Thinking about transferring. Just looking for some input.


I'm a medical floor nurse, and I'm beginning to feel like it's time for a change. I work in a small hospital, our medical floor has some tele and our average census is 24 patients. I was an LPN in this setting for 4 years, and I've been an RN now, still on this floor, for 2 1/2 years. I'm ACLS certified, but on our floor we don't read our own tele strips or EKGs-the ICU tele tech and ICU nurses do. The hospital is in a smallish town that is flanked by larger cities with many hospitals, several with level III trauma center designation. My hospital doesn't do open heart, transplants, or spinal or neurosurgeries. Just to give you an idea of my experience.

I would like to move up to an ICU, but I'm not really interested in the ICU in my hospital. It is very small, they typically only have 3-5 patients in the entire unit, and they do a lot of floating to step down (which wouldn't be bad at all) or throughout the hospital, or sometimes they just get called off. I'm interested in moving on to a larger hospital, in their CCU or MICU.

I have a couple of concerns. I'm not a new grad, so I've learned some old-dog tricks. I'm concerned that my medical floor experience will be expected to count for more than it does. Yes, I'm ACLS certified, but no, unless a patient is in sinus rhythm, ST, Vtach, or SR with PVCs, I really can't read it. I know my drugs that I usually give, but I've never hung any cardiac meds.

Why hire me, not a new grad but not a nurse with any sort of ICU experience, when you can hire a new grad for less money, who hasn't learned any bad habits, who has no preconceived notion of how a unit or shift should run?

I guess what I'm asking is, how do you all feel about your new hires, particularly your new hires who are experienced nurses, but who do not have any prior experience in a critical care setting? How can I make myself more attractive to a CCU/MICU, and what common pitfalls or mistakes do you see in nurses with my background, so I can be aware and try to avoid them?

Thanks for your time!


29 Posts

Specializes in ER, STICU, Neuro ICU, PACU, Burn ICU. Has 8 years experience.

Bluegrass, here's how I feel about new hires. I really don't care how much experience you have as long as you are willing/eager to learn, motivated, and not afraid of hard work. Bring those attributes to the table in any nursing job and you'll be fine. Give me a 2 year nurse with a strong work ethic over an "experienced" nurse that avoids going near the pt any day.

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma. Has 7 years experience.


I've been in an ICU for almost two years now, after over five years on various floors in various cities and states. When I moved (yet again!) I decided to go for critical care.

I have seen on our unit both new grads and more experienced nurses get hired and I have heard from my manager that he has been burned hiring nurses with experience, but his only reason for that is they tend to not want to learn our way of doing things.

I think when you interview, stress your strong points, such as assessment skills, experience working with patients and family members, leadership skills such as precepting on your floor, and your time management skills (or anything you bring to the table).

It's important though, to also stress how flexible you are and how excited you are to learn critical care nursing. You want to join X hospital, after researching all hospitals in the area because you believe they have the technology and staff to give the best care in the area, and you want to learn your new skill set from them and be a permanent part of their team.


1,188 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Thank you both so much for your replies. I appreciate your perspectives and your suggestions.