Published Jul 14, 2005
I ask this because as I explained in a previous post my wife has met brick walls in finding an ICU job despite trying all the major local hospitals. We thought she had one at a smaller rural hospital, but the nurse manager said that he was holding out for someone with two plus years experience. However, several of her fellow ASN classmates (with lower GPA's to wit) had no problem walking straight into ICU positions. Now it seems that everyone she talks to wants two years experience before they will even grant an interview (she was frustrated to look at the intra hospital computer system where she works to see that there were numerous unfilled ICU positions of various types). She's only been at her current position for six months and doesn't plan on applying to CRNA school until sometime in 2007 to start Fall 2008 however time (and the opportunity to gain precious experience) is ticking. My theory is that hospitals will consider "new grads" for the ICU, but if someone takes the step and goes to work in Med/Surg they then get tracked into a seperate pool where two years is the norm for ICU consideration. Any thoughts on this and is this some sort of a trend?
No, it is just the philosephy of the hospital. Some hospitals have strong "internship" programs for ICU and some are really desperate
there is no such thing as a track. But on the 2 years of med surg I say at least. Going straight into the ICU with no formal support system would be a major mistake and hospitals know that. They worry about patient safety and a new nurse without significant backup has no place in an ICU. I know that is not what you want to hear but experience is the key to sucess.
murph, are you saying internships are usually offered only to new grads? Would a 'seasoned' nurse not be able to apply for an internship? I ask, only because I am not from the US, and as such, unfamiliar with these things.
I am not sure if a seasoned nurse could get into a program, they are hospital specific and all of them are different. There is usually a requirement to work at the hospital for so many years after completing the program. I wish that I could be more specific but really all of the hospitals are different.
I was hoping to go straight into ICU after getting my RN, has anyone been able to do this? I hope this poliicy of 2 years min experience before ICU is not the norm
I don't know if you're open to relocating, but seems like there are lots of new grad ICU opportunities in CA. Why don't you try looking there?
Most older nurses will tell you that you need med-surg experience. I went straight into the ER and then latter in the ICU without any significant problems ( meaning I didn't kill or damage anybody ). The key is getting into a medical center that 1) a teaching hospital and 2) has a good internship program. Or joining the army like I did, which was a great experience. You just have to be dedicated to learning your craft for the sake of being a good ICU and not just trying to get the experience for CRNA school, even if that is your goal. If you absolutely can't find a job, do a year of med-surg or even ER then go to an ICU. Just trying to be a perfectionist and learn as much as you can in whatever area
What city do you reside in?
Alot of the bigger teaching hospitals here will give any nurse will to go into the ICU the opportunity to enter an internship program and most do require time after that as payback, which is what you want anyway. I can't stress the importance of being in one as soon as you start ICU. You learn from other nurses, the residents and attendings and from you mistakes (which allnurses make). Do you have an idea of where you wanna live here?
Our hospital just hired 48 new grads. Our ICU, CTICU, PCU and Special Care stepdown consists of MANY new grads...
Our hospital has a school of nursing so I think they program many critical care philosiphes into the teaching structure, so maybe our hospital feels more comfortable hiring them. But we do have grads from other area schools also.
Different criterea for different institutions.
Do you have an idea of where you wanna live here?
I'll be living in Florida, just as soon as my immigration is approved and I have my green card. I have a job offer at Florida Hospital. ICU interests me but I have no prior experience. Fl Hosp has an internship program for ICU but not sure if they'd consider me for one as a foreign nurse, and new to the hospital. Maybe I should just ask?
You need to stop thinking about this as something that is a barrier and more that it is good experience and there is a reason why there are policies about experience. There is such a thing as setting you up for success and the more experience you have the more successful you will be. I guess it is hard for you to imagine why experience is necessary that is because you don't know what you don't know! The only analogy that I can think of is riding a bike. It is safer to learn with training wheels (experience) for you and your patients.
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