Tele experience prior to ICU?

Specialties MICU


Hello all- I'm a med/surg nurse with 4 years experience and I'm very interested in transferring into critical care. I have applied to a few positions that have advertised the requirements as being "at least 1-2 years med/surg experience" only to find that they will not consider me because I have no ICU experience. One nurse recruiter told me that I'm better off going into telemetry first and then I would have a better shot getting into ICU.

I'm becoming frustrated beacuse I am a good nurse and I have a hunger to learn more, I know I could do well if they would just give me a chance! I hear of new grads getting into programs in the ICU all the time. Why won't they take a good, solid experienced med/surg nurse??

I have some tele experience, but I'm definitely not a pro. I guess my question is, should I try to get on a tele unit first?

Some nurse managers would rather take a new grad into the ICU than somebody that's been out of school for a few years. I am in NO way saying it's right nor wrong. Just being up front.

Do you have ACLS or PALS? Those could definitely help make you a stronger candidate. Charge experience? Float experience? Have you talked to the ICU managers at your local hospital to see what they look for in somebody that's wanting to transfer from acute care to a critical care environment? Ask the nurse managers if they ever allow folks to pick up in their units (with the understanding that you wouldn't receive ventilated, sedated, unstables, balloon pumps, etc. but that you would take care of 2 step-down type patients. Not all managers are into this but I know where I am....we often do this with internal people that have expressed interest in transferring to the unit so that we can get a feel for the person before accepting the transfer).

Good luck!

Specializes in ICU.

I'd say if you are wanting to stay in the same hospital and they're telling you to go into tele first, then I'd go into tele first.

I had 6 months tele experience before I left & went to another hospital for an ICU spot. My experience was so minimal that I really don't think it made much of a difference.

Just depends on the hospital you're looking at.

+ Add a Comment