How to get my foot in the door of ICU/CCU

  1. Good Morning everyone,

    I am a final-semester nursing student doing rotations in critical care right now. Would any of you have any advice for getting my foot in the door for ICU or CCU as a new nurse? I've been told by HR in a few hospitals that I'd have to have experience working in an ICU or CCU unit before I could apply, which, apparently, means that I'd have to get a $11.00/hr job as an aide, even as an RN, before I could be considered. I can't afford that kind of position with a family (I'm 40!). Am I missing something?

    Appreciate your thoughts! Thanks!:spin:
  2. Visit tutored profile page

    About tutored

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 190; Likes: 54
    Specialty: MICU/SICU

    16 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    A lot of HR departments say that. Insist that your information be sent to those unit managers. Look at other hospitals. Inquire with HR regarding Nurse Intern or Nurse Extern programs that they may offer. Are you saying that an RN job is $11/hr? If you try all of hte things mentioned and still can't get into ICU, I would look for some hospitals outside of my home area (30-60minutes) that would be willing to hire me, or try to see if the ED takes new grads. After a year or two of the ED apply for transfer to the unit. Good luck!
  4. by   tutored
    Hi, and thanks for your quick reply! (I'm off to work).....the eleven dollar an hour job is for a PCT (new name for an aide).....I'd have to take the position, even as an RN. I appreciate your advice! Thanks:smiletea2:
  5. by   meandragonbrett
    The hospital is telling you they would only allow you to work as a PCT even after passing boards? That is absolutely absurd. Find a new hospital if that is the case.
  6. by   tutored
    Thanks for your feelings - I'm glad to hear that an experienced nurse finds that absurd! Three area hospitals have told me that their CCU/ICU units won't accept new nurses without "previous experience working in CCU"...unless I want to be a housekeeper on the floor, the only position left would be a tech. Thanks for your advice.
  7. by   GoldenFire5
    Maybe they only hire new grads who have worked there as externs?
  8. by   tutored
    possibly. I didn't think of that. Anyway, did any of you out there get into intensive-care units right out of school? And, if so, did you encounter any road blocks? Thanks again everyone
  9. by   NurseyPoo
    Where in NJ are you? North, Central, or South? I know of at least 3 hospitals in Northern NJ that hire new grads in their ICU/CCU. Although I will tell you that there are a lot of GN's who want these positions. So, it is very competative to get in. I graduated from nursing school in my late 30's and toyed with moving back to NJ because I had the opportunity to work at one of these hospitals. Decided I did not want to make the move just yet.
  10. by   emtb2rn
    Quote from tutored
    Three area hospitals have told me that their CCU/ICU units won't accept new nurses without "previous experience working in CCU
    Interesting. Was that from someone in the CCU/ICU unit or from HR? Due to 2 of my patients going south over the last 2 days, I was able to meet, work with and talk with nurses from both ICU and CCU. They said that new grads can be accepted directly in the units.

    While CCU (or ED, hell, I don't know) is where I think I'd like to eventually work, I'm still considering getting at least a year of med/surg under my belt for the assessment skills, organizational, and time management experience.
  11. by   NurseyPoo
    Quote from emtb2rn
    While CCU (or ED, hell, I don't know) is where I think I'd like to eventually work, I'm still considering getting at least a year of med/surg under my belt for the assessment skills, organizational, and time management experience.
    Good Advice & Good Idea! Working MS teaches you more than you can imagine very quickly! It is a very good stepping stone for others areas in nursing.
  12. by   tutored
    what are those hospitals, please? I'm in central, but I"m willing to schlep
  13. by   tutored
    [quote=emtb2rn;2125523]Interesting. Was that from someone in the CCU/ICU unit or from HR?

    They were all from HR, and not nurse managers...I'm beginning to learn from all you good people that HR isn't much help in getting my first job!
  14. by   emtb2rn
    Quote from tutored
    what are those hospitals, please? I'm in central, but I"m willing to schlep
    Check your PMs.

close