Getting an ICU Position out of School?? - page 2

All: I am just starting nursing school this fall, and am wondering. How hard is it to get a job in the ICU once I graduate with ASN and pass the NYCLEX RN exam? Any special... Read More

  1. by   inna
    To healingtouchRN and CougRN,

    Thanks a lot for your feedbacks.
    I'm looking forward to it. Just wishing to have a supportive and patient mentors like healingtouchRN.
    And you really inspired me CougRN. 'hope to be as hardworking and enthusiastic like you.
  2. by   healingtouchRN
    they're out there, just say your prayers, Wabbit! The rigth mentor will coming hoppin' along!
  3. by   Lalage
    I was a new grad in May 2002, and accepted a job with an ICU here in Canada...much like the States, many people still feel that you should have at least 1 year of med/surg, but if the opportunity for you to enter into ICU is there, jump at it! It will be hard, it will be stressful, and you'll feel like an idiot at first, but no matter who you are, you will learn the job. Ask questions and ask for more orientation time if you feel you need it...this not only makes your practice safer, but makes the rest of the staff feel safer working with someone who's not afraid to ask questions.

    But most importantly, ask yourself 'why do I want to be in ICU as a new grad?' What is motivating you to take on this difficult placement so quickly out of school? The status of being in critical care? The status of not having to 'do the wards' first? Make sure you're choosing it for the right decision.
  4. by   SirJohnny

    Continuing on with this thread.

    Would it be possible to work weekends-only option (in the ICU)as a new grad - or is the training so intensive that one needs to be at the hospital during the week.

    Reason for asking, is that I am hoping to combine my current software engineering job with nursing for the first few years and then make the decision as to whether to cut completely over to nursing or not.

    I am currently in my 1st semester of A&P and doing good. Lots of work (as you all know), but the more I study - the more certain I am that I made the right decision.

    So any advice as to starting out in the ICU on weekends as a new grad would be appreciated.



    John Coxey
  5. by   EmeraldNYL
    I doubt this would be possible right away. Critical care orientations are usually pretty structured. The hospital I am going to work at when I graduate has a 24 week orientation with a preceptor, you start on days because that is when all the procedures are done. Then you take the critical care course and ACLS. After a few months, when you are done with your orientation, you could probably switch to working a different schedule.
  6. by   New CCU RN
    I started in ICU as a new grad last May...anyhow, after orientation which was 12 weeks for me which including 2 weeks of CC classes, and working on the unit until 6 months after your start would be able to go to every weekend plans. However, there are things that you miss on those plans, learning wise I mean and you need to really know your stuff only working weekends, because you are going to have a limited amount of resources.....
  7. by   Miki13
    Here in IL new grads are hired all the time for MICU & SICU. I was hired straight out of school before even taking NCLEX, hired as "License Pending" then, promised 6 months of orientation which ended up being 2-3 months due to the nurse shortage and need to get us newbies on the floor.

    While on orientation I worked Mon-Fri days because that's when the nurse educator and charge nurse were there. I think weekends only when you first start may not be possible.

    That "nurses eat their young" isn't always true. My unit was great anytime I had questions, and still is a year and a half later!
    You will learn so much more in your first year on the job than you ever learned in school or books, It's amazing really.

    Good Luck!
    Last edit by Miki13 on Jun 24, '03
  8. by   AshleyKay
    I just saw the thread about starting in the ICU right after graduating from nursing school...which is something I'm considering, so I'm glad someone had asked that question. I'll just have to wait and see how confident I feel about a decision like that once I'm finished with school. I was wondering if anyone knew of any good websites that could give me more information on the steps required in becoming an ICU nurse...information about classes required and orientation. I'm pretty clueless and I'll probably just have to ask questions while I'm at the hospital but the few nurses I talked to didn't have any information for me and basically said it was a terrible idea. The micu nurses at the hospital where I'm doing clinicals are absolutely the most awesome nurses I've come in contact with. They're not only incredible at their job they're also the friendliest nurses I've dealt with and are amazing with the families that come through as well. Everything I've seen so far is pulling me towards trying to get into the MICU here when I graduate. I'm just trying to explore my options and get as much information as I can before making any decisions.

    Also, has anyone had any experience working in an icu at a charity hospital? Our charity hospital offers ridiculously large sign on bonuses for some nurses but I've had other nurses tell me that I'll regret it by the second week, and to not even think about working in an icu at a charity hospital right out of nursing school. What would be the difference? I guess I'll find out more when I do my clinicals at the charity hospital here.


    PS, I'm located in Baton Rouge if anyone has any information about this area
    Last edit by AshleyKay on Oct 29, '03
  9. by   NsgTiger
    I know the big sign on you are probably thinking of....15k at Earl K. Charity Hospital....FYI that is with a four year commitment, low pay, and no new grads in icu or er...also remember that it really is not all about the money, if you decide to go into a critical care area especially, look at the training that they provide...
  10. by   NsgTiger
    and about the charity hospitals in LA.... they do provide great learning experiences due to their patient population (you see stuff there that you would almost never see at a smaller or private facility) and due to the fact that they are teaching hospitals... it is awesome to be in a place where things are geared towards learning... HOWEVER, the LA govt gives squat to the charity hospital system and continues to take more money away all of the time... the result is a nonexistant funding for formal "internships" that provide 3 to 6 months of class and clinical training... good training programs may cost a hospital 50-60k to train a new grad, and I hate to break it to you but there is no way that the LA govt is going to fund that.... if you decide that you like the charity/teaching facilities, I suggest that you look into another state that puts more of a priority into health and education..... that said, in the Baton Rouge area, I would suggest the General as a place to work, no it is not perfect but it is the best the city's got IMHO Sorry for the soap box that I seemed to have gotten on, just a little frustration coming through... Good luck
  11. by   AshleyKay
    Thanks...Ive heard different things about the general and the lake (where I'm goin to school)...not much about earl k long. I don't plan on moving out of the state...I'll just have to do a little more research.
  12. by   zambezi
    Johen, Back to your question regarding working weekends...I think that you should dedicate time to the weekdays, especially when you are first starting as that is when most of the scheduled surgeries and other procedures are. Plus, it gives you a chance to interact with the majority of docs and other team members that may not be as available on the weekends...Not that weekends aren't a great experience too, it's just that (at least at my hospital) most of the "fresh" stuff is during the week. Of course, you never know when a good code will happen or new admit will be a train wreck...but weekdays do seem to be a better learning experience for the "normal" routine when you are first starting out, IMHO.
  13. by   zambezi
    yea, just ignore my typos (your name... ) Just got off a 12 night shift and I can't focus...