Jump to content

How Can I Transition To ICU Nurse?


I am currently an agency RN with 10 year experience in med-Surg/tele nursing. I have worked as a travel/agency nurse for the majority of my career. I really want to move to the ICU and I am wondering if anyone has any advise as to how to start? I know I will have to take on a staff position but will they be willing to hire and train an RN with no ICU experience? Will I most likely have to enroll in a critical care program and have a preceptor for a few months? Please share your experience if you can!

SierraMoon, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/UM.

The only problem I see is that hospitals may give priority to their own transfers for training. I transferred from Surgical Tele to ICU after 1 year and got a nice orientation with good training.

I do not remember training any nurses from outside the hospital to the unit except new grads.

I'd apply to any opening that doesn't require previous ICU experience, see what happens, and be prepared to take a med-surg job and then apply for a transfer when allowed.


Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance.

It may help to network at local AACN meetings.

Since you have that many years of experience, some hospitals may be able to evaluate you your skills for a few months, and can transition you to the department of your choice. I know one hospital that does that, let me know if you're interested.


By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.