Shopping for a New Job at 6 Months

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am wondering how marketable I am for relocating to a higher acuity critical care setting. I'm a recent graduate w/ 6 months experience in a 12 bed MICU/SD unit at a trauma III hospital. I am ACLS PALS and TCAR certified. So far this hospital's census has been low with an underwhelming acuity level, not to mention the very outdated charting system that makes growing as a newish RN difficult with the amount of time required to navigate the systems ambiguity. I fear that if I wait too long to get into another critical care setting I will be thrown to the wolves, whereas now I still may be eligible for more transitional orientations. Should I wait until I have a year experience to start shopping for a new critical care job?
    Thanks for your time!

    Dear Shopping for a New Job at 6 months,

    Marketability as a new nurse starts at 1-2 years and it is recommended to stay in one place for at least one year. Winter is coming, and the census will go up. You will still gain valuable experience over the next year. If you are asking about eligibility to a new grad residency, you most likely are not eligible because you are employed. Usually the criteria is having graduated within the last year, and not having been employed.

    If you are asking about eligibility to a transition orientation to ICU, sometimes called an ICU fellowship, you may or may not be eligible since you already have ICU experience. Often the fellowships are designed for MedSurg or Tele nurses transitioning to ICU.

    With 6 months experience, you are in an in-between status. Also keep in mind that the hospital you are working at invested in you and is still investing in you.

    Overall, it is probably best to sit it out for at least a year, and then evaluate your options.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,517; Likes: 4,494

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  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Just FYI, TCAR is not really a certification - there is no exam, no competency verification. It's just a two-day educational course (and a wonderful one at that, I highly recommend it!). If you want to have a trauma certification, look into taking the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC). Good luck!

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