PICU to Adult ICU

  1. I've been an RN for 10 years, all in Peds and the last 9 years in PICU. I love PICU. I'm good at it. I've worked really hard to gain the skills and knowledge I have. I've considered over the years maybe trying adults just to be more well rounded and to have different opportunities if I decide to ever leave ICU. Job opportunities are limited obviously when you only work PICU and I'm facing that limitation currently.

    2 years ago I moved out of state. The children's hospital I work at now is almost 40 miles from home and an hour drive on night shift (an hour and a half each way for anything Day Shift related like education). I've lost skills with not being able to do a lot of the things I was trained at at my other hospital, mainly ecmo. Understandable as I'm still a newer staff member but it doesn't seem like something that will happen anytime soon. There is a large hospital 7 miles from me with a small general Peds floor but I have no desire to leave an ICU environment and want to grow in my skills and experience.

    I'm thinking about transitioning to Adult ICU and stay PRN at my current job just to keep the relationship open. Just the thought of a shorter commute is amazing. I have no expectation of doing ecmo or CRRT and know I'll be learning a whole new area of nursing. I'm hoping the general ICU/critical care skills will transfer.

    I dont see a lot of threads about making this kind of switch but there's got to be some people who might relate or have some information or anecdotes for me.
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    About WoosahRN, MSN

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 297; Likes: 670


  3. by   Greenclip
    I have a friend who made that transition successfully. She worked PICU at a large, top ten children's hospital. She went to an adult cardiac ICU and she loves it....has been there about two years. She said that to her surprise, one of her best skills turned out to be family communication, which is obviously critical in PICU.
    I don't see why you wouldn't do CRRT and ECMO in an adult ICU setting? Are those services not offered in the ICU where you are thinking of going?

    I agree that staying prn at your children's job is a good idea. Cover all your bases.