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How to land a new grad ICU residency?

Job Hunt   (538 Views | 3 Replies)
by nhatten nhatten (New) New Pre-Student

136 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I'm currently in the middle of my BSN program, with a graduation date of May 2021. I know its rather early to be 'worried' about residency programs post-grad, but I cant help myself. I've really wanted to get into the ICU ever since I wanted to be a nurse, as I think its an environment that I'll find fulfillment in. The problem is, I have a very short list of cities which I'd like to work in upon graduation. I know that my best chance of getting into an ICU is through a nurse-residency program, so how can I best set my application apart from the others? Since I still have time before I would apply, I'm wondering what I can do between now and then to better my chances? I'm a good student with a 3.89 GPA, and before starting my BSN, I obtained a bachelors degree in human biology (not sure how that helps my chances). Some of the residency programs I've looked into require "previous paid/unpaid" experience in an ICU to even be considered. I dont have any critical care experience, and my program does not offer a senior practicum 😞 So does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can get some of that experience? Obviously the person best suited to answering that question would be a staff-member or nurse recruiter from the specific facility I'm applying to, but I cant seem to find any contact information besides the main telephone number. Any help here would really be appreciated. 

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71 Posts; 2,716 Profile Views

I would say try to get ICU experience somehow. Whether through being a nursing assistant or even working something close to it like a step-down. Sometimes it will take a year to get where you want to be. Getting into step-down or med/tele first and then transitioning into ICU after maybe a year. Many of the interviews I received for ICU nurse residency programs asked questions about my time in the ICU as senior practicum, so I do think that weighed a bit more on my resume.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

5 Followers; 1,882 Posts; 4,070 Profile Views

You say you have a short list of locations where you want to work. Depending on the new grad situation,  you may need to be more open to other locations for that first job. Realistically, if the market is saturated in the locations that you desire, persons who have established contact with facilities will have a better chance at placement. I agree to get work as an aide or tech in ICU to get some marketable experience 

Edited by Hoosier_RN

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ICUity has 1 years experience.

92 Posts; 970 Profile Views

Hi,

I thought I would contribute the parts I have experience with. I got an offer earlier this month for an ICU residency, and I can share what I encountered in my various interviews and what I think helped. I also did 3 other ICU interviews in other hospitals and have progressed in those applications, but I'll be declining them since I accepted the first offer.

I did senior Capstone clinical at a nationally-ranked pediatric cardiac ICU, which was an incredible experience. I learned so much about how to monitor the patients, the types of devices, heart procedures, etc. Being able to talk about all of these things during the interview showed that I had been exposed to an ICU setting with intubated patients, ECMO, ventilated, had seen/helped with codes, trachs, etc, and was familiar with the specific things they monitor for in ICUs as far as hemodynamics and labs. I did all or most of the charting for my preceptors on the shifts I was there, and became very accustomed to hourly charting, and I was able to participate in rounds and give report, which was very helpful as well. I think things like this can make you a more appealing candidate to managers and directors at an ICU, I would imagine. (Only able to speak from my own experience and speculation though.)

I think another thing they seemed to look at is they really want to know why I want to work in an ICU. I would imagine because it is a stressful, high acuity setting where patients' health conditions are typically unstable, and it can take a lot out of the nurses from what I observed. If you show them you know what you are getting yourself into and have really put thought and consideration into why you want to go into the ICU, then that would probably make you more appealing versus someone who isn't sure but just wants to do it to go back to school for CRNA or something in a year or two. My BSN will be my 3rd degree, and I had to explain at one of my interviews why I had a career change. They also specifically asked me if I would be wanting to go back to school, so I think they are aware of that happening, and probably are less interested in someone that is just going to leave in a year or two after the hospital invests in their training.

I was also asked quite a bit of in-depth interview questions, more than the typical behavioral assessment type questions, so it would be good to understand as much as you can about the ICU, patient deterioration and outcomes, etc.

That's what I can offer as far as my own experience interviewing in this crazy residency process. Good luck to you!

 

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