New Grad in ICU- needs advice!

  1. Hello all-

    I just received my RN from a prestigious school of nursing in my area and I just received my first job offer in an ICU. I worked in the ICU as an LPN, and as an LPN in that hospital we took a full patient load, so I have cared for ICU patients before. I also did my preceptorship for nursing school in an ICU, and by the second or third shift I was doing everything for the patients, my preceptor followed behind me to just check up on me.

    My concern is, the ICU director told me he doesn't like to hire new graduates at all. He said we will start with a 2 week orientation and then go from there (decide if I need further orienting, ect.). He also quizzed me for 20 minutes on heart medications, ventilators, art lines, Swan-Ganz catheters, ect. He must have been satisfied with my answers, because I start in 2 weeks. However, now I am starting to doubt myself and my abilities.

    I am very young (21) and I look a lot younger than I really am. I already get some guff from patients because they don't think I know what I am talking about d/t my age. I am worried about the effect this might have on my patients, and the "stereotypical" ICU nurses... I want to earn respect and do the best I can at my job.

    Should I just study up what I can, and then start the job to see if I feel that I can handle it? Is what I am feeling normal? I love nursing. I am completely devoted to it as a career. I do feel like I know my stuff- but I am just doubting myself a little bit. Any advice?
  2. Visit MandiSueRN profile page

    About MandiSueRN

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 1


  3. by   FOCKER0014
    For starters, it doesn't matter that you were an LPN....You should still be treated as a new RN graduate and be alloted time for adjustment. Secondly, it's normal to have doubts in your abilities....take them and make yourself stronger in the areas you feel that you need improvement on. The absolute worst thing you can do is to act like you know everything and not accept help when it is offered especially if you do not end up with some type of orientation. Your age, although you may think it is an issue, is really not as long as you maintain a professional attitude AND be knowlegeable (sp) of what you speak of. Good rule of thumb is to ask questions and lots of them, utilize that answers you get, and learn from them. Overtime your confidence will grow. Your colleagues will appreciate an individual who does not come into "their" unit with an overconfident attitude. Good luck, hope this helps!!
  4. by   Iseeyou_RN
    I was in a similar situation. I started as a new grad in a med-surg ICU. I did have a wonderful orientation and all the nurses were very supportive. I have found that nurses in the ICU love to teach and they want you to succeed because the time will come when they need to depend on you too(you're only as strong as your weakest link they say :spin
    As far as patients go, I have had more than one pt or family member say that I look young, I just smile and say thank you for the complement and continue on with my day. I do my best to be professional in everything and do my research about meds, disease processes etc. I learn something new every day and I think I probably always will, which is another great thing about the ICU.
    Enjoy the excitment and the learning opportunities and don't be afraid to ask questions. Other nurses/preceptors etc get nervous when you don't ever have questions. Good luck!