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ED/ICU/CC, How can I get ahead?

by princesspunch princesspunch (New) New

Hi all,

I'm a senior nursing student. I graduate in May, literally 35 days from now. I really want to work in Critical Care units; ED as 1st, ICU as 2nd, and PCU or another specialty as my 3rd choice. For the residency program here, it is a panel interview first with admin ADN then secondly with all the unit managers. They ask whatever they want to ask, and then depending on if they "like" you, they fight over you.

My question is this: What can I do to prepare and knock that interview out of the park? Specifically for critical care units. I would like to do well so that I can have my top choice, but I don't know where to start or have that confidence to answer questions enough to where they'd like me.

Interview tips, Question tips, anything & everything...


abbatar, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma. Has 2 years experience.

Hey! I work in an ED and did a fellowship program right after graduation with a lot of interviews too.

Know your strengths and weaknesses, be able to back it up with experience or short example.

Have stories for different situations/patients. For example, most memorable patient. Most complicated/complex patient. Most difficult/challenging. A time when you didn't agree with policy and what do you do. Proudest moment (don't say graduating nursing school unless you have a crazy story). They LOVE to ask situational "Tell me a time when...".

For ED, they may ask you to prioritize patients. They'll give you patient A, B, C. Give chief complaints, then ask you who you would see first. (Go back to basics for this).

Know about any big projects or research you did.

Honestly, think of things that make you unique. I worked at Pier 1 while in college and I had this on my resume. Surprisingly enough, I got asked about this on more than one interview. Who knew that would come in handy? Well, it shows customer service, personality, time management, commitment, etc. Think of those things in your life.

For the ED, I got asked what is the most adventurous thing I ever did...which is a funny question to ask on a job interview, but they want to see your personality. Me and the 5 (yes 5...) people interviewing me ended up talking about the farms in Italy I visited and making home made mozzarella cheese. Left that interview feeling great, got the job. Make your personality known! They want to see if you fit in with their team.

Best of luck to you!