Trying to transfer to ICU - What to expect?

by najlandoe najlandoe (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Tele. Has 1 years experience.

I am a relative new grad - 6 months of experience on a tele unit. Ratio is 1:6 with about 2-3 discharges and 2-3 admits per day. So most days I have between 6-8 total patients, many are total care. Tons of patient turnover. Always have a tech though with a ratio of 1:12. 

Background: BS in Public Health, AAS in Nursing, currently working on BSN to be completed in January 2022. During nursing school I worked as a nurse tech in float pool - I worked on tele, PCU, med surg, ICU, ED, ortho, neuro, COVID, obs - for 18 months. I maintained a 4.0 throughout all of nursing school. When I applied to my new grad program I asked for ED, ICU, or ICU step down. I was not offered any of them - but was offered a telemetry position. I took the tele position, but have struggled. All the new grads have struggled and some have already left. We were told they would keep us at 5 patients for a year, but that went out the window after about 3-4 months. I love cardiac patients, love cardiac drugs, managing drips, etc. but many of my patients are simply medsurg patients with a history of afib, or MI etc. Most days I am able to manage my patient care, get my charting done, don't have to stay too late after 19:30, and many days I enjoy my work but I do not love it. Some shifts I stress cry because there isn't enough time to do all the things I need to do for 6 patients - I realize that is pretty par for the course for floor nursing and most of the time I am able to prioritize my time.

An ICU nurse that I have worked with has recommended me to the ICU director and told me that I would be great in the ICU and to try to transfer as soon as possible. I reached out to the director and he asked to set up a quick interview. There are many reasons why I am interested in ICU - I want to learn critical care, the 1:2 patient ratio is attractive, I want to actually have the time to detect status changes in my patients. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to prepare for an ICU interview?



Specializes in ICU, travel. Has 13 years experience. 49 Posts

Go in there and feel the director and manager out. Be honest about what you want. You're starting new and no one expects much. It's just important all parties feel it's a good match.

Neuro ICU is special. You have the potential to think, "Humanity doesn't deserve to survive," and, "Existence and the human mind is a miracle," in the same five minute span. 

It's a chance to see brain machinations and failures, and where the hardware and software of the brain and spinal cord begin and end. I think it's cool.