I have only worked in small rural hospitals and I believe because of this I am a great nurse. I have obtained a wide range of experience compared to my counterparts at larger hospitals. I can draw blood and ABGs, obtain and somewhat interpret EKGs, perform RT, PT and at one hospital I ran Lab test. (mono, strep, cardiacs) I have the amazing ability to work with minimal supplies and resources. Like other RNs at small hospitals I wear many hats simultaneously. Currently I work in the ER and the house supervisor. As night house supervisor I am over the ER, M/S, and ICU. We don't have an OB department. After 7pm I am the pharmacist, housekeeping, dietary, and lead nurse in all codes. At times, I am very close to wearing the doctors hat when the one incompetent doctor is giving me that "what do I do" look.
I am a military wife and we will be moving at the end of the year. I determined that this is the perfect time to start making strides toward my dream job of nurse anesthetist. This means becoming an ICU nurse. I began to look for jobs at our new duty station. Many are large hospitals, the one I am most interested in working at is a level 1 trauma hospital.
These large hospitals are starting to intimidate me. I believe that when I apply for an ICU position in a large hospital they are going to look at my small hospital experience and say that I am unqualified to work in their ICU. They will state that I lack exposure to many medical disorders. I have extensive experience in common ER disorders and trauma situations but due to the rural location, pts with uncommon conditions are rare. For example, last week was my first pt with sick sinus syndrome. I know how to take care of a pt like this by using my knowledge of cardiac pathophysiology. I believe that a large hospital HR will not care that I have the knowledge; they want me to have the experience. When sending in my resume I don't think they will care that I have phlebotomy or RT skills, because nurses don't perform these jobs in large hospitals. They have more than enough employees in these department to complete the job.
Lastly my husband made a statement that made me unsure of my ability to easily obtain ICU position. He pointed out that large hospitals are more modern in technology. My experience working in rural hospital has set me back in working with the most up-to-date equipment thus putting me behind the other job applicants.
Do I have standing for being intimidated by larger hospitals or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? What are your views on the ability to transition from small ER to large ICU? If you are HR personnel would you care I have experience in outside areas (RT, pharmacy, PT) or lack experience using modern/high-tech equipment?
P.S. I know that some CRNA school will take ER experience but these schools are few and being a military wife it not guaranteed that we will be based by any of these schools. I want to get the ICU experience to increase my choice of schools & military bases.