ICU Jobs

Nurses New Nurse

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I am just curious, I know most hospitals are not hiring nurses right now, but in the future, how hard is it to get a job in the ICU as a new graduate?

agilitydogs

22 Posts

Specializes in CVICU.

There are a lot of factors that go into getting hired into an ICU...are the ICU's hiring? Do they have the resources for a new grad? Do you have the level of intelligence and critical thinking to prosper in an ICU (not you in particular, just in general)? Do you have the interview skills to convince the manager that they should put $50-100,000 into training you? Do you have the time to work as a tech in an ICU while in school so that you can "prove yourself" so to speak before you need a job?

The people that I know that got into ICU's as new grads (myself included) all had jobs as techs in the ICU before we graduated. My best suggestion would be to get a job as a tech and work your butt off. Ask lots of questions, and show the manager that you really want that ICU position. Also, if CRNA school is in your future, it is best to keep that on the down low...managers don't like to waste money on training people that are going to up and leave. Good luck!!

swirlything

195 Posts

I graduated 2 weeks ago. I got a job straight into an ICU. I have never worked as a tech or any other health-related profession. Another of my classmates got an ICU job without prior experience also. So it's possible to get an ICU job without working as a tech.

I agree with the previous poster though. My friends who have made any hint to managers at using a unit as a stepping stone are getting NO offers. Be enthusiastic about wanting to be an ICU RN as if it was all you ever wanted... even if it's not the whole truth.

starletRN

157 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, LTC, Rehab.

Our hospital hires new grads to ICU. I wanted to work ICU straight out of school at first. But knowing what I know now, I want experience before I go there. For me personally, it would be too stressful to start out with zero experience and such high acuity patients.

agilitydogs

22 Posts

Specializes in CVICU.

I really think that it all depends on the ICU you are getting hired into. I specifically wanted CV surgical ICU, and they don't hire new grads very often. Our CCU has hired a few new grads over the years, and the regular MICU and SICU hire new grads pretty regularly. If there is a specific ICU you want, call the nurse manager and ask what it will take to get a job there. Also, working on the unit as a tech before being a nurse lets you get a feel for the culture, the nurses, the flow, and where everything is at. It is a STEEP learning curve, so it is VERY helpful to not be scared of all of the lines, have a basic idea of what the patients days are like and what the protocols are. Also helps to know which nurses are good resources and which to take their advice with a grain of salt. Good luck!!

shinyblackcar

199 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, oncology.
I graduated 2 weeks ago. I got a job straight into an ICU. I have never worked as a tech or any other health-related profession. Another of my classmates got an ICU job without prior experience also. So it's possible to get an ICU job without working as a tech.

I agree with the previous poster though. My friends who have made any hint to managers at using a unit as a stepping stone are getting NO offers. Be enthusiastic about wanting to be an ICU RN as if it was all you ever wanted... even if it's not the whole truth.

I wish you the best of luck! I got my first job in an ICU without having any previous healthcare experience. It's wicked intense (obviously)!

star99

15 Posts

are certifications (ACLS, ECG, etc. ) recommended to have before applying to the job in the ICU?

86toronado, BSN, RN

1 Article; 528 Posts

Specializes in neurology, cardiology, ED.

Usually within a year of hire you're expected to be ACLS, ECG certified.

Dreamer-RN

170 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Informatics.
are certifications (ACLS, ECG, etc. ) recommended to have before applying to the job in the ICU?

I think having your ACLS can make you a stronger candidate. I got my ACLS after graduation, prior to taking the NCLEX. A couple of interviewers were pleased to see I have completed an ACLS course. I believe it demonstrated initiative and determination.

star99

15 Posts

thanks for the responses.

Dreamer-RN, did you also have PALS or other certifications?

Dreamer-RN

170 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Informatics.

Hello star99,

Just ACLS and BLS. If you are trying for PICU, it may be a good idea to get PALS.

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