I graduated last December and started in ICU this past January. I really like it and got an excellent orientation. If the orientation you are going to get is really as good as it sounds, I say "Go for it!"
I was initially a little scared; it helped that two of my classmates started with me. I have taken several classes this year to increase my knowledge and most of the nurses I work with are extremely willing to teach if you are willing to learn. I also got a really good critical care handbook (available at www.kathywhite.com
) that has been a lifesaver as well. I look up everything I don't know and ask for help whenever I need it. I have formed relationships with the more experienced nurses and feel comfortable asking them what to do in a situation (like deciding which doctor to call with a problem; what to suggest to the doctor when I call at 3 AM and he's half asleep).
I personally don't think a year in an area you don't want to work in will help you if what you really want is ICU. And I think my assessment skills are BETTER working in ICU, because I have time to actually ASSESS my patients. The times that I have either floated or picked up shifts on the floors, I have barely had time to make an assessment of my patients at the beginning of the shift; there were just too many patients and too many meds, not to mention too many call bells going off CONSTANTLY.