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New nurse - ICU

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by sara9494 sara9494 (New) New Student

Specializes in RN student. Has 3 years experience.

I was just wondering how easy or hard it is to get a job in the ICU fresh out of BSN school with no experience. Thanks in advance. šŸ˜Š

Undercat, BSN, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in Retired. Has 41 years experience.

It depends on your geographical location and number of nursing programs wherever you apply.

sara9494

Specializes in RN student. Has 3 years experience.

Can I ask what number of programs has to do with it? Also, I guess I'm more inquiring about whether ICUs hire nurses with no experience or whether that was a "more experience required" specialty. Basically, are there "entry-level ICU nurses?" T.I.A.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

Depends on the hospital and how competitive it is in that area. If there are lots of new grads, its going to be a lot harder to land that job. Again, depends on the hospital itself

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

10 hours ago, sara9494 said:

I was just wondering how easy or hard it is to get a job in the ICU fresh out of BSN school with no experience. Thanks in advance. šŸ˜Š

If you're able and willing to move absolutely anywhere, chances are probably good. If you need to stay in a specific area, then it depends on the job market in that area.

Jasonat6034, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 3 years experience.

Most of the hospitals in my area of Ohio do hire new grads. However, it's typically new grads who just did their senior preceptorship on that particular unit. Actually, this happened to be the case for most if not all of the people from my program who did their final rotation on an ICU. From my experience, ICU nurse managers don't typically hire new grads who did not already do clinicals on that unit.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

The number of schools matter because the more new graduates there are in a given area, the harder it will be to get a job in the high demand specialties. Those generally include ICU, L&D, NICU and ER. The better hospitals will not hire a new grad directly to the floor, but rather have an internship/residency that consists of class learning, simulation learning and active precepting on the floor as well.

Without going into the controversy of it, most of the time you are required to sign a 2-3 year contract in order to get hired into one of these programs. In this moment, during the time of Covid19, many hospitals have suspended their residency programs and will not hire new grads. Others are still doing so, but the training is scaled down and largely online.

As mentioned above, willingness to move to areas with great need is more likely to result in getting the specialty you want. The majority of major cities have ample people to choose from when hiring new grad nurses and it can be extremely competitive to get your foot in the door.

Best of luck!

If you can, get your foot in the door with a tech job in the ICU - easiest way to vet the unit and get experience.

I'm gonna echo what everyone else said - you'll have to be geographically open-minded if you want to get into the ICU (or have connections). If you want it really bad, you can absolutely do it.

On 7/16/2020 at 5:05 PM, Undercat said:

It depends on your geographical location and number of nursing programs wherever you apply.

What if I live in San Diego and literallyĀ apply everywhere across the United States?

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

12 minutes ago, yourgoodneighbor said:

What if I live in San Diego and literallyĀ apply everywhere across the United States?

If you apply everywhere you will definitely get a job somewhere! Just no guarantees that it will be in a place you want to live or a hospital with a good new grad program/supportive environment, etc. I live in SF Bay Area and my hospital does hire new grads in ICU and gives extensive training. You can message me if you want more info šŸ˜ƒĀ I'm not sure about southern California, but you could ask around if you know people who work at the hospitals in your area. Good luck!

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

8 hours ago, LibraNurse27 said:

I live in SF Bay Area and my hospital does hire new grads in ICU and gives extensive trainingĀ šŸ˜ƒĀ 

Odd that you say this, as many new grads from that area claim, here on AN and on nursing groups on FB, that hospitals in that area of CA are generally not hiring new grads period, much less to ICU or othe specialty. Glad to hear that it may work out for some

Edited by Hoosier_RN

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

12 hours ago, Hoosier_RN said:

Odd that you say this, as many new grads from that area claim, here on AN and on nursing groups on FB, that hospitals in that area of CA are generally not hiring new grads period, much less to ICU or othe specialty. Glad to hear that it may work out for some

It is definitely a hard place to get a hospital job as a new grad, especially in SF, East Bay, Peninsula, Silicon Valley, South Bay... my hospital is in the outer Bay Area for sure, about 40 mins to an hr outside of SF. It's weird, they don't have an official new grad program, just a continuous list you can apply to, and sometimes they hire new grads, train them for 3 months, including extensive classes, but they don't call it a new grad program... who knows! LOLĀ