I currently work on a med/surg type ICU and have been there for almost a year. It seems recommendations for ICU experience always mention seeking out level 1 trauma centers and I work at a level 2. My unit sees a lot of vents, post surgical pts, GI bleed, ischemic strokes, DKA, severe sepsis, pts with multiple comorbidities, etc. I have not yet had a chance to participate in a code (we maybe have < 1 per week on the whole unit), no opportunity to work with IABPs, Swans, CRRT, or monitoring of ICP patients. Do get to work quite a bit with vents and vasoactive/insulin gtts, sedation, etc. I know there have been quite a few RNs on this unit who have gone on to CRNA school whose only critical care experience was from here, so it's not a matter of whether or not I can get accepted with this type of patient acuity. However, I don't want to be put at a great disadvantage by not being exposed to more critical pt loads and monitoring devices. Also, it really bothers me that I have not had any real life code exposure, just mock codes for training. Probably seems like a no-brainer to move into a higher acuity ICU, but would be interested in hearing from SRNAs/CRNAs whose ICU experience were similar to mine and how it affected their schooling and practice afterwards.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the unit I am on now, awesome coworkers and nurse manager, we help one another out and seasoned nurses are very supportive of new RNs and sharing knowledge, teaching moments etc. If NA school were not the goal, it would be tempting to just stay because of the people and environment. And the docs aren't all that bad either