Job offer at Level 1 or 2, help me pick please!


So my goal at this point in my career is to get trauma center experience. I have a job offer for a level 1 and a level 2, both are similar in a lot of way, pay etc. So I'm trying to decide.

My only concern with a level 1 is I heard that typically level 1's have certain teams or staff that are always assigned to the critical care/crash rooms and that it takes a while to get onto those teams/staffing. 

I'm only going to be working at either place for about a year so I want to get as much critical care experience in that time as possible.

So do you think if I pick the level 1 I won't even be very close to the action since I likely won't be in the critical care/crash room areas for a long time? If that's the case I might go with the level 2.

Mebzone05, BSN

23 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

This is true. Don't pay to much attention to what level a trauma center is. I have friends that work at a level 1 and I take care of higher acuity patients more often at a level 3.


2 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 26 years experience.

I would recommend you work at a level 3 as the bulk of higher acuity patients are seen there and usually in an environment where increased hands-on care and slightly slower paced mentoring will occur.

Be careful for what you want, you may get it.

I encourage people to develop teamwork, then skills and communication.  Once you feel comfortable in your own shoes then increase your skills through education and that would possible include certification and possible movement to a higher level of patient acuity in a Level 1 or 2 Trauma Center.

Remember.....this is a marathon, not a sprint.


Specializes in Peds ED. Has 12 years experience.

The big difference between level 1 and 2 is going to be research requirements.


10 Posts

Specializes in rotor-wing flight/critical care/ER-trauma. Has 12 years experience.

A little late to the party here..

Your experience as a nurse is going to vary by individual institution. Without knowing the particulars of your specific level I and's hard for me to make a blanket statement. I can tell you that in my area we have something like 8 trauma centers in a 150-mile of them being a level I. At this particular level I, the nurses working the trauma bays during activations are pretty much hands-off with patient care initially. It is a teaching hospital with surgery residents, ER residents, PA's/NP's, SOCOM medics in training, etc. Not to say the nurses don't participate, but in my experience bringing patients in, the nurses are in a more managerial role with care (entering orders, sending blood specimens, etc). That certainly may not be the case at other level I's. Also not safe to assume that in a level II you will be assigned to the trauma bays any faster. Still have to prove yourself regardless of institution.

Personally, I worked at a level II and the experience was incredible. Best of luck with your career!