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How can I find a hospital that will train me as a psych nurse?


Dear Donna,

I have been a psych nurse since I graduated school three years ago. I want to be a CRNA, but I am having difficulty locating a hospital that will train me as a critical care nurse. I have New Jersey and Pennsylvania licenses. Can you give me any advice on how to go about this?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Melissa,

If this is something that you definitely want to do, start doing some informational interviewing with nurses already working in critical care, specifically ICU. Find these nurses at your local facility, at the facility where you wish to work, through word of mouth, and through the state chapter of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses . Find out who has good critical care internship programs in your area.

You should also do some informational interviewing with CRNAs. This will help you to be certain this is the path you wish to follow. It will also help you to make contacts and get some advice about how to move forward with your career goals. Contact them through the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists .

When there is something you want to do, it makes sense to start rubbing elbows with those already doing that thing. That means you should get out to some AACN chapter meetings as a guest. Networking is a great way to find and get a good job, especially when you are having challenges. You might even consider joining the association now if you have made up your mind to pursue this specialty. Read the article “How to Change Specialties” at

Be sure to also get out to career fairs, recruitment events, and open houses in your area. It’s a great way to learn about what is being offered in your area and to make face-to-face contact with recruiters and human resource professionals.

Where there is a will, there is always a way. Persistence and determination will always win out in the end!

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Preorder (through July 2008) your copy of the The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses for only 24.95 at To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit

By | 2008-07-15T00:00:00-04:00 July 15th, 2008|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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