Overall experience thus far and advice please


I've been a practicing nurse for almost a year and pretty much settled in now. Not as many questions to ask, I help out the new nurses, try to deal with the politics of my hospital, and hope the previous shift did not leave me with a mess. I am still learning from day-to-day, but med-surg is not where I see myself at this point.

I do not want to rush out of of MS, but the ICU is where I see myself long term... when I get the chance to take care of a more acutely ill patient, I love it. So interesting, well until they are transferred out. That is where MS stinks, you have the patient you are trying to keep stable before they are transferred, discharging one home who needs to be taught how to do dressing changes, getting a post-op, while two others throw up, and one can't pee.

Currently, I work in an average sized community hospital on a surgical/medical/tele unit... our intermediate care is small (7 beds), and our ICU has 12 beds I believe. We must first train in intermediate care in order to get to the ICU and from what I understand this will take at least a few years due to our size. I truly like the hospital, my coworkers, hours, pay could be better (but I did not become a nurse for the pay), and not want to leave.

I am starting by BSN this year, as it seems to be the trend, plus I will need it for furthering my education. So what to do? Those who have been in my shoes or similar I would love to hear your thoughts. To wait or not to wait?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

never been in your situation exactly, but I have moved into different positions while staying in a hospital environment. I would consider school a prioity, and if you have time, take critical care courses like TNCC or ACLS (if not already certified). Ask to float or pick up extra shifts in IMC when possible. If you have an Educator, ask that person to include you in various training situations. I have helped several nurses progress to critical care this way. They get to meet and know various staff members and staff realize their potential.

In other words, do some "little things" to prepare for the "big picture", which is critical care.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

I got into ICU because the ICU head nurse kept seeing me bring patients to her and give decent reports. Once they know who you are, that's your foot in the door even if the job isn't open yet.

Join the local AACN (critical care nursing association) and attend meetings and educational offerings. Get seen. if you have a spare day to work extra, ask the nurse mgr down there if you can float in and help out. Classicdame has some great ideas. Eyes on the prize.