New grad CVICU nurse here. I'll speak on my own behalf and my own perspective with no particular bias. The hospital I joined had an 8 week long internship that was filled with didactic training that ranged from ACLS training to foley insertion/art line use. After we were done with that, we spent the next 8 weeks training on the floor with a preceptor. The preceptor would take patient loads all the way from ECMO patients that are singled, to fresh hearts, MAZE procedures, VAD patients, step down patients, etc. They have us go into weekly classes and in-services that help us understand hemodynamic stabilizing and reading wave forms on PA caths.
I've been off orientation for 3 weeks and I've taken and managed patients that are on multiple drips like dobut, levo, neo, milrinone, etc. I've sat and spoke to the intensivists and cardiologists to learn what they want and how they want it.
I feel as though if a new grad has the tenacity to enter into a critical care floor, they're already a cut above the rest. They're willing to expand their knowledge immediately after nursing school and place themselves into an uncomfortable position. The best thing for a seasoned nurse to do isn't to sit there with the attitude of "back in my day" and rather be nurturing. Average nurses can't function in an ICU situation, I know that because I've seen float pool nurses take stepdown patients and drown. The nursing process hasn't been dumbed down, the focus of care has simply changed and the nurses are evolving into what's expected today.