How old were you at the time of acceptance?
what was your overall gpa?
lower than most other applicants
what score did you get on the GRE?
309 and 5.0 on the writing
How many years did you spend in the ICU?
3, but I had 6-7 year in nursing total by the time I started
Would you recommend taking part of research to boost my application?
Do research only if you want to do research. It wouldn't hurt, but nobody in my class has done research. I think it would be better to focus on getting the best ICU experience you can and doing well on the GRE if your school requires it. Get CCRN, CMC, CSC, etc. Do rapid response, be a code nurse, charge nurse, and focus on getting into committees (some schools like this). I was part of the patient safety committee.
Would you recommend volunteer work to boost my application?
Nobody has in my class has done research, but it wouldn't hurt. Again, I would focus on the other things listed above
Very Important: what is the fastest way to get to the ICU? (I was recommended to take part of the New Grad Star program)
Apply to as many ICUs as possible, regardless of whether or not they have a new grad program. My manager liked when people took initiative to take a critical care course on their own.