You did it! You graduated nursing school and are now eager to start your nursing career. But where should you start?
If you’re interested in critical care, you may be wondering if you can work in the ICU as a new graduate nurse. Here’s your answer.
Can a New Nurse Work in the ICU?
Yes, new nurse can start their nursing career in the ICU. It’s a competitive nursing specialty for new nurses to get into. But it’s doable, and many new nurses have found success in the ICU.
Where New Grad Nurses Typically Start Out
More often than not, new graduate nurses will start their careers in a medical-surgical unit.
This allows them to adjust to the hospital setting and build a foundation of nursing knowledge before moving on to a more specialized unit that deals with more critical patients.
That being said, despite what older nurses might say, med-surg is not the only nursing specialty new grads can start in.
So if your heart is in work in the intensive care unit, you can make that happen. It will just take some effort.
Getting Hired in the ICU as a New Nurse
Here are some things you need to keep in mind about trying to work in the ICU as a new nurse.
Check Hospital Policy on New Grads Working in the ICU
Every hospital is different, so it’s important to check with the hospitals you’re interested in to see if they have any policies regarding new grad nurses working in the ICU. Some hospitals allow it, while others don’t. There may also be certain requirements that you need to meet before being considered.
Make Sure You’re Ready For the Challenge
Working in the ICU can be extremely demanding, both physically and emotionally. If you don’t feel like you’re ready for that kind of challenge, it’s okay to start in a different area and then transition to the ICU later on.
Do Your Research
If you decide that the ICU is right for you, do your research about what type of unit would be the best fit. For example, there are medical ICUs and surgical ICUs.
There are also different ICU specialities like transplant ICU or cardiac ICU. You’ll want to make sure you find one that will give you the hands-on experience you desire.
You Can Do It!
While getting an ICU nursing job as a new nurse may be competitive, it’s definitely possible. If you put in the extra effort to research and apply for jobs, you will eventually find an opening.
Once you’re in, make sure to give it your all and prove that you’re an asset to the team.
And if you need help finding nursing jobs, make sure to check out my nursing job board. It’s updated daily with the latest openings. Good luck!