ICU Interviews do's and oh no she did not's!!

by lpn2crna1day lpn2crna1day Member

Has 2 years experience.

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Has 2 years experience. 37 Posts

You're taking this too personally. Nobody said that there was anything wrong with becoming a CRNA. Nobody.

We just don't want to hear about it during an interview. Can you tell the difference?

I might be taking it a little personally. But I have run into this in other places than posts. Sorry if it seems like I am I just feel like if there was no stigma attached you should be able to be open and honest about it, in a interview (which I agree you shouldn't do) and/or on the floor. I can easily tell the difference I just think you SHOULD be able to be honest about it. I get that the nurses may at times feel used or like someone is just there for the requirement, but for me doesn't change the fact that I WANT to be there and give the best care possible. Does that make sense?


cardiacRN2006, ADN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac. 4,105 Posts

The stigma comes from the nurses who have come to the ICU and left after 1 year of training.

So, it's not our fault that the stigma exists. I don't doubt that you'll be a good ICU nurse, and you seem to really want to do things right. Focus on those things during the interview.

But too many nurses have come, spent $$$ orientation money and time, training, etc, and then have left at the end of the year.

Soooo, that's why I say to not mention it during the interview.


criticalHP, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU,CCU, MICU, SICU, CVICU, CTSICU,ER. 150 Posts

I ditto that.... as an interviewer I do not want to hear a candidate say in a nutshell they were using my ICU as a stepping stone to the nursing career they really want. I would much rather put my preceptors' and my time, energy, and budget dollars to use on someone that was willing to make a valid contribution to our ICU and be part of our team, as we are making an investment into that new hire.



Specializes in CVICU. 261 Posts

I can definately see the rationale in what everyone is saying. I recently had an ICU interview and debated how to answer the goal question. I knew my "in" person who referred me to the manager had possibly mentioned it so I decided to be honest, state that I felt like I someday I wanted to be a CRNA, but then reiterate that right now I wanted to focus on my RN-BSN schooling, and just pursue my career as a critical care nurse because I think it is something I will have a passion for. It worked, got the job, and will be the only new-grad to the unit. Maybe it was because the hospital is smaller and doesn't have many one-year RN to SRNA people. Also I'm a terrible liar and would have felt pretty uncomfortable omitting that from my answer and making up something else.



Specializes in ICU, cardiac, CV, GI, transplan. Has 2 years experience. 21 Posts

In my experience, nurses who are only doing it for their required CC experience don't work out well. It's good to have CRNA school as a goal, but take the ICU experience for what it is. The ones who are only viewing it as a bullet point on a checklist forget what it means to be a nurse and care for a person.



17 Posts

Good Luck & All the best lpn2crna1day . May you have all your hearts' desired fulfilled. May you in challenging circumstances regarding your path in nursing be blessed with the wisdom on how to respond :)


WindwardOahuRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. 286 Posts

It certainly does seem like every other new grad that we come across expresses the desire to become a CRNA. I wonder when we'll get to the point that there will be a glut of them, too....



88 Posts

i'm gonna be up for an interview. has anyone come across a "situational" interview question?? what other possible questions would come out on an ICU interview?

thanks in advance!



4 Posts

To get a position where I work you must have at least two letters of reference from employees. I agree that employers do not want to hear,"I am going to hang with you for a year so I can get into school." I want to work with people who want to be critical care nurses.

groovy jeff, RN

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU. 348 Posts

All these people that are getting interviews for ICU and are using it just for a stepping stone just slay me!! Not that I don't understand why; it is just that I am envious.

I am a new grad and I want to be an ICU nurse, period. At this point, I would love an interview, even if it was for a janitorial position!! I really don't care where I start, I just want to get started and some day move into ICU. I will be starting an ADN to MSN program in Nov; not because I want to move out of the ICU. I am starting it now since I am use to writing papers etc; however my main motivation for this is that I am 54 and probably won't want to be pounding the floor when I am 64.



Specializes in telemetry. Has 3 years experience. 101 Posts

I just had an interview and was hired same day. We actually talked for quite a while (two different managers, a charge, educator and me sitting around a table) Was a really great interview, and they were very welcoming. I forget the exact wording but here are a few questions that I remember....

Explain a difficult ethical situation you have encountered and how you dealt with it.

Tell me about a time you went the extra mile for a Pt.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years.

Why do you want to work in ccu/icu?

What qualities do you think is important for an icu/ccu nurse? Why?

How do you handle stressful situations?

What are your areas of strengths/weaknesses

What is your definition of teamwork?

What is the best job you have ever had and why?

Does you manager know that you have applied.

What would your manager say about you as a nurse?



Specializes in CVICU, Trauma, Flight, wartime nursing. Has 11 years experience. 37 Posts

When interviewing for an ICU position, we are looking for someone who is willing to put forth the time and energy necessary to grasp what it takes to be a critical care nurse. Enthusiasm is always a plus. Be honest and be real. Don't make overeager promises (if you hire me I promise I will study the most/ work the hardest/ read every journal in publication/ blah blah blah). If you don't get selected the first time, don't become discouraged. Learn from it and drive on. There will always be another opportunity to apply. I know many new grads want to jump into ICU right away, but having a year or two of med-surg under your belt isn't a bad thing. In fact, we like nurses who have that experience. You have already dealt with time management, patient management, and family management issues. As for the CRNA debate, those who want to run off with only one year of ICU experience are only shorting themselves. Trying to be a CRNA with only one year of ICU experience is like learning how to drive then applying to be a NASCAR driver. Part of this problem is the fact that CRNA schools will accept candidates with such little experience. Probably just a sign of the times.

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