Landing that first ICU job

  1. I am about to graduated nursing school and I am looking at trying to get an ICU job so I can work my way up to the CRNA goal. I was wondering if it matters what type of ICU job to get, such as MICU, SICU, CVICU. I was also wondering if when interviewing for the ICU job, if it is a good thing or a bad thing to mention my plans to further my education in the CRNA field. I can see where some people might see it as me being a hard worker, and others see it as bad since I might not be at the job but for a couple of years. If anyone could tell me if they have had this experience and what to do it would help out a lot.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Focker
    You'll hear people say one unit is better than another to get into CRNA school, but SRNAs can come from any of those units and they all offer good experience (I was in micu, wide variety of disease process there). Particular schools may have a preference, so if you have an idea of where you may end up, maybe check with them and let that guide your decision.

    As far as including your plans to become a CRNA in the interview, you'll hear mixed opinions there as well. Its probably something you have to kind of feel out during the interview. If they ask directly, don't lie. I have heard that for a hospital to get the money back from training you for the ICU, at least a full year (someone correct me if im wrong is it more like two?) of work afterwards is the break even point so if they know you're gone within the year it probably won't help land the job. For my interview, I think I said something generic like I wanted to get more education, not sure what my timeframe would be, etc. letting the manager know I was eventually going to move on, but was in no rush (I worked there for just over 2 years). The key is to remember that the person who hires you is most likely the one who will write your reference letter, so you want them on your side.
  4. by   USCSomeday
    Quote from Focker
    I have heard that for a hospital to get the money back from training you for the ICU, at least a full year (someone correct me if im wrong is it more like two?) of work afterwards is the break even point so if they know you're gone within the year it probably won't help land the job. .
    Since when did hospitals provide on the job training for the ICU? I've never heard of this policy. I thought that as nursing school graduates, we'd be able to move directly into the job with limited, if any, on the job education. It would be a great thing if that's what they did, because to tell you the truth, it doesn't seem like nursing school is teaching us anything that'll prepare us for complicated, technical tasks. At least not yet. What do you think?
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from USCSomeday
    Since when did hospitals provide on the job training for the ICU? I've never heard of this policy. I thought that as nursing school graduates, we'd be able to move directly into the job with limited, if any, on the job education. It would be a great thing if that's what they did, because to tell you the truth, it doesn't seem like nursing school is teaching us anything that'll prepare us for complicated, technical tasks. At least not yet. What do you think?
    All of nursing is OJT. Nursing school doesn't teach you how to be a nurse. All nursing school does is arm you with the tools to learn how to be a nurse later, on the job.

    And every hospital knows that. No, nursing school DOESN'T prepare you for real nursing. That's why most units have a 'skill mix'; so there's someone guiding you for the first while you are a 'nurse', and looking over your shoulder for the next while, and being a resource for the next while, and finally, a year or so after school, THEN you'll be a nurse in more than name only.

    Some, myself included, believe that you need a good year on med/surg BEFORE moving to ICU for this same reason, but that seems to be a minority opinion these days. Of course, then there are the threads about ICU nurses 'eating the young' for this same reason. Sigh.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Oct 13, '06
  6. by   tnd511
    Quote from USCSomeday
    Since when did hospitals provide on the job training for the ICU? I've never heard of this policy. I thought that as nursing school graduates, we'd be able to move directly into the job with limited, if any, on the job education. It would be a great thing if that's what they did, because to tell you the truth, it doesn't seem like nursing school is teaching us anything that'll prepare us for complicated, technical tasks. At least not yet. What do you think?
    Hospitals DO on the job training......it is called ORIENTATION! If you hire into a hospital right out of school and they don't give you ATLEAST 8weeks or orientation then RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!! Most hospitals that hire new grads into the ICU give them 12 weeks orientation (minimum). Not only do they provide orientation, they often send new nurses to many classes (if you work in the ICU especially) like EKG interpretation, Critical Care classes, and anything else that may be special to the floor in which you will be working like CVVHD or IABP.

    So yes, it does cost the hospital money to train you. I know that SOME managers are very sceptical when someone says that they want to go to school. You may want to keep that info to yourself until alittle futher down the road.
  7. by   acinbg
    Thanks for the help. I am so glad I asked the question because I had not even thought about the consequenses of mentioning CRNA school. I am looking at applying for an ICU job in the Nashville area, specifically at Vanderbilt. I know it's going to be a challenge to get an ICU job as a new grad, but not impossible.
  8. by   MikeyJ
    Quote from acinbg
    Thanks for the help. I am so glad I asked the question because I had not even thought about the consequenses of mentioning CRNA school. I am looking at applying for an ICU job in the Nashville area, specifically at Vanderbilt. I know it's going to be a challenge to get an ICU job as a new grad, but not impossible.
    Definitely not impossible -- even if you have to do 6 months of med/surg. Some hospitals will be more than willing to hire you onto their ICU, but they require you do 6 months of med/surg, and after that time, they begin the orientation for the ICU. I think a few months of med/surg definitely helps with the ICU.
  9. by   srna2008
    I graduate next month and have a job lined up in the SICU/CVICU. I will get about 4 - 6 months of orientation with a preceptor plus multiple classes. I externed in the ICU for all of nursing school, 3 other students got hired into the MICU from my class, and all 3 externed for about half of nursing school. I believe the experience you can gain as an extern is invaluable. I am already very familiar with most all of the equipment and the nurses already teach me a great deal at work (alot more than I learn in school). My manager knows my plans to try to get into CRNA school and she had no problems hiring me. I told her I would stay for several years to gain as much experience as possible and attain my CCRN. I also signed a 2 year contract.

    If anyone is interested in starting in ICU, check into working there as a tech or extern before you graduate and see what kind of training is offered to new graduate nurses in the ICU's
  10. by   a_clay
    I'm curious....where in TX are you and what hospital will you be starting at? Feel free to PM if you'd like. I am really interested in working as extern during RN school. Thanks in advance.

    Amy


    Quote from jsteele99
    I graduate next month and have a job lined up in the SICU/CVICU. I will get about 4 - 6 months of orientation with a preceptor plus multiple classes. I externed in the ICU for all of nursing school, 3 other students got hired into the MICU from my class, and all 3 externed for about half of nursing school. I believe the experience you can gain as an extern is invaluable. I am already very familiar with most all of the equipment and the nurses already teach me a great deal at work (alot more than I learn in school). My manager knows my plans to try to get into CRNA school and she had no problems hiring me. I told her I would stay for several years to gain as much experience as possible and attain my CCRN. I also signed a 2 year contract.

    If anyone is interested in starting in ICU, check into working there as a tech or extern before you graduate and see what kind of training is offered to new graduate nurses in the ICU's
  11. by   srna2008
    I am in Longview. I will be at Good Shepherd Medical Center. Good luck

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