any different.

    The best of luck to you! If you have any questions let me know!
    micaelap likes this.
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    Med/surg is NOT necessary to become a good nurse. If you have the drive, the desire, a modicum of intelligence and critical thinking skills - after a nursing internship, you will do fine in a critical care unit. Parkland and Baylor (both in Dallas) take new grads and put them in their critical care internship and straight into the ER and ICUs from day 1.

    Don't let anyone discourage you. Your age can actually be an asset in nursing. Nursing so lacks authentic leadership on the floor, and your age and determination can make you a real star on your unit. Real world experience goes VERY far in nursing. After all, studies show that hard skills comprise only 20% of your job. It's the soft skills that you learn in the 'real world.'

    Go for it! You've got what it takes.
    tigerlogic likes this.
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    btw, Parkland created the country's first nurse internship in 1957, and has it pretty much perfected. Parkland (and Baylor) are both level 1 trauma centers and university teaching hospitals. Parkland is the Regional Burn Center as well.

    Good luck!!
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    Thank you all so much for your replies! I really appreciate your guidance and suggestions.

    PMFB-RN - I know I'm a bit late in the game in regards to residency programs. The reason is that I had a different plan!
    I thought I was too late for a career as a CRNA. I thought about the experience I needed and the time spent in school full-time and almost gave up. BUT, being the stubborn person that I am, I don't think age is a good enough excuse for giving up what I really want to do, so I decided to go for it!

    Berms123 - Thank you so much for your advice! I think what you did is brilliant and personally, I would have followed the same route. Your approach showed creativity and determination and many employers admire that. I worked for 12 years in the luxury hospitality and entertainment field, dealt with a great number of celebrities, lived in 5 large cities across the world and I speak fluently 4 languages. One thing I learned from all that is that there is always someone better and younger than you who can do the job, so it's all on how you market yourself. Your post gave me back that little kick in the behind I needed to remind me that creativity and individuality goes a long way!

    WildflowerRN - It is because of people like you that I have been following this board for a while now! Thank you for your encouragement, you completely red my mind. I rather go in to work everyday, give my 150% and do something that i truly enjoy, rather than doing something because "I have to do it" to get me to where I want to be. I know if I get a chance to be trained in ICU, I would do my best ever, because that is the type of person I am. I know it's gonna be hard and trying for a while, but I am sure I will come out a winner. I have a natural tendency to perform well under stress and I know this may raise some eyebrows among the more experienced nurses, who know ICU like the back of their hands. But I truly believe that some people are cut for it and if well trained, they can achieve the same standard of care of an experienced nurse. I went into nursing because I grew up listening to the amazing stories my mom and my aunt, who are both nurses, used to tell me. It took me so long because I know exactly how much it takes to be a good nurse and I didn't feel ready in my younger years. So I truly believe that if you feel ready for something, go for it!
    which_path and jtboog2003 like this.
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    Quote from kika72
    Thank you all so much for your replies! I really appreciate your guidance and suggestions.

    PMFB-RN - I know I'm a bit late in the game in regards to residency programs. The reason is that I had a different plan!
    I thought I was too late for a career as a CRNA. I thought about the experience I needed and the time spent in school full-time and almost gave up. BUT, being the stubborn person that I am, I don't think age is a good enough excuse for giving up what I really want to do, so I decided to go for it!
    PMFB-RN is rght. You waited to long IN THE YEAR for critical care nurse residency programs. But you haven't waited too long in your life. I graduated from anesthesia school in August of 2012 at age 41. People in my class were mostly in their mid to late 30's with one guy being in his mid-50's and one super smart young lady was 24 on graduation day (she had been an RN at age 18).
    Unlike bedside nursing anesthesia isn't hard on your body and you can physicaly do it as long as you want. The chief CRNA in our anethesia group is 70 and going strong. BTW he doesn't have any college degree in anything, not even an associates degree and he is the master of practice.
    See my post here: for how to get into CRNA school:
    http://allnurses.com/pre-crna-inquir...ml#post7135154

    Wanted to add. If I were you I would keep your desire to go to NA school to yourself. It's OK to talk about it here as long as you don't provide any information that could identify you.
  6. 0
    I had no trouble getting in to the icu straight out of school. They only had two requirements when hiring new grads. You had to have cna/pca/tech experience and have some type of critical care exposure in school. I know that both of the big hospital systems in my city hire new grads directly into the icu.



    Quote from kika72
    Hello Everyone!

    I have just graduated from nursing school with a BSN and I'm currently studying for NCLEX. Since nursing is my second career and I'm already 40 years old, I was wondering where are the hospitals, cities or states who hire new grads in ICU?
    I have shadowed 2 CRNAs and really discovered a passion for the field, but being already a little older than the average student, I would like to try and get a job in ICU straight out of school. I know this may sound crazy, but I know people have done before. I currently live in NY, but I am willing to relocate my family wherever my job will take me.

    I appreciate and thank you in advance for any advice or comments.
    Kika
  7. 0
    Hi berms123, I just added you because i was wondering how you got a hold of the DON email at U of C. I have been reading a lot about doing this and emailing them directly so I was wondering if you could possibly share this info with me? I am a new grad BSN and my dream job is to work at U of C in the L and D unit. Actually, any unit to start at U of C would be my ideal job right now. If you could let me know how you got the email address I would so greatly appreciate it! (I have been googling the DON for days now haha.) thank you!
  8. 0
    micaelap sorry this is so late. I honestly do not recall. I did a lot of research and pretty much searched everywhere. Emailed random people at times to see if they could direct me in the right place. I think you are confused about the difference. There is UIC and U of C, I am at UIC. Hope this helps!
  9. 0
    Can you PM? The network i work for does a direct program for new grads. Many people use the hospital as a bridge for NA school including myself. Level 1 tertiary care center in PA with 6 ICU units. 2 do open heart, one trauma.
    Last edit by RhinoRocketRN on Apr 7, '13 : Reason: Update
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    Don't bother with medsurg!! Find ICU--bang it out, learn as much as you can, take hard patients, get CCRN and study those books as much as possible even after getting it, do all the IVs you can, read research, volunteer, pay off your bills, get rid of your car payment, and go to anesthesia school!! Like most have said the jobs are out there...I HIGHLY recommend going to Cali related to the LAWS, RATIOS, and safety there. They HAVE to hire and have so many nurses for patients.. sad everywhere doesn't. I work at a very reputable hospital in Ohio, and the safety issues it has and seems not to care about (3 or 4 pts in an ICU, suicide pts with no sitter and 2:1 HOLY CRAP) Needless to say I am going to Cali as a traveler for 2 months before I go to anesthesia school. You are older, so do all you can to get going! Also be aware of issues for certain anesthesia schools in regards to age discrimination. There are many blogs about this.. so don't waste your time on them. Just an FYI.. I worked in San Diego in an ICU; we had 1 position open for an RN.. 1200 applicants, and we ended up hiring an MSN educated nurse. Just keep on it and good luck!!
    hoplite07 likes this.


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