Didn't get an ICU interview


I found out yesterday that I wasn't considered for an interview in any of the ICU's I had applied for. I have worked in this hospital for almost 3 years, and wanted to stay to complete a new grad crtical care residency (8months). The program is highly selective and they accept up to 20 people. I knew that it would be competitive, but I am devasted that I wasn't offered an interview in ANY of the areas I chose (7 different areas, some were step downs). My recruiter informed me that my choices are now: Dialysis, OR, Med-Surg, or Orthopedics these aer the only areas of the hospital with openings. She informed me that the ICU managers look for people with some ICU experience, and if I were to get my perceptorship in an ICU, I should call her back because I may be considered at that point?? I feel like an idiot because I put all of my eggs into one basket thinking I would be at least considered because I have been loyal to this hospita (current employee)l, but at the end of the day it means nothing. I was upfront with the nursing recruiter, and said I am not interested in any of those areas, but will be willing to interview in Dialysis and Med-Surg, IF they were interested in me. Further more I contacted the Nurse educator about the program a few weeks ago asking her to be upfront about the lack of new grad positions and the effect it would have on the program because I felt like I needed to explore other options, etc. She didn't answer me upfront. I guess I am hurt because I wish I had applied to other places sooner. We are 30 odd days from graduation and now I am stuck. I feel like crap, and I am really starting to question my nursing career. :cry:

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.


I think you first need to look at some of the people that were considered for the ICU spots: Did they have any prior experience, whether it be in the critical care arena or medical surgical?

Before I was accepted into the ICU (at the hospital I had just graduated from) I needed to work on a medical surgical unit AND pass the State Boards before being considered. Granted, I only had to wait 3 months, but I was able to learn how to prioritize and gain some critical thinking skills. For me, it worked out great as I have never looked back. Others do fine going right from the classroom into the ICU.

Right before I left the VA the policy there was that the RN had to have at least one year of med-surg experience before being considered for a position in any of the ICUs.

Yeah, maybe you should have applied to other places sooner. Wudda, Cudda, Shudda.

Before you "burn any bridges" carefully consider your "feeling like crap". Why? Because you didn't get into the unit you wanted? Is that a reason to "throw away" all the sacrifices, $$, sweat and tears? I may sound rough, but how can you be starting to question your nursing career before you even started one?

Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. File this away, and Go On.

Keep up with your education. Subscribe to some critical care nursing journals. Become a member of AACN.

Good Luck in your decision as to which area you will start your nursing career.


Specializes in Step-down ICU.

Thanks for the response. It wasn't rough at all. In reality, I will brush myself off and move on. I am certain ICU is where I want to be (even before nursing school) and now I don't have a shot at an interview. just kinda hurts, thats all.


120 Posts

Specializes in OR; Telemetry; PACU.

I would go the OR way. You learn a lot, you can learn about CC by just asking the doctors and you learn to develop relationships with them and then when you are able to go to the ICU, you'll probably already know these docs and have built up a good team like relationship...kwim? PACU wasn't open? I was a PACU nurse for three years...usually they only hire those with ICU background, but I didn't have that...just tele. I learned so much...a lot of autonomy...I miss it. :(

Have you finished your preceptorship already? Can you switch now?

Go for OR as first choice and tell them you want your name at the top of the list for ICU asap...some may drop out.


346 Posts

Specializes in long-term-care, LTAC, PCU. Has 13 years experience.

I would go OR. especially since they might cross-train you for PACU which is considered critical care (at least in my area) You can always transfer once you have gained experience. I applied for a few cc floors myself and was offered med-surg. I knew that if I didn't take it I would have no job so I took it. After I get a year of experience, I'll apply for a transfer to one of the ICUs. You can do the same thing most likely, just tough it out for a year or maybe even six months.

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