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How to get into ICU?

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by USMC2RN89 USMC2RN89 (New Member) New Member

45 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Good morning, 

I am a soon to be new grad nurse I am a prior Marine and am also the valedictorian of my cohort it as an adn program I am also interning in the ICU I interviewed for two positions at Hopkins for the ICU floor and telemetry I was offered a job on the telemetry floor but the ICU said they want a bsn and it’s very hard for a new grad to get in despite my experience. I am looking forward to telemetry and working on my bsn but I wanted to ask what can I do to be more competitive for the ICU while I am working? Are there recommendations for nurses on how to transition to the ICU? Please let me know 

 

Respectfully 

usmc2rn89

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4,959 Visitors; 400 Posts

Participate in professional development, attend committees, build a reputation as a great nurse, and get your BSN. I assume you have or will be taking ACLS if you working on tele, but if not you will need it to be competitive. Experience in acute care will also make you much more competitive.

Big hospitals with large reputations get to be very choosy about who they hire, you may find more success looking at other hospitals. I also wouldn't take not getting an ICU job right out of school as a poor indicator of a future ICU job; settings like ICUs, ED, L&D, and so on are  coveted by many nurses and often take a while to get.

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45 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thank you your advice means a lot question would telemetry help me be competitive as well since you are the in between for the icu and progressive care 

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chris21sn has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a MICU/CTICU.

3,614 Visitors; 128 Posts

Hey! I was in a similar position to you as well. In short, I was accepted into a CHF Telemetry floor. They took drips (dobutamine, primacor, heparin, dopamine, etc) & chronic ventilators. I ended up transferring after 9 months and I easily snagged three acceptances from ICUs right now. I got into a MICU, that also received Open Hearts and Balloon Pumps. I tried my best to sell myself - that I had the right exposure and that they should take a risk on me. There was another girl who only had med surg experience and she struggled for the longest time. Usually the best way to get into ICU is telemetry. You're on your way. 

Honestly to properly prepare while you wait? I don't think you need to do anything to any extremes...just simply having that telemetry experience will get you in a ICU...but if you're like me and just need to do something in the down time -- I received my ACLS and participated in a critical care course. The ICU manager was very impressed by my Critical Care Course....I also went per diem to a job that accepted chronic ventilators....was even thinking of getting my PCCN at the time. Again, none of this is necessary -  you simply wearing scrubs and going to work would suffice...I wouldn't sweat it 🙂

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and works as a CCRN.

1 Follower; 4,557 Visitors; 412 Posts

I second (or third) the idea that telemetry is a GREAT stepping stone to ICU -- particularly one that is more of a step-down unit -- with titration of drips, etc.

One thing that ALL ICU nurses (regardless of specialty) need is solid cardiac rhythm interpretation -- and the only way to really get that is constant exposure.  Also knowing how to do basic 12 lead interpretation.  Further, on a tele unit, you are going to learn a different kind of time management then you would learn as a new grad in the ICU.  And this will serve you very very well in the future.  

Best advice?  Become SOLID in whatever setting you end up -- that's how you get invited to other areas/specialties.

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JBMmom has 6 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nurse.

1 Follower; 11,359 Visitors; 673 Posts

Telemetry experience is a great way to transition into ICU. You will have exposure to many of the drips used in ICU and will have a good cardiac background, two great things for transitioning. Obviously you've been quite successful to this point, best wishes for continued success. I hope you enjoy your time in the telemetry unit and eventually in the ICU.

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