new graduate RN starting soon in the ICU

  1. Hi nurses,

    I am a newly graduated (Dec) RN and I have accepted a full-time position with my California bay area-ish regional trauma center in the twenty-something bed general ICU. I have hospital orientation next week and have already signed my contract!

    So I am super excited and pretty thankful to have a job especially when only about a third of my graduating cohort has jobs.

    I will have about 40% trauma plus sepsis, hearts and other mixed diagnosis patients.
    I guess I am just looking for some helpful tips from people who are or were New Grads in a critical care setting.
    What are your common ICU drugs for a not-large mixed ICU? What are your common diagnoses?

    I have a strong background in patient care, but not necessarily in optimism and- uggh- I see a lot of other new grads on this forum struggle.

    Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide,

  2. Visit MrPie profile page

    About MrPie

    Joined: Mar '11; Posts: 3; Likes: 1
    from US
    Specialty: ICU


  3. by   NickiLaughs
    Have you been to It is definitely an excellent resource for new ICU nurses, it lists a lot of the common drugs, explains labs, A lines, PA lines, etc. It's definitely a good starting point
    And congratulations on your job! You should be very proud to obtain a position in what is probably the hardest part of the country to obtain a job, and it's hard everywhere.
  4. by   msmiranda21
    Congratulations on your job! It is but normal to have this anxiety of yours...I am sure your seniors at work will gladly help you out.
  5. by   Lisa247
    I was a new grad about 4 yrs ago, and took a position at a community hospital IMCU/CCU. The CCU is a 12 bed unit that takes all critical pts that require pressors or intubation. This was the first time the unit has ever taken a new grad with no experience onto the floor. They hired 3 new grads that first year and I am the only one who stayed with CCU.

    My orientation included: 3 months on the ortho floor, just to get a feel for the computer system and gain some basic skills (since I did 6 wk clinical at this hospital, computer system was easy). After 3 months I started on my unit. That orientation incuded ECCO (from AACN), 2 class days (with unit educator which discussed EKG, Meds, and Labs, etc), and on floor with preceptor 2 days per week, this lasted for 3 months also. Then i went to nights and got 1-2 weeks orientation to learn night time routines. Nights is the best for new nurses cause I feel it gives you more time to read through pts charts completely and we have an APRN on some nights who take time to educate. Also, there are less people around so you have more chances to be involved during procedures and codes.

    With all that orientation, I still feel for me the best way I learned and grew was to be hands on. My advice to you is get involved in all the codes and ask a lot of quetions. I ask doctors why they ordered certain meds or labs, and most have no problems educating. I also would go home and research a disease or diagnosis that I might have encountered that day. The other RNs are also get resources to get information from and most are willing to help out.

    Good luck with your new adventure and just remember to continue to educate yourself. Studing doesn't stop just cause your not in school any more.
  6. by   jacob67
    Here's a story about the attitudes a new nurse working in an ICU might encounter:

    It takes persistence, but after a while you do develop a thicker skin and more confidence. As you probably know by now...
  7. by   NurseAaronRN
    I hope to one day soon call myself an ICU RN. I'm interviewing as a new grad, too. There's some great stuff on this thread. Thanks.