How do you become a PACU Nurse?

by nishey94 nishey94 (New) New

Hello! I’m a medsurg nurse, practicing for 1 year and 9 months thus far. I floated a lot so I have some experience in ortho, tele and observation. My question is how do I safely get into PACU. I know it is a part of critical care nursing and I want to feel confident in my skills.

Should I try a post surgery floor before attempting to apply for PACU? Most PACU positions require two years of experience in surgery or pre-op. I just wanted to clarify how I would get that experience! 

I’m trying to avoid having to go the ICU route because I would have to do an ICU fellowship which involves most of the time a 2 year contract to the hospital and also requires alot of time outside of the being on the floor in class etc. 



1,571 Posts

My pacu won’t hire you without critical care experience.  I know not all are that way, but you really need it so you can understand what you are seeing before it all goes bad.

Managing the airway is a lot of the job.  I would at least get some progressive care experience.