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How did you get into the ICU?

MICU   (24,909 Views 33 Comments)
by missbutton missbutton (Member)

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PMFB-RN has 16 years experience and specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response.

68,933 Visitors; 5,143 Posts

im curious as to why they would prefer ADN to BSN, havent heard that before?

*** Because hardly any of the new grad BSN where finishing the two year contract they signed to get into the residency vs 100% of the ADNs finishing their contract. My class had 9 nurses in it. 7 BSNs and 2 ADNs. Of the 7 BSNs one had a baby and became a stay at home mom, the other six went to CRNA school before their contract was up. Subsequent classes had similar results. It doesn't say any place that new grad BSNs are not hired but they are not. Our sister hospital is doing the same.

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8jimi8ICURN specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.

7,579 Visitors; 231 Posts

im curious as to why they would prefer ADN to BSN, havent heard that before?

Not to mention that, in my ADN program we had about 50 less clinical hours than a BSN degree. That difference meaning, we spent more time concentrated clinical time over our 2 years, than people were spending over 4 years. It is a well known fact in Austin, that the ADN students come out of school ready to work and take 4-6 patients vs. the BSN students who need extended orientations.

On the last unit I worked on, when orienting a brand new BSN prepared nurse, she got her FIRST IV. 4 years of nursing school and never had a successful IV start?!!

We were all pretty much late 20's early 30's in my class, none of the straight of of high school - straight through college type 22 year olds who didn't know what they wanted to do.

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apocatastasis has 4 years experience and specializes in Psychiatry, ICU, ER.

11,472 Visitors; 207 Posts

On the last unit I worked on, when orienting a brand new BSN prepared nurse, she got her FIRST IV. 4 years of nursing school and never had a successful IV start?!!

Please. BSN nurses generally do not go to nursing school for the first 2 years of their bachelor's, and their clinical time is NOT spread out over 4 years. I did the BSN competency of my accelerated MSN program in Austin in 15 months, and I started FAR more IVs than I have as an RN in ICU.

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8jimi8ICURN specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.

7,579 Visitors; 231 Posts

i apologize for the generalization.

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General E. Speaking, RN specializes in floor to ICU.

4 Articles; 22,487 Visitors; 1,337 Posts

I was a Tele charge nurse and the unit educator. I was told I could move to ICU then the rug was yanked out from under me after a management change and I was told I had to stay another year on Tele. I almost quit.

Did my year and started asking again about moving. I had to be very persistent and pretty much let them know that if I didn't move, I was putting out apps elsewhere. CNO begged me to stay on Tele. They were happy with the way the unit was being run and liked the fact that I did the dreaded unit educator job. I thanked her for the compliments but still cited that I was going mad and needed to learn new things! I finally got to move about 4-5 months ago.

I feel like a new nurse. Enthusiastic, happy and craving knowledge!

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sistasoul specializes in neuro/ortho med surge 4.

11,196 Visitors; 714 Posts

My first RN job was in a 9 month, paid Critical Care Nurse Residency program for new grads going directly into the SICU. I had to move across the state to get it and I had a big advantage of being an ADN and applying to a hospital that prefered ADNs for it's SICU (currently they have stoped accepting BSN new grads into the nurse residency for the SICU, still take them for ER, PACU, MICU, PICU & NICU).

I think the best thing you can do, other than what you have done already is be flexable on where you are willing to go to get that ICU job.

My hospital prefers either ICU experience or new grads and does not like to hire nurses with med-surg experience. The thought is that they have too many bad habits to unlearn and have difficulty ajusting to the take action role vs the call for MD help role. I don't know if I buy it but it is the thinking at this particular faciliety.

I don't understand the statement that the ICU does not like to hire med-surge nurses because they have too many bad habits to unlearn. What does that mean? Does it mean learning to juggle care for 5-7 patients while having admits and discharges? I think the skill sets are just different between ICU and med-surge and should not be described as "bad habits". That statement is very derogatory on the part of that ICU towards med-surge nurses.

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PMFB-RN has 16 years experience and specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response.

68,933 Visitors; 5,143 Posts

I don't understand the statement that the ICU does not like to hire med-surge nurses because they have too many bad habits to unlearn. What does that mean? Does it mean learning to juggle care for 5-7 patients while having admits and discharges? I think the skill sets are just different between ICU and med-surge and should not be described as "bad habits". That statement is very derogatory on the part of that ICU towards med-surge nurses.

*** It is the opinion of certain people in managment of the ICU that med-surg nurses have a hard time ajusting from the "something is wrong, I need to call the doctor" to the "something is wrong, I need to intervene right now" way of thinking. Not my opinion, but one I have heard expresses by people in leadership positions here.

I agree it is derogatory to the med-surg nurses. Maybe that's why none of them ever want to come work in our ICU.

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hcox1975 has 2 years experience and specializes in LTC, SICU,RNICU.

1,749 Visitors; 66 Posts

I got hired in ICU as a new ADN graduate. I had clinicals in two different ICUs and interviewed in one of them. I also was a LPN for two years and they considered that experience. Maybe you need to look at another hospital. I know at the smaller hospital in the town I live in doesn't hire anyone for ICU except inhouse nurses.

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chuckz has 3 years experience and specializes in CVICU/ER.

4,948 Visitors; 164 Posts

Honestly I just got lucky. I did a year in a small hospital ICU as a tech, worked in a PACU as a tech in the same hospital. After about 2 years, I was able to do an externship in a trauma 1 ER. They decided they didn't want new nurses in the ER and I applied to a crap-ton of jobs in the hospital. I got a call from a recruiter and they told me to apply to a certain requisition number in the website. I did, and it was for the MICU. I got real lucky and don't take it for granted that I deserve to be here, but I am trying to PROVE I belong here. It's networking, work ethic and a lot of luck that that got me my job.

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1,703 Visitors; 41 Posts

I was a new grad in the ICU and I know this will sound crazy but I only applied to ICU jobs, I refused to apply for anything else, and this was in May-August of 2009! Well my parents thought I was crazy but it worked out, 1 year so far in a lvl 1 Magnet CVICU...

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Wildflower8 RN, CCRN has 2 years experience and specializes in SICU/Trauma, CCRN-CMC.

1,874 Visitors; 23 Posts

I got lucky as well and landed a job in a lvl 1 Magnet SICU/Trauma unit as a new grad. The ICU can be intense but I love it and couldn't see myself working on any other unit. If ICU is what you want, keep applying and you will get in. I'm a few months shy of my two year mark on my unit and just recently got accepted into CRNA school for 2012 so my experience has paid off in advancing my career.

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LostButMakinGoodTime has 6 years experience and specializes in CVICU/SICU.

1,956 Visitors; 57 Posts

When I graduated from nursing school 5 years ago, hospitals couldn't find anyone to take these jobs. The facility I applied to had openings in the SICU, NICU, MICU, and Trauma ICU. SICU called me first, so that's where I went. The director of NICU was upset that I didn't choose her unit, but she waited a day too long to contact me. Things are a LOT different now. Now that the nursing shortage is over, GNs are no longer considered. Applicants need at least two years as an RN, and there are probably 50+ applicants for each position.

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