MedSurg to ICU: Level I or Level III

by SuperNurse3177 SuperNurse3177, ADN, BSN, LPN, RN (New) New

Specializes in Family Medicine, Med/Surg/Tele, CSICU. Has 7 years experience.

Hey guys!

I am an RN on a Med/Surg floor at a small community hospital. I've been an RN for 2 years, I'm a relief charge nurse and a preceptor. I was an LPN for 2 years before that in Urgent Care, Family Medicine and MedSurg. I'm applying for the ICU Residency program and I have a choice between a large, level I trauma center or a smaller level III.

The Level I has a very bad reputation of poor teamwork. Many nurses who came from here tell me no one wants to help you, you are on your own. Lots of cliques and bully's. The experience would be really great in terms of exposure. This hospital gets all the trauma from the Colorado mountains and Ski resorts.

The Level III has a great reputation. Excellent teamwork, everyone is willing to help you learn and assist you when you're struggling. They don't see as much, obviously, but all the nurses I've met from here rave about a good experience.

The level I is 15 minutes from my house and the level III is 40 minutes. Winter drives in Colorado can be really bad. My long term goal is to become a traveler and ultimately an FNP in developing countries. Which hospital do you think I should apply for?


OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 7 years experience. 1,179 Posts

This is a no brainer. Go for the level 3 trauma hospital. It offers everything that most dream of when starting in a new area. I would say go to the level 1 if you ever wanted to become a flight nurse or flight NP.


scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 15 years experience. 137 Posts

I agree with the previous poster, go for the level III! Get good snow tires, leave early in bad weather. Get a good foundation at the supportive place, and transition to a higher level trauma center once you have that. Kudos on your philanthropic dreams. I wanted to join Doctors without Borders so badly, but they prefer you to be a solo act and discourage those with young kids joining up.