Any new grads that went into the ICU?

Specialties MICU


  • by KR
    Specializes in ICU, Agency, Travel, Pediatric Home Care, LTAC, Su.

I am in the process of interviewing for a new grad into the ICU fellowship program. The hospital has 2 ICU. The program is 4-5 months long. We work with one nurse in the one unit for 20 hours a week, and work a different nurse in the other unit for 20 hours a week. We have the same two preceptors throughout the entire program. We attend a 120 hour Critical Care Class, 45hr Trauma class, a BAsic EKG class, and a ACLS class by the end of the program. I know there is a lot of controversy over new grads being in the ICU. This is really where I want to work. I work in a different hospitals ICU now as an assistant and I love it. I was just wondering if there was anyone out there that went through a similiar program to talk to. If anyone has I would appreciate a post or email. Thanks. Kim

Janice W

1 Post

This sounds like a great program and a wonderful learning opportunity for someone who wants to go into critical care. When I started in the Medical ICU 13 years ago, it was considered a "bad idea", since "all RN's should have at least a year of med/surg experience first". I was given a basic ECG course, a basic critical care course, and a few weeks of clinical orientation on the unit with a preceptor. I was working 12 hour nights (with mostly agency nurses) before I even had my license. Times have changed (fortunately), and our institution now offers a critical care internship program similar to what you described. We have had many success stories from our program. If critical care is where you want to work, take advantage of the fact that we are now a bit more enlightened about incorporating new RN's into the ICU, and have worked out strategies to make the transition somewhat smoother than in the past. I still work in critical care, I still enjoy my specialty (though I've added Surgical ICU, Trauma, and Pulmonary critical care since Medical ICU), and I am now certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Going "right into critical care" IS a good idea for those who want to do it.


2 Posts

Hi - I just responded to another question like this and I am responding to tell you that I have gone through the Newgrad/ICU experience. My critical care clinical was the same 120hrs with enrichment and EKG classes. My ICU orientation was 3mo with classroom and computer enhancing activities and one primary mentor throughout the entire orientation. I worked on the unit for 7mo before i started there as an RN and I love my Job now, I ask a ton of questions, there is great support from everyone- actually they tell me that i am refreshing to the unit because some of the nurses have lots their excitement for what they are doing and by seeing our interest it reminds them of what they used to be like entering . There is a shortage of nurses and this surely added to the chance of being in the ICU as a new Grad. I worked on a Med surg floor for 2 weeks - which i felt didnt help extensively, but gave me good organization and time management. Advice: take time for self care, ask ALOT of questions, have a great mentor that works, be patient, research what you dont know, know the normals, do the best you can. Good luck and feel free to respond.


37 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CVICU.


I graduated in may 06 and went into a rural hospital icu new grad program. included critical care course, 12L, hemodynamic course/test, IABP classes. I was with another nurse for around 6 months and let on my own only as I felt it was time. I was and still am supported, though now I am not the new kid on the block. life is good as a one year icu new grad.

Specializes in Cardiac.

Sounds like a good orientation. You'll do fine. I went right in and have absolutely no regrets.


245 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Anesthesia, ICU, ED.

I am just starting as a new grad in a medical ICU, have many of the same classes and resources mentioned above. The staff has been very welcoming and made me feel as a valued colleauge.

Go for it.

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