Where are the new grads in ICU?

  1. 0
    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
  2. 32 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Yes there are but it's a competitive area. If you get an interview, then you have to ace the interview too. New grads are having a tough time in general so it would be wise not to relocate your whole family until you have your license and a job.
    CrufflerJJ likes this.
  4. 0
    I got hired as a new grad into an ICU/CCU in NH but I also did my senior internship there and that had everything to do with why I was hired. One I my coworkers who couldn't find a job in New England applied and got a job at a neuro ICU in upstate New York. Just keep applying everywhere and be willing to relocate.
  5. 0
    all I can say is good luck! I got a job straight out of school in a level 1shock trauma Icu but had worked there as a tech for 4 years. My unit hadn't hired a new nurse in 3 years prior to me. I know the university of Utah does a critical care internship.
  6. 3
    I know this isnít what you want to hear but please consider it.

    You may have life experience but that does not translate to nursing experience. I would strongly recommend getting 1 to 3 years of medsurge under your belt before applying to and ICU. Preferably one with its own training course that culminates towards a CCRN. Starting in an ICU can be dangerous to an inexperienced nurse. Simple things like forgetting to open the clamp on a piggy back, slipping and pushing a med too fast, forgetting to chart/call on a critical value, etc are all extremely easy mistakes to make. While medsurge can be forgiving with lower acuity pts, ICU may not be and you could jeopardize pt safety very easily.

    I also understand wanting to work in an area your passionate about, but is it possible you are still a little buzzed by the thrill of passing nursing school? Thinking about relocating your entire family for a BRAND NEW job in a BRAND NEW career is a little heavy handed. If you look hard enough youíll find one Iím sure. (Try western ND, around the oil fields.) But is it the best fit for you? I really doubt it man. Think it out CAREFULLY.
    joanna73, Meriwhen, and Orange Tree like this.
  7. 1
    5 years ago I was fortunate to transition from a nurse's aid in the ICU to a new graduate RN in the ICU environment. I had a very thorough 6 month orientation with excellent nurses in a small community hospital. Since then I have been fortunate to travel to and work in some very large teaching hosptals. I can honestly say I did not feel completely clinically prepared to embark upon this journey of persuing CRNA schooling until now. There are many different kinds of ICU patients. Titrating pressors, paralytics and sedation; learning ventricular drains, recovering open-hearts, caring for sick bellies, inserting lines at the bedside, acquring sound nursing intuition and expert assessment skills...these are not things that can be easily mastered during one short year in the ICU.
    I know the thought of CRNA school can be exciting, you are in excellent company in doing your best to prepare yourself as an applicant. I too would encouarage you to spend some time in the ICU and enjoy the process of learning all of these things as they will become a part of your daily life as a CRNA someday. I could definitely spend a few more years learning as there is always more to know, but I feel very well prepared at this point to take this next step.
    The ICU is an excellent learning environment and ICU nurses are tenacious on behalf of their patients for a reason; we care deeply about them and their families and we want to be sure they are always recieving the best care we can give them. Don't short-change your future patients by cutting this necessary step of thorough ICU experience short.
    I wish you luck while you are searching for your first job. If ICU jobs appear scarce, do your best to get a foot in the door wherever you can, and work your way up. Save your family's sacrifices for when you enter Anesthesia school.
    CrufflerJJ likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from ahSICURN
    5 years ago I was fortunate to transition from a nurse's aid in the ICU to a new graduate RN in the ICU environment. I had a very thorough 6 month orientation with excellent nurses in a small community hospital. Since then I have been fortunate to travel to and work in some very large teaching hosptals. I can honestly say I did not feel completely clinically prepared to embark upon this journey of persuing CRNA schooling until now. There are many different kinds of ICU patients. Titrating pressors, paralytics and sedation; learning ventricular drains, recovering open-hearts, caring for sick bellies, inserting lines at the bedside, acquring sound nursing intuition and expert assessment skills...these are not things that can be easily mastered during one short year in the ICU.
    I know the thought of CRNA school can be exciting, you are in excellent company in doing your best to prepare yourself as an applicant. I too would encouarage you to spend some time in the ICU and enjoy the process of learning all of these things as they will become a part of your daily life as a CRNA someday. I could definitely spend a few more years learning as there is always more to know, but I feel very well prepared at this point to take this next step.
    The ICU is an excellent learning environment and ICU nurses are tenacious on behalf of their patients for a reason; we care deeply about them and their families and we want to be sure they are always recieving the best care we can give them. Don't short-change your future patients by cutting this necessary step of thorough ICU experience short.
    I wish you luck while you are searching for your first job. If ICU jobs appear scarce, do your best to get a foot in the door wherever you can, and work your way up. Save your family's sacrifices for when you enter Anesthesia school.
    Very well written, and sound advice.
    DawnJ and ahSICURN like this.
  9. 0
    Thank you NurseKrieger and ahSICURN. I really value your suggestions and advice.
    I know it takes time and experience to become a confident nurse and I am ready
    to take that time to learn. I was just wondering if that time can be used in ICU and not
    Med-Surg, but as NurseKrieger pointed out, Med-Surg is a bit more forgiving than ICU.
    I know I will consider myself very lucky if I even get to land an interview in this difficult
    job market. So I will decide when that time comes.Yes, maybe the thought of passing
    nursing school with good grades made me feel invincible and able to conquer the world!


    Patient safety is always my priority and I would never do anything stupid to jeopardize that. But then again, as a new
    grad do we really know what is stupid? My mom was a nurse in a cardiac ICU for more than 10 years
    before she became a nurse educator and she always reminds me of the stress and unsettling fear
    of forgetting something or not feeling right about a patient. Intuition will only come with experience,
    since for the first year I will be too busy on specific tasks.
    In regards to relocate my family, I was thinking of moving upstate NY where I could maybe work in a smaller
    environment than a big NYC hospital. A friend of mine accepted an ICU position right off nursing school
    and relocated to the Catskill upstate and absolutely loves it. My husband works from home and can work from
    anywhere with a computer. My kids are still very young and can probably adjust better than we do!


    Thank you again for your advice, it really helps.
  10. 2
    I've been told that ICU's like to hire new grads because they can groom them from the beginning of their career. That way they don't have to un-do any "bad" habits....
    hoplite07 and xoemmylouox like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from FutureCRNA?
    I've been told that ICU's like to hire new grads because they can groom them from the beginning of their career. That way they don't have to un-do any "bad" habits....
    ^^yeah...at least in my area they do...new grad starting in a PICU next month...

    Depends on the area...most hospitals (in my area) are willing to have an intense ICU preceptorship because of the high acuity and the increase of seeing more complex ill patients...sending positive vibes on your journey, OP!


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