Getting ICU job!

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all,

I have been looking for ICU job lately. Got a couple of calls back for interview. I had one already. I never had ICU expereince but had tele and cardiac/vascular stepdown experience. Currently i am working as a float stepdown/tele nurse in a big hospital. I had an icu interview last week...but i am not sure how well it went down. I was supposed to meet up with the manager but i was told he had jury duty and can't make it. Thats the first red flag...may be not...reading too much...may be...but then the recruiter gave me the benefit package and told me how much i would be getting paid and staff...and also the pharmacology test prep suggestion package...and took my availabilities next week to meet up with the manager...haven't heard from here since...

So I have been thinking about the mistakes I have made in that interview...may be i was a bit honest...

1) I told her that I am starting schooling as ACNP and that I needed icu expereince

2) I have been floating and do think it has some negative impact for ICU

3)I did ER for three months and I quit cause i didn't like it...and told her i didn't like it...i am more detail oriented

4) I did travel nursing for one year

So i have another interview with another hospital next week for ICU. Any suggestions...I really feel in my heart I am meant to be ICU nurse...i am very detail oriented, very hight critical thinking skill...and very eager to learn...PLEASE HELP


310 Posts

I think if anything you said sounded bad it would be that you needed ICU experience because of school. That sounds like you don't sincerely want an ICU position, but that it is just something you HAVE to do. Most places want a nurse that wants to be there, not one that HAS to be there- especially so that they can fill a prerequisite to leave in a short time.

I'd suggest not saying that again during your interviews. Fine to mention your ACNP program, but not that you have to have the ICU experience.

Good luck in your job hunt.

Gomer42 is correct, what your mother told you "honesty is the best policy" is an absolute falsehood in modern nursing. The new motto is "tell them what they want to hear so you can get what you want." Nursing was a noble and higer pursuit 30 years ago. Nursing leadership was always willing to give you a hand up to the next level even if it meant you would only be in their unit for a year or two. Getting a job these days requires excellent salesman skills. Find out what their needs are and then point out clearly how you are going to meet and exceed those needs. Do not even hint that your goal is anything other than solving their staffing need. Nursing leadership is so short sighted these days most cannot look past the next 12 week schedule.

Good luck.

Specializes in ICU.
Gomer42 is correct, what your mother told you "honesty is the best policy" is an absolute falsehood in modern nursing. The new motto is "tell them what they want to hear so you can get what you want."

Unfortunately, that is the truth with just about ALL careers, not just nursing. There is no such thing as "loyalty" with most employers (and if loyalty to the employees exists within an organization, that's a rare exception). It's a hard lesson for new grads to learn. They enter the workforce, all "bright eyed". Seeing coworkers (or the new grads themselves) laid off is usually a rude awakening.

Having survived numerous rounds of layoffs in my engineering career has left me somewhat jaded. I actually told my employees to NOT depend on the company, and that they should only stick around as long as their needs were being met. Over time, they saw that the company only retained employees who were deemed "necessary." Like I said, a rude awakening.

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