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Tele nurse wanting to transition to ED; advice?

Emergency   (422 Views 8 Comments)
by shakabrah shakabrah (New Member) New Member

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My fellow nurses! Would appreciate any advice/tips on this...

I've been working on the cardiac tele unit for about 1.5yrs, I was fortunate enough to get hired quickly after passing NCLEX. At the time I took the job because of course as a new grad, one can't be too picky right?! Anyways now that I've been there over a year, I would like to transition into the ED. In nursing school unfortunately, we didn’t get to choose our preceptorship, but I had the opportunity to do a few rotations in the ED and I absolutely loved it, even though it was challenging and chaotic. I reside in California so it isn't easy to go into a specialty without prior experience like it is in other states. One gets lucky if they can get hired at a hospital right off that bat. Though I am super grateful for the opportunity I was given, I honestly cannot stand to stay where I am any longer. I was advised to stay put for at least a year, and now that I have, I've begun applying to positions in the ED; of course, most of them want at least 6mo-1yr of ED experience, which I do not have. On a thread someone asked a similar question and someone advised to get the CEN certification, which I currently am studying for. Any other words of advice or encouragement out there? I'm getting to the point where I'm applying far from home. I am very willing to commute or relocate for the right opportunity. I've even been considering out of state, but then that just gets a bit more complicated so I'm trying instate first. If I did go out of state, any recommendations from my fellow travel nurses?; I hear some states are better than others. Nursing is a tough gig and its especially tough when one doesn’t vibe where they’re at, I am getting desperate. Any prior floor nurses in my position that transitioned, how’d you do it? Thank you guys and gals!

Edited by shakabrah

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PeakRN specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

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You may have an easier time getting into the ED if you have some experience in the ICU. I'm not sure if having your CEN will really help that much if you have never cared for any emergency patients (whether it be in the unit, prior EMS, et cetera).

You have to bring something that an ED manager wants, whether that be experience in critical care, pediatrics, oncology, prehospital care, or whatever else they feel like the emergency departments needs at that time; unfortunately the myth that a year of med/surg is required for application to a specialty is outdated. 

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Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question!

I wish it were that easy, nurses here (in California) face the same predicament trying to transition to ICU or into any other area by that matter from floor nursing. People that are floor nurses, especially tele nurses are usually lifers, or just move on to different bedside positions. And yeah I get what you're saying, I think what the person meant is that by getting that certification, it shows some kind of incentive, as some hospitals do at times cross train if budget and staff allows it.  I've been looking into volunteering at fire department (idk if that'd help). Oh and I meant I was encouraged to stay at least a year because it doesn't look that great on a resume to quit so soon haha. I have some friends that moved out of state and went directly into the unit they desired, gained the experienced and came back, but others have had some luck without having to go through all of that, but did move to more rural areas. 

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My advice, keep sending resumes. I was a post partum nurse for 6 yrs (first job out of school cant be picky) I hated every day of it. Had someone (an icu rn) help me with my resume and I am now currently working in an ER. They needed staff and my resume came in. Had a great interview and now here I am. In a perfect world an ER wants experienced staff.. sometimes though, they ahave to just settle for staff. I am glad they did cuz I always wanted ER. And finally feel as if I am home. 

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Hey jjaye, thank you for your response! And that’s a great idea! I think I have the perfect person in mind to help me with it. And yes I am hoping for that circumstance to wiggle my way in 

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On 9/7/2019 at 4:06 AM, shakabrah said:

I've begun applying to positions in the ED; of course, most of them want at least 6mo-1yr of ED experience, which I do not have.

Have you had any communications with your own facility's ED? What's their take on it?

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amyjm333 is a RN and specializes in Emergency/Trauma Nurse.

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I would take the above advice and talk to the director in your current hospital’s ED. They are often happy to hire nurses with experience- even if it is not in the ED. At least that’s how it is in my state. We hire even new grads, so a nurse with a year or two of tele is valued! 

 

There will be a mindset change necessary to transition to the ED from floor nursing, though. When our patients walk in, we are starting from scratch. We don’t have diagnoses and all testing is yet to be done. I have not done any floor nursing so I don’t know how long that mental switch actually takes, but several of my most beloved coworkers came down to the ED from the floor and they’ve all expressed that “it’s very very different” and that they had to change the way they thought and how they prioritized patient care. 

 

Good of luck in your transition! Being an ED nurse rocks!! 

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CKPM2RN has 3 years experience as a ASN, EMT-P and specializes in Med-tele.

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I'm med-tele and now I'm crossing into ED which is where I want to be. I got there by letting my house sup RN know that I am flexible and willing to go do the grunt work in other departments. I was sent down to be a RN assistant during a major emergency that had pulled most of the ED RNs into two rooms. I was sent down a second time a week later as a 1:1 for a patient and the ED nurse manager noticed. We chatted, I'm now being cross-trained. 

This is what worked for me, perhaps it will work for you. Put yourself out there, go meet the nurses in the ED, talk to the managers about shadow days, etc. You could get there. 

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