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What experience is best next?


So I am a nurse with

2.5 years tele/cardiac step down

1 year traveling tele/med-surg

3 years emergency small non trauma hospital that was STEMI certfied for caths and stroke certified.

Before I became a nurse I worked 4 years as a nurse aid/secretary in a 65 bed level one trauma emergency department.

I'm wanting to get back in to moving around a bit, but trying to stay in a 200 mile radius of my husband so I thought agency might work out for me....but in the long run I'd like to travel again too. Since I'm trying to stay near my husband I am kind of open to working a partime job in a facility but think I might be ready for a change out of the ER. I originally went into the ER because when I traveled tele and medsurg jobs were all that I qualified for and that limited the job pool...also prior to the ER job I had no pediatric experience. So I'm wondering do I do ICU? If so what kind would be best because the teaching hospital in the area has neuro ICU, cardiac, etc. Do I try to land a pediatric only ER gig or is there a pediatric floor I should be looking in to? Or do I try to find an OB/L&D because pregnancy greater than 20 wks is something I have no experience with at all? I am PALS, ACLS,BLS,PEARS, NIHSS certified. I am looking to get TNCC or CCRN certified which one is better? Is there other certification that would also be beneficial? Thanks in advance for the information!

I dont think you can get CCRN certification without having worked in an ICU for 2 years then you would be eligible to test.


Specializes in Perianesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

CCRN certification requires not only a recent amount of critical care experience, but also a manager or supervisor to sign off on the amount of hours, relevancy, and recency of experience.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

TNCC is a two day course with a four year cert. Definitely worth while and a good investment.

There is the PCCN cert for Progressive Care Nurses and the relatively new CCRN-K knowledge exam for nurses who apply critical care knowledge in their work but do not work directly with critical care patients. you should review the test blueprints to see which one applies best your experience. These certs, TNCC and CCRN will make your profile standout when submitted for travel nurse positions. Get both if you can.

ICU experience would make you even more marketable as a travel nurse. As far as choosing between CICU, neuro ICU or even a peds ICU just apply for whichever one piques your interest the most. There are always lots of travel job openings for L&D.

Edited by icuRNmaggie

TNCC is helpful for work as a traveler in the ED. Plenty of travel jobs in ED, and they pay better and have more choice and less competition than medsurg generally.

If you want a new challenge, ICU would be just that. You don't have to pick a subspecialty ICU in the beginning as your teaching hospital should provide an internship with training in every ICU they have. Learning ICU will keep you on a good learning curve for a couple of years and then you can reevaluate your situation.