Published Jun 30, 2009
I am a new grad RN and have two job offers and I need some help deciding which one is better for my overall career goal. I would like to eventually transition to an ICU and then return to school in a CRNA program. The two positions have similar pay but are at two different hospitals. One hospital is a large trauma 1 facility and the other is a medium size regional hospital. The position at the level 1 hospital is a general medicine floor that does not have any nurse assistants. When shadowing there the nurse I was following told me she did not like working there. The position at the medium size hospital is on a neurology-neurosurgical floor. Both places would offer advancement to an ICU evenutally (after a year at the large hospital would be eligible to apply for transfers, and after 6 months at the smaller facility eligible to apply for transfers). I guess my question is which offers me the best experience and would give me the edge when applying to CRNA school? Is it worth it to work a year on a floor that the nurses told me they do not like to get more experience do to the fact it is a bigger hospital and therefore would then be a bigger ICU or should I work on a floor in a more specialized area and gain that experience and transition to their ICU?
Tough choice... simply put, you need ICU experience. I would not concern yourself with one person's negative work attitude, however, I would suggest you look into the larger facility's ICU's (for future reference). You want to know what people think of their work there since your career objective is to work in the ICU so that you can become a CRNA.
I decided to work for a larger hospital that pays less than other outlying hospitals because the larger hospital has 5 adult ICU's and therefore multiple opportunities... more than the single 10 bed unit in one of the smaller hospitals. I was told when I was still a student that none of the ICU's hired new grads, but later found out they make exceptions. I was hired directly into a MSICU out of nursing school. Perhaps you can too. If you know you want to be a CRNA, work hard to get into an ICU ASAP. (You'll enjoy the work more too!)
Your ICU experience, whether large facility or small, needs to be backed by solid academic and career preparation. Have a solid GPA, take advanced classes, get your CCRN cert, score well on the GRE.
Hope this helps.
My advice is find a hospital that offers a critical care internship for new grads and apply to that. It is recommended that it be either a level I or II trauma center for better exposure. Any time spent on med-surg will not count towards the required ICU experience. The assessments & meds that med-surg nurses use are completely different from critical care & really wouldn't benefit you to learn.
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