do i need to give this more time?


I am a recent ADN new grad who was hired onto a CCU almost 6 months ago. I accepted this job although I have NEVER wanted to work in an ICU and it was the only job offer I had at the time. I must say that I have learned and grown a lot as a nurse, but this is not where I want to be. We have a wonderful team and it's nice to see people who love what they do, but I don't share the same feelings and feel overwhelmed many days.

So my question is, is this something that I need to just give more time and I may learn to love it just the same as some of the others? Or do I search for something else? Is this just a feeling that many new grads experience and I am just going through a part of growing up as a nurse?

Please send any advice my way and let me know if I can answer any questions or provide more info so you can provide better advice if needed. Thanks!


947 Posts

Specializes in L&D. Has 2 years experience.

I would give it a year, just so you have a year of critical care experience. I don't know if you will ever love it, but it will prepare you for many fields of nursing! I'm a L&D nurse, and knew where I wanted to go, and have loved it from the beginning, so I think if you can love you job, why not search for something you want?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

in the USA about 60% (!!!!) of new grads leave their first job within 2 years. My personal opinion is that no one realizes what nursing is about till they do it. Expectations do not meet reality. Eventually you learn that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence and you settle in. That said, if you are miserable, leave. The wonderful thing about being a nurse is the flexibility in career choices.


161 Posts

I would say if the ICU is too overwhelming, then maybe you should transfer floors to a lower level of care so that you can gain more experience. I have met ICU nurses who were hired right out of school into it and said they still felt incompetent 5 years into their careers and had wished they started on a Med/Surg floor. One of the new nurses on my floor started out in the ICU at my hospital and felt like it was too much for her and came to my floor which is Med/Surg. If you are hating it , I say life is too short to be miserable and if you can, you should look into other options and take advantage of the flexibility that nursing allows.


70 Posts

I am by no means a new grad and recently switched from acute medicine to ICU. I had been in ICU years ago as a student so had some idea what I was getting in to. Needless to say things have changed there and I do not like it. I do not wish for the adrenaline rush when things go badly and I don't feel "special" because I work in ICU. I have observed these to be a couple of reasons that people like ICU. Not the only reasons but just a couple. I work straight nights and have for many years. I don't like sitting all night watching one patient and find that a lot of nights I am bored out of my mind. I can get all my routine night work done pretty quickly and the rest of the time is spent just watching and hoping that nothing bad happens. Others wait in anticipation of the excitement. I do not. I am way past that. I will be getting out ASAP, just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.

ICU is not for everyone and not necessarily because it is too much. It may just not be the right fit.

MunoRN, RN

8,058 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

I wouldn't count on a floor being any less overwhelming. I work ICU/ED/tele and I find ICU to be less overwhelming than tele. Unfortunately "overwhelmed" is the goal for many hospital administrators, if Nurses aren't overwhelmed then you're wasting labor hours.


19 Posts

I will just say that a year of ICU experience looks really really good on a resume, so if you can hang in there......Opens many doors.

Has 13 years experience.

I would try to get a year in as long as you feel safe and competent. All floors have stress.


76 Posts

I'm still here in ICU. I'm taking it day by day and soaking in all the learning experiences I can while I am here. When I float to other units I try to picture myself there and see if it is something I would like in the future. I haven't found anything yet, but I am staying positive that I will be able to find my fit and that my ICU experience will pay off. Thanks for all your responses!