Starting my first RN job in 2 weeks in the ICU!

  1. So i'm a new grad RN, just graduated the first week of May. For my final clinical (as there were to many students to find preceptors for, we had relatively small clinical groups with 5-6 students in each group) I was in the ICU, for 14 weeks I set along side some of the best nurses in the business and helped to take care of critical care patients, I received more experience in those 14 weeks than I did in 2 years of nursing school. I knew then that I wanted to be an ICU nurse more than anything, i'd been on almost every floor and nothing felt right...but stepping through those doors every day, I felt home...

    So of course when that unit had openings for their Critical Care Fellowship (a 14 week class/work experience to get you to understand how the ICU works, as it's completely different from every other floor in the hospital) I applied. I was told that there was nearly 100 RN's, both new grad and experienced, who applied and they were only taking between 10 and 12 people. I didn't feel I had a chance...But I interviewed and did the best I could and waited for over a month before I finally got the call I had so desperately been waiting for! "I'm calling to ask if you're still interested in the Critical Care Fellowship?" of course I cried my eyes out and said, i think screamed, YES!

    Now I've just been waiting, 7 weeks, for the start date. Which is in just 2 more weeks! I'm so excited to finally be along side those same nurses and Doctors again, with one of my best friends! (who also got in the fellowship!)

    I took the NCLEX last monday and passed! (after 216 horrid questions) so I'm officially an RN and the fact that I got my dream job right out of school has made me one of the happiest new grads out there!

    I can't help to boast about it, plus I wanted to encourage those other new/soon to be new, RN's that you can find the job of your dreams, you can be whatever you want to be! never give up!

    I also wanted to share how deeply terrified I am of being in the ICU as a new grad O_O working with other nurses and my instructor, under their license is completely different than by myself, with my own license. ICU RN's get to make so many more decisions for their patients, they are with them and really have to understand their condition to an extent that is almost on the Doctor's level of understanding. We truly get to care for our patients without running around trying to pass med's all day. (That is not to say nurses with 6 patients DON'T care for their patients!) This floor is a 2:1 patients to nurse ratio (sometimes 1:1 depending on their condition) and although I feel like i'm ready to jump right in, i'm honestly absolutely terrified.

    Has anyone ever been in this position? or at least understands the scaryness and may have some tips for me?
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    About GamerGirL337

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 138; Likes: 47
    ICU RN; from US


  3. by   jonquilRN
    Congratulations to you! Just like you, I applied to a critical care fellowship and landed the job that I truly wanted. I did not apply to any other positions and felt pretty confident I was going to be offered a position. I was nervous, anxious and scared but at the same time excited!

    Working in the cardiac unit, I knew that at any given moment someone can code at anytime. Which was terrifying to me because I didn't know if I would be able to "handle" it if it were my own patient. But I'll tell you, what an adrenaline rush it is when you are in that position. I've been in the ccu for 5 years now and absolutely love it.

    My advice to you is to know your meds, ACLS, and heart rhythms (or at least know what is not normal sinus rhythm on tele). If you don't know something look it up, ask questions! Instincts also is key, if you feel something is wrong most likely it is and notify someone.

    In time it will come to you as if you are a seasoned RN. Good luck to you!
  4. by   2Jeanne

    I'm starting nursing school in August - absn - and I truly want to be a critical care nurse. What kinds of things can I do this year to help me land a job in an ICU and be best prepared for it when I do?
  5. by   PRNketamine
    Congrats! I started in Peds ICU as a new grad. I learned so much in that first year, and continue to.
    My advice is to never be afraid to ask a question or for help. Just be open to your co-workers ideas and LEARN!
    It's going to be scary, but it will get better and a year from now you won't believe how far you've come!
  6. by   nincho
    What kind of position should I apply for?I am foreign educated nurse and after covering few programs and passing NCLEX-RN finally I got my RN licence.I have 4 years experience in Surgical/ICU(specialized in trauma cases) in Bulgaria (20 beds) with a 6:1 ratio patient to nurse and more 8 years in ICU/CCU in Kuwait (6/8 beds) where I am currently working(it is a very small hospital compared to the one in Bulgaria). I gained my cardiac experience in Kuwait where we handle mostly patients with STEMI,NSTEMI,Unstable angina,Arrhythmia,Endocarditis,Pulmonary Hypertension.Most of the time we are transferring our patients for further treatment to Specialized Hospital.
  7. by   Bringonthenight
    Congratulations on your employment but please do not under mine your colleagues who work on the floor- every speciality is special and requires a very dedicated individual to do the job we do.

    I'm a critical care nurse, yet I value the efforts of my peers who work on the floor, I can't imagine how they care for so many at once. They don't just "run around passing meds" I know many floor nurses who would find offense in that comment.

    I know you are just excited about your job (rightfully so in the US job economy!) just remember others.

    Ill get flamed, but floor nurses are amazing!