New Grad in NeuroICU


Hi Everyone, I'll be starting as new grad in NeuroICU. Can you guys share some tips on how to be successful in ICU setting. What are the common type of patients are seen in NICU? Is there specific things that I should really know? What are some resources you guys use or used to help you in NICU? TIA!

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 4 years experience.

NICU generally stands for neonatal ICU. TIA is going to mean transient ischemic attack very soon, not thanks in advance.

I've worked in neurosciences for the last 3.5 years and just moved to the ICU about a month ago. You're going to learn a lot of different medications, drips, and see a lot of strokes and brain injuries. The best advice I can give is to always do your assessment, trust your instincts, and read up on the medications and drips as you encounter them. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but don't think you learned what you needed to know from nursing school. It's going to be a tough year, but don't give up.

Best of luck in your new job!

Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

Hopefully you are in some sort of new grad residency that includes classroom hours as well as intensive clinical with top notch supervision/preceptors. My clinical care residency program was six months in duration.


1,578 Posts

Neuro can change at the drop of a hat. Thoroughly understand how to do the stroke scale. Thoroughly understand a GCS scale.

You will get everything from the easy stroke patient who received TPA and is required to be on your unit for 24 hours but symptoms have resolved, to the giant head bleed who ends up herniating.

Neuro ICU can be tough. But it’s an awesome experience. Some days I love my Neuro icu patients and others, I’m not ready for the crazy that comes with it. Aneurysm patients in spasm can be a special kind of crazy!!!

Good Luck!!!

PhyllisMSN, MSN, RN

1 Article; 54 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Department, Informatics. Has 30 years experience.

Congratulations on starting out in this challenging field. Nurses have to be extremely astute when caring for neurocritical ill patients. Neuro patients status can change by the hour.

Tips for the ICU:

  • Do not administer any medication that you have not thoroughly researched.
  • Always try and follow your preceptor's schedule.
  • Always be positive, show initiative and ask questions.
  • Ask for help
  • Do not be a know-it-all.

gravy94, BSN

27 Posts

Thank you everyone for great tips! I am in nursing residency program that includes class time and will be given books as well!

Has 10 years experience.
On 1/28/2019 at 3:08 PM, missmollie said:

NICU generally stands for neonatal ICU.

My hospital calls it NICU as well. It’s kind of confusing for the reason you stated.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

164 Articles; 21,189 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Moved to neuro ICU forum