Guidance from the experienced please!!!

  1. I have a dilemma. I am hoping to apply to a crna program in about a year. I am currently a telemetry nurse, and as most of you know you need 1-2 yrs of crit care exp. before crna school. Here is the problem, I have been offered a position at a ccu, but the position is one hour away. The job that I currently have, which is about 20 min way, says that they may float me to the ICU as needed. This does not make me an ICU nurse, though. So, what would you all do? Take the CCU position that is far away, or stay where I am and wait to be possibly floated to the ICU? I have 2 children,and will be in school at a University for my bsn. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you
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    About RNCRNA2BE

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 79; Likes: 5
    tele nurse

    13 Comments

  3. by   zoozoo
    Quote from RNCRNA2BE
    I have a dilemma. I am hoping to apply to a crna program in about a year. I am currently a telemetry nurse, and as most of you know you need 1-2 yrs of crit care exp. before crna school. Here is the problem, I have been offered a position at a ccu, but the position is one hour away. The job that I currently have, which is about 20 min way, says that they may float me to the ICU as needed. This does not make me an ICU nurse, though. So, what would you all do? Take the CCU position that is far away, or stay where I am and wait to be possibly floated to the ICU? I have 2 children,and will be in school at a University for my bsn. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you
    First of all, you need SICU or MICU experience. I don't think you will be a good candidate with CCU exp. Then you need prefferably Level I Trauma hospital. BTW, where in NJ do you live? Are you far From big hospital?
  4. by   Lucy54
    zoozoo, you think MICU is better than CCU????? RNCRNA2B, you need ICU experience regardless. In my opinion, CVICU provides the best preparation, but that is just my opinion. Is there not a hospital closer to home that has an ICU position available? You may not be very competitive if you have only "cross-trained" in an ICU, but talk to the school to see if they will still consider you before you make any decisions. Good Luck!
  5. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Quote from Lucy54
    zoozoo, you think MICU is better than CCU????? RNCRNA2B, you need ICU experience regardless. In my opinion, CVICU provides the best preparation, but that is just my opinion. Is there not a hospital closer to home that has an ICU position available? You may not be very competitive if you have only "cross-trained" in an ICU, but talk to the school to see if they will still consider you before you make any decisions. Good Luck!
    Thank you for your responses, but just to clarify, the position is that of cvicu. it is about 35-40 mins away, but the other position is 15-20 mins away. I have 2 children of preschool and school age, the tele position is days and the cvicu is nights. Apparently it is best to work nights when you have smaller children? I really appreciate the advice from those of you who are experienced.
  6. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Quote from Lucy54
    zoozoo, you think MICU is better than CCU????? RNCRNA2B, you need ICU experience regardless. In my opinion, CVICU provides the best preparation, but that is just my opinion. Is there not a hospital closer to home that has an ICU position available? You may not be very competitive if you have only "cross-trained" in an ICU, but talk to the school to see if they will still consider you before you make any decisions. Good Luck!
    To clarify, the position is cvicu. it's 35-40 min away, while the tele position is 15-20 mins away. the cvicu position is nights and the other is days. I also have 2 children, of pre and school age. Thank you to all who respond. I really appreciate advice from those who are experienced.
  7. by   zoozoo
    Lucy54!
    I guess I said that MICU is better because that is what req. for the college I applied to. Some other programs may req. different exp. I was even told that some colleges take people with ER exp...
  8. by   Lucy54
    That's true! Just goes to show how different all of these programs are. That's why it is really important to speak with the particular school that you plan on applying to before making any big decisions.
  9. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Thanks all again for the advice. I don't really understand how cvicu wouldn't do for some schools, because many times cardiac patients have multiple comorbidities, but they'll put them on the cardiac unit since this is a priority at this time. I will definitelylook into the school to which I am applying and check their criteria.
  10. by   SC-Tele-RN
    If the CVICU can give you experience with swans, a-lines, vents and etco2, iabp, etc. then you should definitely choose that unit. That is the type of experience the programs want you to have because not only do you learn your vasoactive drips (like the back of your hand) and fine-tune your critical thinking skills, you also learn the equipment and how to interpret the numbers, which are things they want you to have a good handle on BEFORE you start the program. I worked in MICU before I started in CTSU (cardiothoracic surgical -- post CABG pts), and I got lots of experience with vents, but not much with lines or even with drips (they have a tendency to use dopamine a lot in that MICU, and you see other drips less frequently). I work in a large hospital with many ICU units, and those with the equipment and drips that you really need to know were found in SICU and CTSU. We also have a CCU, but the equipment is not really utilized as much there.

    I don't hear of lots of people from our CCU going to anesthesia school... the majority of our candidates come from CTSU and SICU. A few from MICU end up going to school, but based on my experience on both units, I am certain that CVICU or CTSU will better prepare you for school, and also look more attractive on your application. I guess the exception to this would be if you worked at a smaller hospital where your MICU is sort-of a "catch-all" that takes all kinds of patients, and you might see more equipment and a wider range of vasoactives there.

    Also, if you take the position where you are only "floated" to the MICU, I am not sure an admissions board would consider that as full-time experience. If you are only floated to that floor, would you receive the intense orientation that they would give to their full-time staff? That's imperative. I did a 9-week orientation in MICU and another 9-week orientation in CTSU. Both were absolutely invaluable. I used to work at a small hosp in SC that would sometimes float nurses to their MICU if they were short-staffed, and not only did these nurses NOT receive any special training, they were only assigned "stable" ICU pts without pa caths or drips that had to be titrated.

    Good luck in your endeavors!
    Last edit by SC-Tele-RN on Aug 18, '06
  11. by   flightgirlrn05
    If you want to eventually get into CRNA school, it's probably best to choose a FT ICU position. "Floating" to the ICU will be kind of sketchy to most schools because it is difficult to determine how much experience you really have. It may be a sacrifice but it will be worth it in the end. As far as nights being the ideal job with children, I'm not sure. Once you get in there and you decide it doesn't mesh with your lifestyle, you can always request to go to days if a position opens up. Good luck!
  12. by   RNCRNA2BE
    well, the hospital that is closer says that I can transfer to ICU in 6 months. That doesn't sound bad?
  13. by   flightgirlrn05
    No, that's not bad. I'm not sure what part of NJ you live in, but if you leave near Philly, there are plenty of ICU jobs you can apply for and probably get.
  14. by   RNCRNA2BE
    yeah, it is near philly. I'm gonna be starting at Villanova this fall for my bsn, so there's still time to apply to crna school, so 6 mo and transfering to icu seems ok, and may actually be better with school starting. Thanks for the reply

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