How much training to ask for


Hello critical care nurses, so my employer is always short of nurses in ICU. They made the desicion to float us, med/surge nurses, to ICU when needed with 1 week orientation. They said they will assign us the lighter patients which nobody is buying. We are in conflict with them. I want to know how much orientation you need as a med/surge nurse to work in ICU. Thanks

Lev, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 2,803 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.

At least 6-8 weeks. Up to 12 weeks.


64 Posts

Orientation depends on experience, comfort level and basically the individual. The goal should be about 3 months for a newbie, but taking into account on how they do. In the ICUs where I worked we would start slow and see how they individual responded. Some facilities provide classes to supplement the bedside orientation where others had the nurses complete ECHO to provide some didactic critical care information. A good ICU program should cater the orientation to meet the individual needs. I have had nurses go 4-6 weeks and did great where others we went beyond the 3 months to help address any issues. Another good thing is once they are off orientation they should have a "buddy" assigned in case they come across something that they are not comfortable with to need additional help.


412 Posts

Thank you guys for responding. After much negotiations, they've come up with 3-4 weeks orientation. We are still not happy about that.