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stuck on med-surg floor!

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by MissBrn MissBrn (New Member) New Member

MissBrn works as a registered nurse.

2,235 Visitors; 48 Posts

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I have a goal to get into anesthesia school next fall. Only thing is I need ICU experience asap. I started nursing in an ICU and stayed for 5mons. I have been on a med-surg floor for 3.5 yrs. now. Not only do I need the ICU exp. but I want to go back to critical care. I have had 4 interviews and only one offer. The offer came from a different hospital who wouldn't match my pay rate so I had to turn it down. They were WAY under for my exp and BSN, in my opinion.

I began thinking it was my interview skills but was told by an interviewer that "my interview was fine but the concern was that my ICU exp. was years ago." How much knowledge I retained was the issue, even though they still train you and offer refresher CC courses! So why is that a new grad can get a ICU job w/ no exp. and a RN with four yrs. exp cannot? I am ACLS and PALS certified with a BSN degree. I thought my manager might be holding me back....for staffing reasons...so I explained to her the importance of my career move. She seemed supportive.

What can I do? Any suggestions? I feel like a CCRN trapped on a med surg floor with no way out. Has this been a problem for anyone? I've told some interviewers of my plan for anesthesia school and some I have not. I have to told all that I do have goals of furthering my education. Should I just act like I plan to be a bedside nurse 4 ever---highlight my "new grad" skills??? I am running out of ICUs to interview for! lol

Thanks!

Edited by MissBrn
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netglow works as a RN.

33,501 Visitors; 4,412 Posts

Just to let you know that you are not crazy.

A few months back, around my area there were many ICU/ER spots open for NGs. I did not apply because everyone I know who knows anything said that is a killer in more ways than one for a new grad. I took the advice. So. I think that you are correct in your idea that maybe they don't want someone with some real experience. They might have space for one or two experienced high level ICU nurses on a shift, but that's it now for many places. When they look to hire new, it's real new. Cheaper by the dozen rules these days. They can go thru 10 NGs to find one that makes it, then the lower salary/bene years is great for them. I hear talk about being malleable too. ICU is getting to want non-critical thinkers somehow, and NGs are just that because they are NGs (I am one). This is sick and scary.

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MissBrn works as a registered nurse.

2,235 Visitors; 48 Posts

If you are a new grad I'd say go for the ICU and stick it out for at a year. Then if you decide to go to CRNA school you got that down. + everyone likes to hire someone with ICU experience. Honestly the worst thing I found about it were the younger nurses who have been in the ICU---very cliqueish. Lots of horizontal hazing going on. Which is stupid when you are caring for critically ill patients!

The hospital wouldn't really lose $ if I moved to the ICU as it would just b a transfer so my pay would be the same. You are right about malleable NGs. It is true that out of a group of ten maybe one or two actually stay. There is a messed up ethic in the units some times. But I have mangament to be great and very nice.

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netglow works as a RN.

33,501 Visitors; 4,412 Posts

You are right about that.

I did 5 weeks ICU in school and the "little ones" as I call them because they were very young, were constantly holding back info from each other etc. Walking by the nurses station while the NM was there, and fake having a convo with me about not understanding why another nurse (name clearly and loudly stated) would choose to do something a certain way. I remember one little one drilling me about my Swan patient, she was overflowing with jealousy, apparently the other little one, had lied to her when she asked what my pt coming up was about. Very childish. I thought, I cannot work with such a young unit. I'd end up ripping them apart, withholding snacks, making everybody cry and getting fired :lol2:

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5,180 Visitors; 170 Posts

Why did you leave ICU the first time around? Did you complete orientation? Maybe the fact that you already left critical care once has something to do with it.

Also, why would they spend the time, effort and money to train you if they know you're just going to move on after you get your required ICU time?

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MissBrn works as a registered nurse.

2,235 Visitors; 48 Posts

I always thought I moved on because as a brand new nurse I just wasn't fast enough for ICU. I was in a trauma ICU. I was lead to believe..no, I was told I wasn't fast enough...by my "educator". And I often caught my "preceptor" rolling her eyes at me while I fumbled around organizing lines and tubing. Hey--I liked my stuff organized! I found out that my preceptor gossiped about me behind my back. I stuck this out for the entire orientation period because I wanted to be there--on my own. But, being new and not yet having the "back-bone" really played it's toll on me. My last day of orientation was a disaster. The educator I was with was ten-fifteen minutes late for work so I felt VERY rushed by her. Upon entering the patients room, the patient was obtunded. This was at at about 0800. We did sternum rub, clearly she breathing....checked the monitor, O2 Sats, called the Doc. etc.... Well...the patient finally said "What.....whaat do u WANT!!!!!" It was very odd, to say the least. Anyhow, this was now 0815 and the educator said, "Did u listen to her lungs yet?" I said No not yet. So she proceeded to gripe about how bad my time mgt is and how we are really going to be behind now. I mean really!!!! DO ya think LISTENING to her lungs was the main priority on my mind at that time!!!

Long story short---I was ready to stay there and learn and grow. I was belittled and made to feel "stupid" so I got scared and left, thinking I needed to get more experience on a regular nursing floor. In fact, I did not. I just needed more supportive mentors. I did complete the orientation.

I agree with you and I did think about why would they hire if they knew I was going to leave. That's why I opted not to include that anesthesia school was a goal of mine in recent interview. It didn't seem to make a difference. But really, I would require less training time than a new grad and I am already ACLS certified..so no need for that either.

When they ask me at interviews why I left the ICU I always tell them "to get more time, skills, etc. under my belt". I am wondering now if I should just buck up and tell then the truth....the truth about what goes on in their unit.

So you wonder why I would want to go back to that.....because I have a back bone now and that @h*^& doesn't phase me. I love critical care and that's where I want to be.

Edited by MissBrn
typo

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Rabid Response has 5 years experience and works as a RN.

7,679 Visitors; 309 Posts

I would not mention my plans for CRNA school in any ICU interview. From what you posted here, it seems as if you only want to put in one year and then leave for school. If I were a manager and thought that about you, I would not hire you. It takes longer than a year to train up an ICU nurse, and it makes no sense to invest time and money in a nurse who isn't planning on sticking around.

I'm also not sure that I would list the 5 months in ICU as critical care experience in interviews with outside hospitals. If you started as a new grad and left right after your orientation ended, then it was pretty much a post graduate clinical rotation. I can't see a manager counting that as ICU experience; they might even take it as evidence of your unsuitability for ICU. Better to round your med/surg experience up to four years.

Why can't you get transferred to ICU in your present hospital? That's how most ICU nurses I know have done it. Have you talked to the ICU manager there about transferring? What about trying to transfer to ED first and then ICU? You can get critical care experience in the ED, which would make you look more desireable for hire in ICU.

I have to think that there's more to your story. Perhaps you burned some bridges when you left the unit three years ago after your orientation. It may be that you have to take a job elsewhere for less money to get the critical care experience you need for CRNA school. If CRNA is what you really want to do, it may be worth the sacrifice.

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MissBrn works as a registered nurse.

2,235 Visitors; 48 Posts

"Why can't you get transferred to ICU in your present hospital? That's how most ICU nurses I know have done it. Have you talked to the ICU manager there about transferring? What about trying to transfer to ED first and then ICU? You can get critical care experience in the ED, which would make you look more desireable for hire in ICU."

That's exactly my question and just what I am trying to do. There are multiple ICU managers and multiple ICUs where I work. To get hired you have to apply online (internal and external). I think talking to the managers might work if I were buddies with them but I don't know them on a personal bases. Managers are supposed to go through the whole HR & interview process. I have talked to some during my interviews though, lol.

And, honestly no. There's no more to the story than what I've posted. You'd think I might of burned some bridges but I'm not really the bridge burner type. So, nope that's not it.

The 5 mons I worked in the ICU was an actual job, not a clinical rotation through school. I was already graduated from school. I took the NCLEX during that time and worked there as an RN. I had already done my preceptorship through nursing school.

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1,302 Visitors; 47 Posts

This seems to be your overall problem

"The offer came from a different hospital who wouldn't match my pay rate so I had to turn it down. They were WAY under for my exp and BSN, in my opinion"

You already have your own hidden agenda, as you said yourself you don't plan on sticking around and you just want your ICU Clinical experience under your belt. Your holding yourself back at this point. Take the offer, get the experience and move on. I don't quite understand how you want your pay rate matched, when you have to still get re-oriented to the ICU environment. It's all within your power, just suck it up and get it done.

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Tait has 13 years experience and works as a RN-MSN Ed, Pain and Spine.

6 Articles; 28,065 Visitors; 2,093 Posts

So why is that a new grad can get a ICU job w/ no exp. and a RN with four yrs. exp cannot?

Because they took the job for the pay offered.

Tait

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SummerGarden has 10 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and works as a Assistant Dept Manager.

36,241 Visitors; 3,003 Posts

i agree with the two above me. similar to your love for the icu, i love the er. unlike you, i tried and failed as a new grad out-of-school to land a position in my beloved unit. as a new grad the closest unit i could land was er obs and cardiac step-down while floating to the main ed sometimes. also, like you i too had another agenda, where i was in need of specific experience to make a career move. so, one day i tendered my resignation at a hospital i worked at for years after i landed an er position somewhere else.

the job is located several hours away and is $1.00/hour less pay. in fact, the pay and commute has put me and my family on a very tight budget that prevents us from doing or having anything outside of the basics since we are a single income family. however, the work experience i have gained and continue to gain will help to further my career goals to join the army as an er nurse. gl!

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MissBrn works as a registered nurse.

2,235 Visitors; 48 Posts

Sundrop after reading your post I realize that I probably am the one holding myself back. Thanks for that perspective.

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