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From Med/Surg to ICU. Level 1 or Level 3?

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Specializes in Family Medicine, Med/Surg/Tele, CSICU. Has 6 years experience.

Hey guys!

I am an RN on a Med/Surg floor at a small community hospital. I've been an RN for 2 years, I'm a relief charge nurse and a preceptor. I was an LPN for 2 years before that in Urgent Care, Family Medicine and MedSurg. I'm applying for the ICU Residency program and I have a choice between a large, level I trauma center or a smaller level III.

The Level I has a very bad reputation of poor teamwork. Many nurses who came from here tell me no one wants to help you, you are on your own. This hospital gets really crazy trauma from the Colorado mountains and Ski resorts.

The Level III has a great reputation. Excellent teamwork, everyone is willing to help you learn and assist you when you're struggling. They don't see as much, obviously, but all the nurses I've met from here rave about a good experience.

The level I is 15 minutes from my house and the level III is 40 minutes. Winter drives in Colorado can be really bad. My long term goal is to become a traveler and ultimately an FNP in developing countries. Which hospital do you think I should apply for?

Level 1's are kinda overrated IMO - you just go there to get experience and then GTFO. Do you think it'll be hard to get references there?

I'd say go with the happy place, because you can always ask your travel agency to set you up with level 1 travel assignments. Just make sure you're taking hard patients there and you should be fine.