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Prepare for ICU?

LadyPotter LadyPotter (Member)

I'm interested in ICU nursing, and had some questions however no one has ever given me good answer.

I wanted to know if I want to eventually work in the ICU, which field of nursing would prepare me for it? I have been told to be in the ED for a few years to gain experience and be prepared, but I've also seen on here, Med-surg. Which one is it? Or does it matter between the two?


Honestly, my hospital prefers med/surg. However, I don't think either could be a detriment to you. Working on a floor and the ED are very different. ED is get them relatively stable or into rosc and get them to the unit. A floor will help you with your a&p and pathophysiology of some common diagnoses. You also see the long range progression and treatment. The ED will get you into codes and some super sick people, but also some very *not* sick people.

ICUers who came from ED, what was your experience?

I'm a new hard and jumped right into the ICU. I think this is the best way. You just jump in and learn as you go. I've seen nurses who have experience now and started in the ICU and some who came from the floor. The new ones who started on the floor are behind the ones who jumped right in.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I agree with ICURNBSN. New grads tend to acclimate quicker because that are taught right off the bat to think at ICU level. My coworkers that came from med/surg seemed to struggle a little more because the environment is so different. That's not to say ICU is a good fit for all new grads, but in general new grads have done well at my facility.


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