I think PACU nursing is a specialty as is Med-Surg orr ICU...
I personally had one year of Cardiac Step-down after graduating RN school. Then was lucky to land a job in a PACU (they were SO desperate). They PREFFERRED that I had little experience. They preceptored and mentored me the way they wanted (and did a great job). I was taking call by my self after 3 months of orientation and supervison. Since we take care of ICU's patients and all critical as well as "regular risk" patients, having a ICU background would be a help, but not necessity. You'd lose a lot of great nurses by overlooking other qualities such as ability to problem solve, work autonomously, and react swiftly and calmly in emergencies. It is high stress but always fun and interesting.
I came with the ability to interpret cardiac monitors (as well as the basic skills) and took ACLS before even hearing of a job opening. They had me take PALS within the 1st 6 months. I have been in PACU over 2 years and just took my **CPAN exam!!! I have about a week for the results to arrive still (5 week wait they said!
Hope this helps. I am AA prepared and have just enrolled in an on-line BSN program at Jacksonvill U. I will be happy to answer any more if nneded or requested. Good luck with the research. Would love to hear more about that myself.
**CPAN= Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse