Questions for the ICU Nurse manager


I am currently a medical technologist (aka lab geek) and I am getting ready to graduate in December with the hopes of securing a position in the ICU. I sent an introductory email to the nurse manager of the ICU/Neuro ICU (They are sister units and the nurses float back and forth) and her response was pretty encouraging. She said they didn't have any current positions but "that could change at any time. Regardless, if this is where you want to be, we can discuss options to get here." We set up a meeting for next tuesday.

This is not technically an interview, as my email was totally unsolicited and they dont have open positions. However, I know it kind of is. I want to present myself as utilizing the meeting as my opportunity to learn more about their unit, what challenges I might face as a new grad on a speicalty unit, etc...I feel I've been pretty forward by initiating the correspondence, so I don't want to walk in there in a three piece suit with a resume and 50 reasons why she should hire me. What suggestions do you have for questions/topics I might discuss with her that: 1)really do give me good insight into their floor AND 2)are questions you would ask in an official nursing interview that are NOT schedule/benefit/money related.

I appreciate any suggestions you may have!

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Ask about the orientation -- how long is it? Do you get a dedicated preceptor? Two preceptors? Random preceptors? Is there a skills checklist for you to work on during your orientation?

What qualities in an applicant do they look for as indicators of future success in their unit?

What is their staffing like? Their turnover? Any problems with staffing or turnover?

If you're offered a tour, look for the staff working there? Do they seem happy? Frazzled? Are they helping one another or sitting playing Candy Crush while someone else runs around like a chicken with the head cut off? Does it seem as though there are adequate supplies? Are the staff friendly to you?

With new grad interviews, the manager is likely looking for someone she wants to work with: engaged, friendly, easy to get along with, hard worker, team worker. They can teach you the kills you need, but they cannot teach you honor, honesty or a work ethic.


40 Posts

You want the skinny then you need to speak to the nurses working in the unit. It would be good to speak to both a newer nurse who recently completed the orientation as well as a more experienced nurse. managers/Directors don't always know what really goes on in the unit. You get a better understanding by talking to the peeps.