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Transferring ICUs- Resumes & Interviews

CRNA   (909 Views | 9 Replies)

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Hello! I graduated from a BSN program in December 2017. In January 2018, I started my first nursing job in a medical progressive care unit. In April 2019, I transferred to a neuro ICU. This ICU is a fairly low-acuity ICU and it is not at a trauma center. Within the next 1-3 years I'd like to start applying to CRNA programs, so I'm looking to transfer ICUs within the next month or two to gain better experience.

So I'm having a lot of trouble trying to write a resume. When I was a new grad, I listed all work experience and every single academic achievement on my resume to make it look more impressive. But now that I've been working for two years I feel like so much of it is irrelevant now.

The last time I applied to jobs, I left all my random teenage jobs out of my work history because I felt they were irrelevant and my resume would never fit on one page. They were random jobs like movie theaters and sandwich shops. While I was in nursing school, I worked as a home health aide, and then as a nursing assistant. Should I include this experience, or would it be irrelevant as well?

I also have questions about my education. So I know I definitely need to list my university and degree. Should I still list that I was a student athlete? And do I list academic awards/achievements or is that all irrelevant now? Should I still include my GPA? Do I still need to list my high school?

And then my last question is about interviews. I think I've been asked about my five year plan in every job interview I've done. I never tell them that I'm planning to go to CRNA school because I feel like they won't hire me if they know I'm going to run off to school in the next year or two. Usually I just tell them that eventually I'd like to pursue some sort of advanced-practice degree, but for now I want to stay at the bedside. Is there a better way to address this?

Any and all advice is much appreciated!

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Defibn' has 6 years experience as a RN, EMT-P and specializes in SRNA.

196 Posts; 2,564 Profile Views

Transferring to a higher acuity ICU is a great idea. I would not list any job, unless it is super interesting, other than medical experience. Some may disagree but I wouldn't bother listing CNA and home health aide. I would definitely highlight that you were a student athlete during undergrad and your academic awards. Be succinct about it. Your high school doesn't matter. Yes, list your GPA. Your response to the five year plan is fine. You don't want to tell the hiring manager that you plan to work there forever if you don't. It will make it hard to get a recommendation from them. Also, I've seen managers less likely to invest in your professional advancement if they know that you are just using their unit for a stepping stone.

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ArmaniX has 7 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Critical Care.

330 Posts; 6,811 Profile Views

EducatioN: college degree, year achieved. Boom. I’m not a hiring manager but frankly I wouldn’t care if you ran track and got an award. Irrelevant to patient care in an icu.

Once I had a year or two of RN work, I started weeding out the irrelevant prior work experience. As a new grad I included my two years as a PCT and I included my years at Disney, highlighting my customer service/leadership experience.

When 1 year new grad and applying for icu, I left off the Disney. When I applied for an NP new grad I highlighted my years as RN and roles performed.

The further you move out from graduation the less it matters what you did in high school or college. Unless you have a GPA worth bragging about don’t include it, I never have as it really is a meaningless number. My opinion, I know others will differ greatly.

As far as the 5 year plan. Mention how you want to grow within the company, such as eventual preceptor, charge, committees (which hopefully are truthful). It is OK to mention that eventually you want to look into graduate school once you have additional experience.

Edited by ArmaniX

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Defibn' has 6 years experience as a RN, EMT-P and specializes in SRNA.

196 Posts; 2,564 Profile Views

When applying to anesthesia school, GPA is about the most important number you have. Mentioning that you were a student athlete while maintaining a high GPA can only help your case. The OP is not applying for a unit position. The more one can show academic prowess the better. OP, you need to separate yourself from the herd as best you can.

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ArmaniX has 7 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Critical Care.

330 Posts; 6,811 Profile Views

30 minutes ago, Defibn' said:

When applying to anesthesia school, GPA is about the most important number you have. Mentioning that you were a student athlete while maintaining a high GPA can only help your case. The OP is not applying for a unit position. The more one can show academic prowess the better. OP, you need to separate yourself from the herd as best you can.

My bad, I was certain they were applying for a new RN position since they didn’t feel they had a high enough acuity in their current ICU.

Applying for grad school is another event.

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Defibn' has 6 years experience as a RN, EMT-P and specializes in SRNA.

196 Posts; 2,564 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, ArmaniX said:

My bad, I was certain they were applying for a new RN position since they didn’t feel they had a high enough acuity in their current ICU.

Applying for grad school is another event.

Well heck, now that I went back and read it, you were probably right. So my bad. Cheers!

OP, for applying for a new ICU position listen to Armani.

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18 Posts; 729 Profile Views

1 hour ago, ArmaniX said:

My bad, I was certain they were applying for a new RN position since they didn’t feel they had a high enough acuity in their current ICU.

Applying for grad school is another event.

I am actually applying to ICUs right now, not CRNA school. Sorry for the confusion!

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18 Posts; 729 Profile Views

On 3/17/2020 at 10:53 AM, Defibn' said:

Transferring to a higher acuity ICU is a great idea. I would not list any job, unless it is super interesting, other than medical experience. Some may disagree but I wouldn't bother listing CNA and home health aide. I would definitely highlight that you were a student athlete during undergrad and your academic awards. Be succinct about it. Your high school doesn't matter. Yes, list your GPA. Your response to the five year plan is fine. You don't want to tell the hiring manager that you plan to work there forever if you don't. It will make it hard to get a recommendation from them. Also, I've seen managers less likely to invest in your professional advancement if they know that you are just using their unit for a stepping stone.

Thanks for my advice! Unfortunately my RN career has been a bit “job-hoppy” because I didn’t get into a solid ICU right off the bat, so when I go to apply for CRNA school I’m nervous about trying to get letters of recommendation. If I transfer ICUs, I think I’ll ask my current unit director if I can stay on as casual or come back for OT shifts to stay on good terms.

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18 Posts; 729 Profile Views

1 hour ago, ArmaniX said:

My bad, I was certain they were applying for a new RN position since they didn’t feel they had a high enough acuity in their current ICU.

Applying for grad school is another event.

Hello, I am currently applying to higher acuity ICUs! Hopefully I will be applying to CRNA programs within the next 1-3 years. Sorry for the confusion!

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18 Posts; 729 Profile Views

Thank you everyone for the advice! I am currently applying to higher acuity ICUs, not CRNA programs (but I will gladly take advice for applying to CRNA programs too hahaha). Sorry for all the confusion!

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