Me as I reblog this from under my covers
Hi- I have a few:
Some hospitals do not hire new RNs into the ICU (mine usually does not). They usually require at least one year of experience. Most of the people that I know who have transferred to ICU are on a med/surg unit for about 2 years. I would suggest making the most of those two years. When you apply and interview to work in an ICU they will not only be looking at your clinical background but also what you’ve done on your unit. Get involved in a hospital committee, get your ACLS certification, be a coach to a nursing student or new nurse (if offered), orient and get some experience as a charge nurse (if you can). You should also sign up and take any critical care type classes that are offered by the education department (code blue training, tele, etc.). These are a few things you can do to show your involvement on your current unit and also gain some positive experience.
If you’re planning on applying to a hospital that accepts new grads into the ICU:
If you have the time- consider working in an ICU as a tech or even volunteering. This way you’ll be able to see what it’s really like and you can make a good impression. You could also try shadowing on the unit or doing your nursing preceptorship in the ICU you’re interested in. Also, you should get your ACLS certification. Finally, I would talk to your instructors- if you are planning on staying in the area of your school and even applying to hospitals you did clinicals at- they may have some tips and be able to help you get a job in an ICU setting (by putting in a good word for you when you apply). If you’re not planning on staying in the area- they still might have some words of wisdom for you.
Really good info for ICU hopefuls!
when my tech tries to delegate something to me when I’m drowning and they’re taking their time doing one thing.
Yes of course! What I’ve done is take courses/classes through my hospital. ACLS is a bunch, PALS, NIHSS, etc. We had random talks that offered them, also a preceptor certification class offered them. I would take those as they came up in addition to my unit’s requirements and had plenty my first time renewing my license. I also went to the national Nursing Symposium one year and got 17 hours from that alone. I personally haven’t used books or websites because I’ve had an sufficient amount through work and symposiums, retreats, and talks at the hospital. I just made just to keep all of my certificates from each event in a professionalism folder I made for easy reference when it came time to renew.
The way it works differs from state to state. Some do a random auditing of people who apply to renew, some make you submit proof of CEU’s with your application, and I’m not sure about what other ways they make sure you have enough, but there are probably more. You just acquire them as they come up, keep your documentation, and about 3 months prior to renewing, look to see if you need fill in any gaps!
Do any seasoned nurses out there recommend any books or websites?