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How long is orientation for nurse new to ED?

Emergency   (8,554 Views | 13 Replies)

LeLeeFNP has 6 years experience and specializes in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC.

5,865 Profile Views; 230 Posts

When I got a job as a new grad in the ICU my orientation was 4 months long. I have never worked in the ED but am considering it and just wondering what is the average length of time for orientation of a nurse who is new to the emergency department? (not a new grad)

Thank you!

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SummerGarden has 12 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Acute Care, Front-line Management.

3,031 Posts; 36,840 Profile Views

it depends on the department. new grad or not, some departments require 4-6 months of orientation for a ft new nurse to the er department. you may get away with less depending on how fast you are able to sign off on competencies and how fast you show progress with the preceptor to whom you are assigned. on the other hand, some people (nurse managers) can be sticklers and won't allow you off of orientation unless you complete a particular time frame on orientation. this is true of the last facility i worked. all nurses had to go through 6 months of orientation in the ed if he/she was new to emergency nursing (this includes former icu nurses). the only exceptions were travelers.

in the case of travelers, those without ed experience were trained to work the rapid area only. those with ed experience were oriented quickly on one or two sections of the er so they could start working independently within weeks of hire. gl!

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RoyalNurse specializes in CVICU, ER.

109 Posts; 6,140 Profile Views

I had 2 years of ICU experience, and moved down to the ER in my 400-bed community hospital. I got 2 months. There's still some things I haven't seen, but usually there's an "experienced" nurse around to ask.

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157 Posts; 3,439 Profile Views

I know ICU and ED are totally different, but why you'll choose to move from ICU to ED. I too want to be a ER or ICU nurse, but I am having trouble deciding which to consider. I would love to know what was your experience in both depts and what lead to your change dept.

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379 Posts; 6,785 Profile Views

I went from 5 years OB/NBN experience to the ER of a critical access hospital. I didn't even know what a GI cocktail was. I got 3 months of orientation and have done well.

That said - there are things that I have never seen or done, that I know I will have to deal with. That's just part of working critical access. I have good docs and good back up in the form of ancillary staff and tertiary care centers I can call for help when I need it. I have been known to call the big tertiary care center to talk to their pharmacist in the middle of the night about giving a med I have never given and can't find answers for in my drug books.

Good luck - and the most important thing to remember after your ABCs are who to call for answers if you don't know them.

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LeLeeFNP has 6 years experience and specializes in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC.

230 Posts; 5,865 Profile Views

"

I know ICU and ED are totally different, but why you'll choose to move from ICU to ED. I too want to be a ER or ICU nurse, but I am having trouble deciding which to consider. I would love to know what was your experience in both depts and what lead to your change dept.
"

Like you, I too was undecided. It's not that I don't love ICU because I do, however I will never know if I love ED better unless I give it a try. I can always go back to ICU later since I have the experience there if It doesn't work out in the ED. However there is a demand for both Critical Care nurses and ED nurses, so I feel that having both experiences under my belt will make me more marketable. As a new grad I was slightly more interested in ED but had trouble finding a job as a new grad in the ED, however I found a job that hired me as a new grad in the ICU (I did an internship in the ICU during my last semester of nursing school which gave me a bit more experience) so I went that route first. I would say just apply to both departements first and go with whichever one will give you a shot, if you don't like one then try the other. Thats really the only way you'll know. I know many nurses that have done both and loved both or have had a preference for one verses the other. The bottom line is you know that you want to take care of the critically ill, now you just have to decide whether you want the rush of stabilizing them on the front end, or managing them on the back end and trying to prevent them from going south. Good luck on your decision!

Edited by LeLeeFNP
typo

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LeLeeFNP has 6 years experience and specializes in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC.

230 Posts; 5,865 Profile Views

i would also say think about your future career goals. Your profile states that you want to be a ENP or a CRNA. You HAVE to work in the ICU to be a CRNA (to even get accepted into a program you would need 1-2 yrs experience). However if you want to Be an NP you could either go with ACNP or FNP, and in either of these scenarios you can work in either department. Therefore if you are undecided about this and want to keep your options open I would go with ICU in your situation.

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1,850 Posts; 18,100 Profile Views

i would also say think about your future career goals. Your profile states that you want to be a ENP or a CRNA. You HAVE to work in the ICU to be a CRNA (to even get accepted into a program you would need 1-2 yrs experience). However if you want to Be an NP you could either go with ACNP or FNP, and in either of these scenarios you can work in either department. Therefore if you are undecided about this and want to keep your options open I would go with ICU in your situation.

Generally speaking, CRNA programs will accept ED experience if you can demonstrate working knowledge of certain equipment, such as invasive lines, that are used in ICU but not so much in the ED.

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1,850 Posts; 18,100 Profile Views

I work in the ED of a smaller, 222 bed hospital. I had worked there for 15 months as relief/float before taking a full-time position in the ED. I had floated to the ED 3 times in 15 months and got a whopping 2 weeks (6 days!) of "orientation" when I started full-time. I worked full-time at another hospital concurrently with my relief/float position but not in direct patient care. I was left to sink or swim and fortunately for me I'm swimming. I am also fortunate to work with some great nurses who are always willing to help when I come across something unfamiliar. Most hospitals will give you much more orientation than this, but regardless of the amount, take the advice of the previous poster who recommended you know and use your resources.

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LeLeeFNP has 6 years experience and specializes in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC.

230 Posts; 5,865 Profile Views

"

Generally speaking, CRNA programs will accept ED experience if you can demonstrate working knowledge of certain equipment, such as invasive lines, that are used in ICU but not so much in the ED.
"

Really? I've never heard of that before. I guess I could see it if you worked trauma since you'd most likely be helping out with line insertions and intubations and such but I've researched a fair amount of CRNA programs and have never heard of them accepting just ED experience. I could definately be wrong though. Thanks for the correction.

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1,850 Posts; 18,100 Profile Views

""

Really? I've never heard of that before. I guess I could see it if you worked trauma since you'd most likely be helping out with line insertions and intubations and such but I've researched a fair amount of CRNA programs and have never heard of them accepting just ED experience. I could definately be wrong though. Thanks for the correction.

I'm in Michigan and the ones here do. Now that I think about it, I'm not certain of those in other states, but it would be worth making a call to the universities in question to find out. It might help you to make your decision.

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2 Posts; 854 Profile Views

I graduated in May 2009 and I got a job in postpartum department in September. But my dream is totransfer to ER in 1 year, I did my preceptorship in ED and I know an ED nurse is what I would love to become. Presently I am trainning to be certify in forensic nursing and I would like some advice in what I need to do and what education I need to get in order to get a job in ED, and whether it will be difficult for me to get a job in ED because I am working in postpartum in not in ICU.

Thak you in advance,

MariaJose

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