entering MICU/SICU


I am looking for any guidence for a BSN student that is wanting to pursue a career in the MICU/SICU right out of school. I have heard that most employers want some work exsperience (internships, externships, etc.). Should i have atleast my ACLs, PALs, or ...? Any recommendations that one could offer would be greatly appreciated.



435 Posts

Hey W-B-G

This is pretty thoroughly hashed over 'round these parts from time to time. Try the 'search' and you'll get lots of reading on the subject--it's the perfect solution to all the spare time you have .

The short answer is that folks are about evenly divided between those who think ICU is perfectly fine as a first nursing job and those who don't. So whatever YOU think--someone will agree (which is always nice).

Getting ACLS prior to employment is not so important (altho it might impress the NurseManager at interview time)--they'll see you have it as part of your orientation/preceptor period. And in the time you would be taking passing your ACLS, you can be searching the allnurses forums!!

Good Luck

Papaw John


517 Posts

I agree with Papaw John that this is an evenly divided subject. However, I just wanted to add a couple of thoughts.

First, I didn't take ACLS until about 3 months into my ICU job -- ACLS isn't like BCLS...there is a lot to know (meds, rhythms, etc.) so many ICUs don't even want you attempting it until you've had some time on the floor.

Second, despite the division on what ICU nurses think...it really matters what the hiring managers at various hospitals think. Some will happily hire new grads and others demand experience. There are a lot of different philosophies on this.

Finally, I started in a busy trauma/neuro, med/surg ICU directly out of school and have done fine. It depends a great deal on your personality and how you learn.

Good luck.


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