I live in Southern California and there are only three schools that I can apply to for my CRNA MSN degree: Kaiser, Loma Linda, and USC.
I am at a cross roads at this time because I presently work on Medical-Surgical Unit. However, I have a job offer to enter a NICU.
I am concerned that if I obtain my ICU experience in a NICU, I may be limiting my school options further.
The other option I have to consider is to transfer to an adult-progressive care unit (PCU or step-down) work there for probably 6+ months, then transfer to an ICU to start my year of ICU experience.
What do you think I should do?
I know that USC accepts NICU experiences, Loma Linda may (based on individual consideration) and Kaiser does not.
Jan 18, '13
I was going to say that it depends on the program, but it seems like you already have that answer. I would suggest contacting the school and see how much they weigh the different ICU's. That being said, it shouldn't be held against you. There are 4 people in my class that came from the NICU. It just depends.
In my opinion, taking the NICU experience would be better than going to the PCU first. You will start gaining experience in an ICU setting, and then if you wanted to in the future you can switch over to an adult ICU.
Jan 19, '13
Hi, thanks for your reply. I am leaning towards taking the NICU job. I don't like the idea of working another 6 months in a step down before I can even consider applying to an adult ICU. But, the NICU position is a much further commute. I think I may take it as I know I will enjoy working with infants and I really want to get my foot in the door of an ICU.
It is really a tough decision though. I wonder if adult ICUs would hire an RN with NICU experience? Anyone been down that road?
Jan 21, '13
depends on how long you have been doing nicu. if for a long time we tend to treat them more as non-icu transfers here. Where they get a longer orietation as they have been away from adult nursing for so long.
we have one lady who did nicu, transplant, etc with kids, then move to neuro icu, then came over to us in cardiac. She did great with her cardiac peds experience so the transition wasn't that bad, but she had also had time in the neuro icu by then.
many people do not transition from one to the other, as peds is just so very different.
when I interviewed for crna school we had one lady who was an ecmo nurse for peds in our group. We were all very interested, but she felt very overwhelmed with the test they give as she did not remember adult values and some medications, or doses of meds.
But mostly from what I read, nicu nurses with great high acuity experience do pretty well. You could always start then then transfer but it is really learning two totally different areas.
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