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How do I transition specialities?

Critical   (802 Views 4 Comments)
by paulahill paulahill (New Member) New Member

861 Visitors; 6 Posts

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Hello!

I have been a pediatric nurse all of my nursing career, 6.5 years now. It was kind of an accident; it took me 9 months after graduation to land my first job. Don't get me wrong, I've loved every minute of it but at this point in my life and career I'm ready to make the next move. I would love to see myself in a critical care area since I've had this long standing dream of going to nurse anthesiology school. The problem is, I'm having a very hard time even getting my resume looked at, much less land interviews. I started by applying to the PICU at the children's hospital I currently work at. I actually submitted 2! The first time around I was beat out by a new grad. The second time, by an oncology nurse with lots of experience. I also managed to land an interview at a different PICU in a hospital in another county. I showed up in a suit, had clean fresh copies of my resumes and all my documents. The minute I sat down for the interview, the interviewer didn't even ask me any questions and basically told me she already had a candidate and it was too late to cancel the interview (honestly I was blown away by this response I didn't even know how to react.) I haven't just limited myself to PICU applications either. I have submitted applications to numerous other critical care units both in my current hospital and other facilities as well. No call backs. A couple of them sent me declination emails the very next day. I've sent follow up emails and get no responses or letters of declination.

What do I need to do to get my foot in the door in critical care? It's been over a year now and I'm losing hope. I'm willing to take extra courses to boost my resume, but most programs require experience. Is there something out there I don't know about? I've tried befriending critical care nurses but it doesn't seem to help. My license and work record are squeaky clean and I've always gotten great feedback from managers and supervisors on my reviews. I'm confident in my skills and I'm ready and willing to learn. Please, any advice or feedback is very much appreciated.

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pedi_nurse has 5 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

2 Followers; 1,887 Visitors; 246 Posts

I don't have any advice, but I'm looking into doing the same thing. Peds nurse for 7 years, with the last few years in school nursing. My hope is to finish my BSN next year and then apply for new grad positions in ICU (even though I'm not technically a new nurse). Good luck! 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

11 Followers; 64 Articles; 169,024 Visitors; 13,798 Posts

Is your goal PICU, or just any ICU, adult or pediatric?

Do you belong to any hospital-wide committees?  That's a good place to meet managers, educators and other folks with some pull when it comes to hiring.  Have you talked to your manager about your desire to move to critical care?  The way I moved from Heme/BMT to MICU was handled manager-to-manager.  (My manager was trying to get rid of every staff nurse with more experience than she had, so at the time, I didn't consider it an especially good thing that she found me a job in MICU.). If that can't happen in your workplace, perhaps your manager knows how to get your name on the fast track or knows an ICU manager and can get you an interview.  Are you willing to relocate?

 

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690 Visitors; 23 Posts

Not sure how it works in the US, but I'll tell you how it works in Aus, as I'm sure there can't be that much difference in landing a position.

Easier to get your first gig in a large teaching hospital. Here we have positions available for nurses new to icu. They don't come up regularly,  but if you speak to the educators of the icu you're interested in, then they should be able to put you on the list of nurses getting into icu.

Here it's called, Into to ICU or something similar. Once you complete that course, anywhere from 3 months to a year you can then apply for a permanent position.

If that fails, get acute care experience that will be looked at more desirablely such as ED and cardiology, also if you haven't done so get advanced life support certificate. All these show you have a desire to work in an acute setting and will help you when you do get that icu position.

Show you're proactive. Speak to educators of several icus to get a feel for what is desirable criteria and steps to get into icu. Hope this helps

 

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