ER or ICU for new grad or student?

  1. I'm hoping to start my ASN training next year, and I am curious about clinicals and the specialties involved. It seems ours will include med/surg, peds/maternity, psych, and community rotations (not sure what that last one involves, but I digress). I know there is a good chance I will change my mind, but right now I feel that I would really like to be an ER nurse. So... I have a couple of questions. Firstly, is there any likelihood that a clinical rotation could involve a little time in the ER as a student? Secondly, how much experience would a newly graduated RN need before being considered for a post in an ER?

    I understand that a student or brand new nurse could be more trouble than he/she is worth in a busy ER or ICU setting and imagine that a lot of extra training and experience is needed for either, but how do you go about getting that experience? How do you even know for sure it's what you want to do?

    Sorry if these are "basic" questions, but I keep telling my students that there's no such thing as a stupid question, so I'm throwing myself on your collective mercy. LOL!
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    About Scooter321, ADN

    Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 256; Likes: 121
    RN in pedi psych long-term care, group homes facility; from US
    Specialty: 5+ year(s) of experience


  3. by   miss arron
    many hospitals take on new grads in the icu and er... they typically have a very long orientation period to get you up to speed....

    i personally want to be in the nicu, and i'm going for it straight outta school
  4. by   foreverLaur
    I second that - students definitely can get hired straight into the ER/ICU. Some students prefer to start in med/surg, but if you feel ready definitely go for it.
  5. by   APBT mom
    In my class the clinical group that I'm in was the only one that got to go to the ER. It was pretty boring (although I think med/surg is boring too) considering we really weren't allowed to do anything because our instructor was upstairs with the rest of the group. The only that I can say I got from it was I can know do a 12 lead in less than 1 min and I've just about perfected my cath skills. Got to see and participate in a lot of interestng things (saw a pt who cut his fingers off, a pt who seized for 5 mins and came out of talking like noting ever happened Ativan is amazing, watched an intubation and helped them take and set the pt up for a CT) but this is a smaller hospital in the area with the major ER about 15 mins down the road.

    As for being a new grad it's possible but I know around here it usually doesn't happen unless you're already a tech working in that department because it is very fast passed at times and new grads generally have a problem with time management.

    When I et finished with school that were I would like to end up or in the OR.
  6. by   DC Collins
    I can't speak for all ER's of course, but I know at the hospital where I volunteer, they do hire straight out of school, *if* they think you have the right stuff. The nurse manager there tells me that they prefer to hire either straight out of school, or of course those who already have ER experience.

    The thing is, that someone who has already worked medsurg or some other dept with a different work environment has 'habits' built in that need to be broken, and it is easier to train someone right out of school.

    Though every company is different, I hope this helps.

  7. by   Scooter321
    Thanks for all the great replies. So there may be a cance for me yet. Yeaay! It 's interesting to see the different attitudes different places have too. The fact that one place wants only experienced nurses while another doesn't want to have to break "bad" habits. Gotta find me one of them. LOL!
  8. by   KungFuFtr
    Do any of the hospitals in your area have an internship available? Get exposure to your department of choice while you are in school.
  9. by   Scooter321
    Quote from KungFuFtr
    Do any of the hospitals in your area have an internship available? Get exposure to your department of choice while you are in school.
    I have no idea, but that's definitely something to think about. Thanks!