Decisions decisions... ER vs PACU

  1. Soooo... I'm a relatively new RN. I graduated in May of this year. Since graduation I have been working full time on a VERY busy med/surg/tele/peds floor. I took the job for a number of reasons, but primarily because I like the atmosphere of the floor, the seasoned nurses take pride in mentoring new grads, and you truly get to see a ton of things. We have a really fast patient turnover rate so that has forced me to get a handle on time management very quickly.

    I didn't go to nursing school to be a med/surg nurse though, and even though I like it OK for right now, I do eventually want to do something else.

    A couple of options available to me are:

    1: waiting out a year on m/s then transferring to the ER. I'm about 90% sure that this would actually happen. I have floated to the ER and the staff and director and I get along really well. Plus, I'm one certification away from having all the requirents to work in the department (I have ACLS, PALS, ENPC and I take TNCC in January).

    2: transfer to ICU in February, spend 6 months there, then hopefully transfer to PACU. The facility requires PACU nurses to have a minimum of 6 months ICU experience before going to PACU. And PACU openings are hard to come by.

    I really would like to give PACU a shot, but it would take a while to get there. I might be stuck in ICU for a couple years, and although I like ICU, I don't care for the culture of that particular unit.

    On the other hand, I fit in pretty well in the ER. The staff and I have a good relationship and they ask for me when they need a float. But, I'm not sure that I'm cut out to be a full-time ER nurse. The nurses down there are amazing. They are super nice but I feel like I will never catch up to their expertise level.

    So any advice about which path I should pursue?

    Oh, and PACU would be better hours too.

    The floor I work on now is about 50 beds, the ER is 10 ER beds / 10 fast track, and the PACU is 12 beds. So we are talking about a pretty small regional hospital, but a very well respected one.

    Oh, and I have experience as a CNA for 2 years before I went to nursing school in acute geriatric psych, and I worked in LTC as a LPN for about 8 months while I was in school finishing my RN.
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    Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 1


  3. by   alissan6
    I am in your same position almost. Please let me know what you decided and how it turned out for you. I cannot decide between PACU and ER. PACU i have met the people and love the unit. I have very little interactions with the ER.