ICU and new grads

  1. How hard is it to get into ICU as a new nursing graduate? Do they normally require experience before you can work there? Anyone have any experience with this or know?

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    About marilynmom

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 2,165; Likes: 385
    Adolescent psych
    Specialty: Adolescent Psych, PICU


  3. by   KC CHICK
    Most ICU's anymore will hire new grads into the unit.
    The grads have a longer orientation and training time than another nurse with previous experience. I'll be transfering soon from telemetry and I'll be getting about 12 weeks of training. I don't know how long new grads get exactly....but it's longer than 3 months.
    As far as new grads having success with is possible. If you are a fast learner and a very observant person, you could make it happen. Most other nurses may recommend previous experience. I'm a little torn on the subject. I was hired into the OR as a new grad and learned it just fine.....and I also was "advised" by other nurses to get one year of floor experience first.
    I went to the floor before ICU because ICU had already hired enough "new grad" level nurses and couldn't handle anymore to train at that time. In a way, I'm very glad that I got the tele experience that I did. I was told that some of the more stable patients I will be seeing are at the level that I've already taken care of on the tele floor.
    I was frustrated last year when they didn't pick me up.....but the tele experience sure changed that this year.

    Last edit by KC CHICK on Mar 13, '03
  4. by   llg
    The true answer this and many other similar questions is: "It depends." While most ICU's have special orientation programs for new grads, a few do not -- and prefer to hire nurses with experience.

    My suggestion is that you talk with the ICU's in your area and find out what their usual hiring and orientation practices are. In some hospitals, some of the popular specialty units give a preference to new grads who have either worked there as nursing assistance or who have done some extra student clinical hours there, etc. It pays to get that sort of information in advance -- and no one can tell you that except the specific hospitals themselves.

  5. by   Katnip
    I agree. Look into the hospitals you're interested in working. I have a list I'm going to apply to. The minimum orientation for a new grad ICU at them is 4 months with a year's mentorship. I really think a strong orientation program is the key for new grad success.
  6. by   NurseDixie
    Most hospitals in my area want new grads to have a year's experience in med-surg first. But then again, one gal was a tech in ICU and they hired her there when she graduated. She's doing great.