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New BSN looking for ER/ICU Job

Emergency   (995 Views 4 Comments)
by kruse kruse (New Member) New Member

893 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hello Everyone,

My girlfriend is graduating as a BSN this May and we are looking for her first job. That being said, her goal is to become a flight nurse, which we understand takes 3 - 5 years or so of ER/ICU experience. As a new grad we've heard that it is very hard to get into one of these departments without at least a year of experience on a Med Surg or Tele floor.

We've also wondered whether or not it would be more beneficial to do an ER or Critical Care Nurse Residency Program for her first year out of school. The hope with this is that it'd make it easier to get hired in an ER or ICU afterwards.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. We're just trying to figure out which path would be best for moving towards her goal. Also, if you could share any tips for either option that'd be appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

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Dallas_RN has 13 years experience and works as a Trauma Administration, NREMT-Parmedic.

2,067 Visitors; 107 Posts

Either residency will provide a great foundation, I'm biased and say to go the ED route but that's me.. It's well worth it and will get the new grad acclimated to critical care nursing and thinking. Flight nursing will require some experience, and some more education as she will also have to become an EMT-Paramedic (most flight agencies will train in house). Best of luck to you both. :)

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amzyRN works as a RN-Emergency Services.

3 Likes; 16,596 Visitors; 1,141 Posts

If I had to do things again, I would have done ICU prior to ED. You will get ICU in the ED but if you already have ICU experience you will be better at management of ICU patients faster. Then you won't have to deal with the lower acuity stuff for as long as if you have no ICU experience prior to getting more challenging assignments. I personally enjoy higher acuity but it has taken me almost a year to get put in those rooms versus people who come with ICU experience have already been given higher acuity assignments. Both ICU and ED nursing are wonderful. I've only done ED, but I love when I get real ICU patients (intubated on multiple drips that become unstable when they are moved). I enjoy the challenge.

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5,016 Visitors; 44 Posts

For flight nursing, ICU experience is more valued. So if I were her I would start in the ICU right away if it was available. As amzyRN said, transitioning from ICU to ED would be an easier transfer than med/surg or tele. If she starts in med/surg or tele, she might have a hard time trying to transfer into ED after that, considering the ED often requires critical care experience or other ED experience, which is currently the boat I'm in. I started in med/surg-tele and can't seem to leave, since ER and ICU want "experience." So go the ICU route first. Good luck to her!

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