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PICU New Grad~

by newnurse123 newnurse123 (New) New Nurse Student

Has 2 years experience.

Hey there, I am a new grad nurse starting in the PICU! Would love ~ANY~ advice you guys have to offer! I am worried because I still have one semester left, but our preceptorship which is 200+ hours could end up being online. Any advice or tips of what to look at, common medications to know in the PICU, or really anything that nursing school doesn't cover that I could review beforehand. I understand it will be a huge learning curve, and I just want to be the most prepared I can be!

Thank you!


Specializes in Pediatrics, ICU.

PICU nurse here! I literally just posted this for another nurse starting out in PCICU. I've utilized every single resource I've listed here plus the assistance of my coworkers because they are AMAZING! Please know that it'll take time getting to feel comfortable with your patients but you should also have a healthy fear of your patients always. Expect the unexpected EVERY DAY!

I started as a new grad in the PICU. We do PCICU patients and ECMO as well. The best part about it for me were all the new grad boot camps that we were required to attend. We did lots of education in addition to being out on the floor learning. I will say that things that were helpful for me in addition to orientation were a few apps and websites that helped. Even now I still use as refreshers.

If they offer STABLE at your hospital, take it. It's awesome. The Cardiac STABLE course for that matter as well.

https://www.openpediatrics.org/ is one of my favorite websites to use as well. They also have Youtube videos specifically for peds cardiac patients.

There's an app call PICU essentials, I use it alot. It helps make sense of some of these diseases that I very rarely come across. You can also find more resources here. http://www.pedsccm.org/clinical-resources.php

Heartpedia is one of the coolest apps I have ever seen and it's very helpful for understanding what a normal heart should look like, what a CD heart looks like pre and post repair. https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/patients/child/encyclopedia/heartpedia

Epocrates is also beneficial, mostly for drugs. You will need to know lots of different pressors and inotropes. Why you're using one drug v. another and what exactly they do for the heart.

At the end of the day being a stand out orientee is all about asking questions, recognizing when you need help, and speaking up when you feel you need something that will help you grow. 

I wish you all the best. Let us know how it goes for you.

Edited by MsKris_CarolinaGirl


Has 2 years experience.

Thank you SO much! I am also starting out on a PICU/PCICU! So all of this advice is extremely helpful 🙂 Thank you again!


Specializes in Pediatrics, ICU.

You're very welcome! Go do great things for the tiny humans ❤

ForTheKids, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Nurse.

4 hours ago, newnurse123 said:

Thank you SO much! I am also starting out on a PICU/PCICU! So all of this advice is extremely helpful 🙂 Thank you again!

Hey check out my recent post for more tips for the PCICU! I got a few comments there and I think you would benefit from it! Good luck!


Specializes in PICU RN, BSN.

This is great advice, thank you MsKris_CarolinaGirl!