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Prior to PACU, what experience is better ... ICU or ER?


Specializes in PCU / Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

So I'm currently a travel nurse working in telemetry. I have almost 2.5 years experience as a staff ms/tele RN and add to that almost 6 months so far on assignment in cardiac tele. My next assignment in May will be in the tele float pool and I plan to continue on to a couple of other assignments based on locations I still want to experience (i.e., California). Once I'm done with travel nursing (likely at the 4 year experience mark), I would like to return as a staff nurse in an ER or an ICU setting (if ICU, I'm inclined more towards cardiac or cardiothoracic given my tele experience). I've recently decided I'd like to eventually work in PACU, but I'd like to work in critical care and become certified appropriately before then. I am not comfortable personally working in PACU until I have critical care experience. Besides, most PACU job ads seem to want this experience also.

What are your suggestions to which direction I should go given my goal?

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Specializes in Critical Care. Has 7 years experience.

I think you're on the right track with your plan. I recently started a new position in PACU (end of January) with 3.5 years of ICU and ED experience.

While my experience in both specialties is no doubt helping me, I think I would say my experience in ED is what has helped me more ... Hard to say though, and PACUs vary!

Good luck :)

I think you are headed in right direction. I'm taking a break from ICU traveling of 2.5 years. I just started a PACU job last week with 5 years ICU experience....so far so good. I believe ICU experience would be beneficial for anyone deciding to go to PACU There is one lady that has been in this PACU for 2 years that came directly from med/surg. I personally wouldn't have done that when I left med/surg, but to each their own.