Best way into ICU

  1. Hey all,

    I am looking to get into the ICU coming from the OR.

    I have not "floor" experience. And was wondering which unit would be the best experience to get me into ICU if I was not to be lucky enough to get in right away. I would like to transition into floor care, here is what I narrowed down so far:

    ER (at a level 1 or 2)


    IMC/ Tele

    Externship in ICU

    Would 6 months be enough to show I am ready for ICU, or would you advise the externship?
  2. Visit nps07 profile page

    About nps07

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 56; Likes: 7
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in OR


  3. by   brownbook
    All are good. Depends on who would hire you. Wherever you apply don't tell them you are looking for a "short cut" to get hired into ICU

    Since you work OR would your manager let you transition to PACU? It just seems an easier route to take. PACU recovery can have critically ill patients who go to the ICU so you could get good experience.
  4. by   Okami_CCRN
    There are a lot of factors to consider, one of course would be to transition straight to ICU. Some places will hire and orient new graduate nurses for about 6 months with multiple classes to aide in the transition.

    The other would be to work in a PCU or Step-Down unit to wet your feet before you jump in. If you want to do the step-down route then I recommend at least a year to really get a feel for the patient population and what to expect. Best of luck.

    I would not recommend ER/PACU as usually the length of stay of patients is too short.
  5. by   PixieRN1
    Many PACUs require a year of some sort of ICU experience as well.
  6. by   nps07
    thank you all for the advice!