CCU RN applying to NP school thinking of going to ER

  1. Hi all,

    I am a CCRN-CSC who worked in our CICU for 8 years and left due to issues on my unit (staff, management, etc). I have spent the last year and a half doing clinical research. This is not for me. Good experience and all, but not my cup of tea. Anyway, the CICU is still having issues and I just applied to NP school. So I am thinking of applying to the ER for more experience, but I am really nervous, expecially about the kids. I have 10 years of critical care experience, none of it pedi. My question is, has anyone else out there done this? Is it a good move for school? Will I be okay with the kids? This is a really busy ER at a level 1 trauma center. They see it all. It could be a great experience. I love cardiac, especially cardiac surgery, but I crave something new. Please give me your thoughts. I really appreciate it!
  2. Visit gest1971 profile page

    About gest1971, BSN, MSN

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 10; Likes: 2
    Clinical Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 19 year(s) of experience in Cardiovascular critical care, research

    12 Comments

  3. by   carachel2
    I made myself switch from CCU and cardiac rehab to the ER when I started NP schools. The kids still scared me, but a good hospital with you give you a thorough pedi orientation. Going to the ER was THE best thing for my skills needed for NP school as I quickly learned standard workup for abdominal pain, chest pain, STDs, etc. I had enough after two years and quit, but I would definitely say it was needed and very very useful. We rarely saw abdominal pain and STDs in the CCU and sure as heck not in cardiac rehab!
  4. by   Sheri FNP-C
    I agree with carachel2. I think it would be wonderful experience. I think a urgent care facility could also be great experience since you would get quite a few routine matters yet still get MIs and CVAs on occasion.
  5. by   gest1971
    Thank you soooo much! I do think it would be a good thing for me. I just need to get over my anxiety and jump in. As I get older, it gets harder to get myself to try new things, so this is just one more of those things I guess. Again, thanks!
  6. by   carachel2
    Quote from gest1971
    Thank you soooo much! I do think it would be a good thing for me. I just need to get over my anxiety and jump in. As I get older, it gets harder to get myself to try new things, so this is just one more of those things I guess. Again, thanks!
    My anxiety factor was HUGE too and honestly it wasn't my cup of tea at ALL. But it taught me good, quick assessment skills and then more detailed second survey skills and I saw things I hadn't seen while living in my little cardiac bubble. I got in, got some experience and then got the heck out.
  7. by   greatgirl123
    hello, how is FNP school, which school are you planning on going to. I am thinking of going to fnp school also. I live in the nyc metro area...
  8. by   jlcole45
    The great thing about ER nursing is that you get to see a wide variety of injuries and illnesses in all walks and ages of life.
    This type of learning is invaluable. Also another really great thing about the ER is that you can see advanced procedures up close
    be it suturing (and often assist) or looking over the Doc's shoulder reviewing Xrays, going with your pt to CT, etc.... And in my
    experience sometimes the small rural hospitals have even better opportunities because they are so small and when something
    is going on you are involved because you have to be. That's just my experience after 20+ yrs of nursing in both very small to very large hospitals. The majority of my experience is in ED and ICU.
    When I decided to go back to FNP school I returned to the ED because I knew it would bring me up to date on current treatments and practice - at least in an ED setting. Good luck.
  9. by   gest1971
    I have had a great experience in out CICU. I was charge, did code team for the hospital, Rapid Response Team, and participated in many a cardiac surgical emergency. I have applied to the ER because I want different experiences, not more of the same. I was told they prefer ER experience. I guess I am bummed because I thought my 10 years of critical care experience would help me out a bit. I am in Massachusett. I applied to UMASS for NP school Won't hear for a while. But I really want to be working back at the bedside (preferrably nights) when school starts.
  10. by   gest1971
    What schools are out your way? I am in Massachusetts.
  11. by   jotond
    Hi Gest1971 -

    I am in the same boat as you, worked CVICU for years and CCU prior to that, moved into clinical research (which is what I am doing now) and thinking of NP school! I also applied to several EDs to broaden my skills and possibly prepare for school, and I was told the same, no ER experience, no job. I applied for a per diem position at another hospital in their medical ICU and trauma ICU, so at least I will be with patients instead of completing paperwork all the time. Did you find out about school yet? Or did you get a different job?

    -Niccole
  12. by   MissDoodaw
    Hi-
    If you can get the ER experience go for it- it helped me in NP school and opened several interviews for me after school. Plus you will see some crazy stuff you will never see again.
  13. by   carachel2
    Quote from gest1971
    Thank you soooo much! I do think it would be a good thing for me. I just need to get over my anxiety and jump in. As I get older, it gets harder to get myself to try new things, so this is just one more of those things I guess. Again, thanks!
    I posted to you quite awhile ago and meant to tell you to NOT tell your new colleagues in the ER that you are in NP school. The ER is a different crew and they will roll their eyes behind your back to no end when you undoubtedly goof up and proceed up your learning curve. CCU is GREAT experience for reading EKGs and assessing all things cardiac, but I tell ya...i had never assisted a doc for a pelvic exam and didn't know the standard protocols for UTI, abdominal pain, etc. Heck, just getting the drunks out of their clothes and into an exam room was a challenge for me! CCU patients are, for the most part, so neat and clean and already nicely packaged for you by the time they arrive.

    Keep it on the hush hush about the NP thing and slip in quietly. As you take new patients during the shift, pretend they are your patients as an NP and ask yourself what you would order,etc.
  14. by   MissDoodaw
    Quote from carachel2
    I posted to you quite awhile ago and meant to tell you to NOT tell your new colleagues in the ER that you are in NP school. The ER is a different crew and they will roll their eyes behind your back to no end when you undoubtedly goof up and proceed up your learning curve. CCU is GREAT experience for reading EKGs and assessing all things cardiac, but I tell ya...i had never assisted a doc for a pelvic exam and didn't know the standard protocols for UTI, abdominal pain, etc. Heck, just getting the drunks out of their clothes and into an exam room was a challenge for me! CCU patients are, for the most part, so neat and clean and already nicely packaged for you by the time they arrive.

    Keep it on the hush hush about the NP thing and slip in quietly. As you take new patients during the shift, pretend they are your patients as an NP and ask yourself what you would order,etc.
    This is good advice...unfortunately.

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