ICU Versant Program Questions

  1. I'm a new grad that was lucky enough to get hired at an L.A. hospital. I will be starting a Versant program in March for an ICU unit. I'm scared to death and was wondering if anyone that has been through this type of program before can help me out with some questions I have.1. How intensive is the training?2. What's a typical day like?3. Did you feel prepared to work solo at the end of it?4. Do you have sufficient time off to attend college courses (online for me) during your down time?5. Is there homework and exams and stuff like that?6. What do I have to look forward to as a new nurse on the ICU floor?7. How lucky am I to land an ICU job straight out of school?Thank you in advance for anyone who takes the time.
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    About NurseAaronRN

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 27; Likes: 3


  3. by   NurseAaronRN
    I'm ultra excited by the way.
  4. by   Biffbradford
    quote: i'm a new grad that was lucky enough to get hired at an l.a. hospital. i will be starting a versant program in march for an icu unit.

    congratulations! can you explain what a versant program is? my answers below are just for an icu in general.

    i'm scared to death and was wondering if anyone that has been through this type of program before can help me out with some questions i have.

    1. how intensive is the training?

    if it's like any other icu training, it's all new to you and there is a ton to learn, so it can be hard. however, they always want you to do well, they aren't out to get you, it's just that the consequences of mistakes can be severe depending on what you screw up. :d

    2. what's a typical day like?

    busy. i call it organized chaos. i've interviewed at some units who said "we're really busy today". ha! that ain't nothing.

    3. did you feel prepared to work solo at the end of it?

    you will always have questions, so don't feel that you need to work 100% solo. even after 15 years, you will learn something new every day. don't be afraid to drag someone over to one of your patients and ask: "let me run this by you and tell me what you think." or "do you have a second to help me with this dressing change?"

    4. do you have sufficient time off to attend college courses (online for me) during your down time?

    that all depends on the person. personally, when i finished a shift i was finished. physically and mentally. zzzzzzz ...

    5. is there homework and exams and stuff like that?

    homework? that's up to you. exams? there is always continuing education in the icu.

    6. what do i have to look forward to as a new nurse on the icu floor?

    you will hear, see, and do things that 99% of the general population does not. it's not just an education in medicine, but an education in life and death.

    7. how lucky am i to land an icu job straight out of school?thank you in advance for anyone who takes the time.

    congratulations. stick it out through the hard times and let us know how it's going.
  5. by   NurseAaronRN
    I really appreciate your help. Your answers actually help abate my fears a bit. Versant is an orientation/preceptor/classroom mixture program that I believe is geared towards reducing the number of nurses who leave their positions because they feel overwhelmed or underprepared for their first units. I feel lucky to have been accepted.
    I actually had a choice between ER and ICU, but chose ICU in the end. What a tough couple of days making that decision!!!! My best friend was an ICU nurse who ended up leaving bedside care after a year because he said it was too much pressure - too many chances to make BIG mistakes, so I know I'm getting into a high stress career, but it's a dream-come-true. Once again, thanks for your thoughtful response.
  6. by   Nurse_Sophia

    I just went through Versant for ICU! Here are my thoughts:

    1. Training was very intensive for our hospital, we had not only "core class" (classes that all versant residents take) but ICU class (only ICU residents and are specific to ICU), I have learned so much with hands on training in addition to working in the unit! It's intense because in the ICU you are held to MUCH HIGHER standards than other residents.

    2. Days vary, you will have days you work with a preceptor, then you will have days where you just have ICU or Core class, so depends on what's your schedule like.

    3. haha!!!! Umm.. prepared yes, ready no. LOL! I don't think I would ever feel ready to be "solo" but as many have said, you are NEVER solo. You always have co-workers to bounce ideas off of and a charge RN as a great resource!

    4. Ya on your down time you're free, unless you are getting certified for ACLS or stroke or whatever your hospital requires. The training is intense and I was at the hospital at least 5 days a week so who knows what your schedule is like.

    5. Homework? A little, but we did have a group project (YUCK). Exams yes, but that is hospital specific stuff like an EKG exam or whatever the hospital requires of its RNs.

    6. Looking forward to constant learning, be open minded, be assertive, get to know your physicians, make them know you, look forward to feeling like an idiot, often.. : )

  7. by   NurseAaronRN
    Thanks for your help, Sophia. I feel more and more excited about this as I get closer to the start date. I wish you all the luck in the world. Thanks a million, and congrats on your accomplishments!
  8. by   Kitesurfing bum
    Congrats man, it's a great program. My Versant program ends on the 13th, though I don't fly solo till March 1...extra training in ICU.

    1,2. Training is awesome. Mix between time on the unit and class time with your cohort, who will likely be on all different floors at your hospital. Classes are things like computer training, pain management, GI, Neuro, leadership topics, wound care, etc. etc. and then I had ICU specific classes on top of that, probably 40hrs or so. A lot is review from school, but review is a good thing... especially when you're getting paid. In a typical week I usually worked 2 12hr shifts on the unit and 2 days of class 4-8 hrs each. THere is also looping experiences. For example I shadowed wound care, PACU, OR, cath lab, house supervisor, and tomorrow get to be in on a CABG x4 and help recover the pt after!

    3. I still have a month and a half. I feel prepared to take the "stable" pts (if there is such a thing in ICU) now, but I am thankful for the extra time.

    4. No time for other classes. I feel like this has been such an important time for my career I didn't want to cloud it with more classes. I have spent countless hours off the clock studying, rehashing my days and preparing for the next. This isn't required at all, but being in the ICU brings a ton of responsibility.

    5. no homework no exams.

    6. EVERYTHING. A great team, crazy experiences, and hopefully a feeling of "holy crap I love my job and don't have any idea how I got so lucky to have it as a new grad" everyday on the drive home.

    7. Very. I thank my lucky stars daily. Versant is an awesome program, sure there are some boring classes and busy work, but overall I know I am more prepared and more invested in than any other new grad at any other hospital. Have FUN!
  9. by   IHeartDukeCTICU
    We have a similar program at the facility I'm at, to help new grads who start in the ICU. It incorporates scheduled core class days, clinical training, certifications, and a new-grad residency class (something like stress help reduce 1st year burnout).

    I can see a huge difference between the new grads who go through this program vs. new grads who don't. Either way, all of the new grads on our floor go through the same classes, but generally, the ones who go through the SNP (Specialized Nurse Program) end up coming out as stronger ICU nurses. I believe their orientation is also longer, so that may be part of it. Nowadays, new grad training seems to be much more structured than when I was a new grad, and it def makes for some great new grad co-workers.

    I'm sure you'll do fine with that program! Just study hard, ask questions, and don't forget to take care of yourself. Good luck!