ICU to Med-Surg?


  • Specializes in Critical Care. Has 3 years experience.

I searched the forum, and I found plenty of topics about med-surg nurses transitioning to critical care nursing, but I did not find any topics about the reverse.

I have been an ICU nurse for nearly two years, as I was hired immediately after graduation to work in the ICU. I previously worked as a CNA/tech in the same ICU for 3.5 years while attending nursing school. I have never worked on a med-surg floor as nurse, but I am strongly considering the possibility of transferring out of the ICU to take on a clinical supervisor position for a medical floor.

I LOVE working in the ICU, and I know there will be many new and unique challenges to working on a medical floor. However, I look forward to being able to communicate and educate my patients in a different setting.

I was wondering if anyone had any advice about this sort of transition, i.e., from ICU to med-surg nursing or ICU to clinical supervisor of a medical floor. Has anyone ever experienced this transition?

Would it be possible to continue working PRN in ICU to maintain my ICU competencies in case I ever wanted to return to ICU full-time in the distant future? I worked very hard to learn just a PORTION of the skill set of critical care, and I think it will be a valuable asset as a charge nurse on a medical floor, but I certainly realize there will be a very different skill set to learn there as well.

Thanks for your honest feedback.

Lev, MSN, RN, NP

9 Articles; 2,803 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.

Are these units in two different facilities? If so, it is possible to work PRN, but it can be difficult depending on your hours. You may have to work weekend nights. Also, I wouldn't bring up plans to stay prn. There is a nurse manager of one of the medsurg floors at my current facility who work ICU for a while before becoming mamager. I'm not sure if she had any other experience.


15 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 3 years experience.

Thanks for your feedback, Lev


56 Posts

If it's in the same facility, I doubt if you can work on 2 different units at the same time. With your ICU experience, you should survive being a clinical supervisor on a Med-Surg unit. Good Luck! :up: