Questions about ICU internships

  1. Hi, I am about to start nursing school (BSN) in January. I was wondering if someone could explain to me how the ICU internships work after you graduate? I want to work in the ICU and I have read about other people having class work along with shifts, and some people just had an orientation. I was really wanting to work 3 12's, mostly weekend nights, but I wasn't sure if this was possible during the training period? I will be homeschooling my son and want to be home during the week if at all possible. Thanks for the information!
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    About 2bgypsynurse2010

    Joined: Jan '08; Posts: 9

    6 Comments

  3. by   MaverickyMaverick
    Hi, I work as a nursing assistant/stock clerk in an ICU and am in nursing school. My hope is that they will hire me when I graduate.

    I know that a lot of internships don't pay but your program may have a time when you can apply for an externship which is for pay.

    If you want to work in an ICU when you graduate I know they would like that you have some experience but I also know plenty of grads that have no experience that have gotten hired.
  4. by   Cinqly
    I am not sure if you are talking about an internship or paid externship in school, or a residency after graduation. During school you should try to get a position as a student extern/tech in the ICU. You will be paid, and you will be allowed to function sort of like a nursing assistant while also getting to observe the functions and actions of the nursing staff. You want to try and gain experience in the critical care setting while in school as this can be helpful when interviewing for positions in the ICU after graduation. I would also try to do well in the ICU rotation, and get some good recommendations from your clinical instructor and/or nurse partner.

    As far as working after graduation, it will really depend on what the hospitals in your area have to offer. Not all hospitals offer positions in the ICU for new grads. Some do, but do not have very long or thorough orientations. Others offer what is called a residency or internship, where you are working as an RN but you are also getting an extensive orientation with classroom experience. This is what I will be doing to start my new job in the ICU. The program offers a 22-week (or longer) orientation that includes classroom teaching, a one-on-one preceptor, mentorship, peer groups, and 4 weeks of ICU specific coursework. I believe that we will have 1-2 days in class each week, and 1-2 days on the floor. This is the only hospital in our area to offer this, and most other hospital's have a 3 month ICU orientation (and most of that will occur while you are not yet licensed). I would just start talking to people in your area, call HR at some hospitals, and ask them what you need to do to be a good applicant. If you have specific questions please PM me. Good luck!!!
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    When you are hired into the unit you get assigned a preceptor. You must follow thier schedule. Once you are done with orientation, I bet they will welcome your desired schedule of working weekend nights!
  6. by   shocker29
    Our hospital has a 5-6 month orientation period for new grads, which has a 3 month critical care class weaved into it. During this class, we did 2 - 12 hours shifts on the floor, had one 8 hour class per week, and were paid for 8 hours of study time per week. After the class was over, (if you were hired for 36/wk), you did your three 12's per week, unless you had some other education scheduled that week. (Our new grads go three ekg classes, then 12-lead ekg classes, ACLS, code-blue classes, etc. Also have a new grad "residency" program which is supposed to help new grads "assimilate" into the nursing culture - didn't apply much for the critical care RN's) You do about 4 months on dayshift, 2 months on night shift with various preceptors, and then you are off, with bi-annual evaluations. You get paid for ALL of this. Works really well for our unit and the SICU. If you are going to bring new grads into a real critical care environment, I think you have to have a strong, educational orientation and lots of support available.
  7. by   Cinqly
    Quote from shocker29
    Our hospital has a 5-6 month orientation period for new grads, which has a 3 month critical care class weaved into it. During this class, we did 2 - 12 hours shifts on the floor, had one 8 hour class per week, and were paid for 8 hours of study time per week. After the class was over, (if you were hired for 36/wk), you did your three 12's per week, unless you had some other education scheduled that week. (Our new grads go three ekg classes, then 12-lead ekg classes, ACLS, code-blue classes, etc. Also have a new grad "residency" program which is supposed to help new grads "assimilate" into the nursing culture - didn't apply much for the critical care RN's) You do about 4 months on dayshift, 2 months on night shift with various preceptors, and then you are off, with bi-annual evaluations. You get paid for ALL of this. Works really well for our unit and the SICU. If you are going to bring new grads into a real critical care environment, I think you have to have a strong, educational orientation and lots of support available.
    does this happen to be the residency? or another program?
  8. by   shocker29
    Well, some places call the entire thing (orientation, critical care classes, 1st year education, etc.) the "new grad residency program." So essentially yes. But, our hospital has one special class that is actually called, "the new grad residency program," that goes a long with the rest of the orienation and is required for new grads to attend. In any case, a good strong program will give you atleast 4-6months of orientation, a critical care class and a 12-lead EKG class.

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