Need your input on this


Hello All,

As a new grad who is interested in CRNA eventually, I am thinking of starting my career in a CCU and then switching to SICU to give me more exposure and a solid experience before I apply to get my masters in Nurse Anesthetist.

A facility made me an offer to start with them in their very busy SICU. I decided to pass on this opportunity for better ones in the future because it's rotating shifts between nights and days every 2 wks. So mean time, I am thinking of starting my career with the CCU. Then after having one yr under my belt, switch to SICU for a few yrs before I apply to get my CRNA degree.

Here are my questions:

What do you think of the idea?

Is this possible to do?

How easy is it to switch form CCU to SICU?

Extra info:

The CCU is a day shift- acuity vary form less acute to critical


150 Posts

Specializes in NICU, CVICU. Has 4 years experience.

I think you should have accepted the offer in the SICU. You will be working with surgical patients as a CRNA. The busy SICU is definitely the way to go. Can you get that offer back?

I don't see the benefit of starting in a CCU to switch a year later to an SICU, you would be much better served (as would your patients) by doing your orientation in the SICU and learning everything you can in that unit from the start.


135 Posts

I can definitely see why you would not want rotating shift --day to night and back again. YIKES! I work nights and that kind of messes me up, but if I had to switch back and forth, I'm not sure how my body would like that!

As for starting on a high acuity unit, that all depends on what you think you can handle and how the orientation is. I started as a new grad in a high acuity medical ICU and I have done fine. But I had a really good precepting experience and the culture in our unit is very helpful and 'family' like so lots of support from everybody. At least that's how I've felt as a new grad. Very quickly became a part of the team, and that's the best way to learn and get experience (in my opinion. . . because that's how it's happened for me ).

But you have to do what you're comfortable with. And honestly, the rotating shift thing would probably have been enough for me to say 'no' to a position if that was the case.

Not sure anything I said was very helpful. I have been accepted to CRNA school and will start this coming school year. Get your experience and apply, even if you think you won't get in. You never know how things turn out :typing:


53 Posts

I think as a new grad if the opportunity was afforded to you to go to SICU you should have taken it. Don't let the day night rotation deter you from the learning that you will need to get into a CRNA program. The day/night rotation will be hard at first, but will give you the opportunity to experience all procedures, travels and paces the unit will offer.


75 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

How should I ask for the opportunity back after I told the manager that I accepted another offer?


75 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Ok so the job is gone! Now what?

Should I just take the CCU job or continue looking for other jobs with SICU? Should I take the CCU and while working for them look for SICU jobs?


102 Posts

It is certainly possible to get into school without SICU experience - I did with CCU/MICU. However, if you believe your ultimate goal would be to eventually switch to SICU I would have just gone there and see if you could pick up shifts in the CCU. If its the schedule/shift that turned you away from SI you can always tell them your interest for a specific schedule and maybe they will come back and offer a different shift when one becomes available. Otherwise your CCU experience will definitely help for school as long as you're getting high acuity pts and lots of experience with swans, iabps, vasoactive drips, vents, ekgs, etc...


53 Posts

Remember ultimately, the goal is to obtain an excellent ICU experience prior to going on to CRNA school. I have to tell you this but you are the one who will determine how your experience is achieved. This means, having a good preceptor, asking many questions during your time in the ICU, and reading anything that you can get your hands on related to critical care. Even if the offer is no longer available, just remember the previous information that I have given you. Also, the grass is not greener on the other side...continue to apply and shadow in units. Good luck!


42 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

All -

I agree with the above posts. I was in a similar position as you, and I took a MICU, rather than a SICU position. I hindsight, I should have done the SICU. If you can, keep looking for a surgical ICU. If not - take Sleeper's advice - most of your experience is what you make of it, anyway.

One note - in my hospital, the CCU is barely 'Critical Care'. Very few really sick patients (and then they get transfered to the ICU, anyway...). And, some Nurse Managers have a habit of overstating acuity. Just a heads up.

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