I am currently a Junior in nursing school (BSN) and have applied for two nurse extern positions. I've already had my interviews for both jobs and been offered a job in both positions. I do not know which position to chose that would best enhance my ability to become an ICU nurse and later a CRNA in a few years. I inquired about a third extern position at a main (level 1 trauma) hospital in their medical ICU, but they are only hiring one extern and required the extern to have at least 1 year of hospital NA experience before considering them (I don't have this experience yet). All of these extern positions are within the same health system, but at different hospitals. I'm not allowed to do meds as an extern and I cannot work with blood as an extern in this healthcare system.
First extern position: Nurse Extern on a Cardiac Telemetry Stepdown unit. Contingent position at a level 2 trauma hospital with ~400 beds and ~35 on the unit. I would be assigned roughly 5 or 6 patients at full load (after being trained and feel comfortable). I would be doing lots of hands on stuff and was told by the manager that this would be excellent experience on a busy med/surg floor and I would learn the basics I would need to allow me to be an ICU nurse later down the road. This hospital does a lot of stuff and does not like to send their patients to the level 1 trauma (main) hospital unless they absolutely have to. The nurse manager also said once a month she could get me down in their ICU as an extern as long as it's okay with the ICU manager.
Second extern position: Nurse Extern on a Medical ICU unit. Contingent position at a much smaller level 3 trauma hospital with ~200 beds and 12 beds on the unit. I would be working directly with the same nurse preceptor each day. The type of patients they receive (according to the manager) is CHF, GI bleeds, resp, CAD, kidney, post CA, etc. Nothing too crazy, otherwise the patients get sent to main. People also know this hospital is level 3 trauma, so they don't get a lot of super high acuity patients. They get a lot of people with falls and fractures and also people with things like severe influenza at their ICU. The nurse manager also said she could get me into their Neuro/Surgical ICU if I wanted which get patients with Stroke, brain hemorrhages, surgery complications, aneurysms, etc. but thought I would like the medical ICU later as I want to be a CRNA.
I know the ICU extern position would look better on paper when I'm applying for an ICU position as a nurse, but it's at a much smaller hospital. The patients they receive aren't as intense as even a level 2 trauma hospital. I don't want to be in an interview for an ICU nurse after I graduate and have them ask me what I did as an ICU extern at a level 3 trauma hospital. The list of things I could say I did or learned would not be very extensive... I have to let both managers know which job I will take within four days as that's their last day for hiring externs.
Can anyone please give me any advice on which position to accept and why?