competitive NICU

  1. [font=impact]i will be graduating from nursing school in may. the hospital i would like to work at only has 3 openings in the nicu. for those of you already work in the nicu, do you have any tips or hints as to how to impress the interviewers? i know that they will be asking critical thinking clinical questions tho.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   USA987
    Quote from bsngrad2004
    [font=impact]i will be graduating from nursing school in may. the hospital i would like to work at only has 3 openings in the nicu. for those of you already work in the nicu, do you have any tips or hints as to how to impress the interviewers? i know that they will be asking critical thinking clinical questions tho.
    i don't work in the nicu, but work l&d. you could at least get your nrp before interviewing. even though you don't graduate until may, apply now!!!!

    good luck,
    christine
  4. by   dbscandy
    As a seventeen year vet of the NICU, I know one thing you should not say in the interview. Please don't say you want to work there because you love babies! We have more laughs about this one!

    Seriously, consider that the NICU is an INTENSIVE CARE unit, not just caring for babies. It is an emotional roller-coaster for you and the parents. It is raw suffering by the tiniest of humans and sometimes, the babies survive this and their lives suck! You must always remember that there will be times when the 'operation was a success', but the baby you give the parents should have died.

    On the other hand, it is the most rewarding of days when you walk a new family to the car, buckle in that baby and wave goodbye...a baby whom you have loved as much as your own on some days, loathed on others (some of them can be little sh**ts), stuck needles and tubes into on a daily basis for the sake of life-saving science, for whom you have cried when his pain was too great for even you to bear and laughed when he made that first smiley effort.

    The science part of it, you can learn. It will take time, and you should be going into a good internship program. Realize it generally takes two solid years to be an 'experienced' NICU nurse. At that time you should be able to take care of just about any baby that rolls through the door. Your confidence will be there. Just never take them for granted...NEVER TRUST A PREMIE!!!

    Before your interview, seriously examine your heart. If you become an NICU nurse, it will never be your own again. And this is not a bad thing!
  5. by   rainbows4me
    [QUOTE=dbscandy]As a seventeen year vet of the NICU, I know one thing you should not say in the interview. Please don't say you want to work there because you love babies! We have more laughs about this one!]

    I have to laugh about this! I was recently hired into a level III NICU (graduating this June, will start in the NICU in August). At my interview (a few months ago), I felt like my interview had gone really well, felt like I had connected with my interviewers, gotten all of my questions answered, answered all of their's, etc. I was driving home, thinking that there wasn't one thing I would change about the interview, when I realized I had never said even one word about liking babies! Now, I had said much about my desire to work with families in transition, my love of working with new mothers and families as a post-partum doula, my conflict of loving intensive care units but missing the interactions with the patients, but not a word about the babies! I guess what you say must have some truth because I had a message on my phone an hour later offering me the job !

    I later talked with my soon-to-be manager about my interview (after I was hired) - and she said that she really looks for the 'right person' - meaning whole person for her unit. She looks for a blend of the top notch academic record, life experience, and very strong ability to communicate. I've been told (correct me if I'm wrong) that the NICU is an amazing blend of technology and acuity (ICU), and true bedside nursing (emotional/teaching/support of the new parents). So I was asked many questions about my experience with people throughout my life (nontraditional nursing student with previous careers), my feelings about ethical issues, my personal reasons for wanting to work in the NICU (a very good question to ponder before you interview - for me it is fairly compex), and my communication style. Be prepared to interview with several people at once, spend lots of time (over an hour for me) and to interact with all of them. Start looking early - I know that NICU positions seem to be rather competitive and disappear quickly. Good luck to you!

    rainbows
  6. by   llg
    As an experienced NICU nurse (mostly CNS positions that included interviewing perspective employees), I am in general agreement with what the other posters have said.

    However, I think it is OK (desirable even) to talk about having a committment to neonates. The trick is to talk about it in such a way that you don't give the impression that you think NICU is all about cuddling cute babies. If you appear too "pie in the sky idealistic" or give the impression that you don't appreciate how difficult and stressful the environment is, you run the risk of giving the impression of having unrealistic expectations. And unrealistic expectations often lead to disillusionment and a quick resignation.

    Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in NICU, what characteristics of the patients fascinate you, why you think you are well-suited for the position in ways that don't sound unrealistic or naive. In the right context and in the right words, an expression of committment to the babies can be powerful. An underlying committment to the babies is something I always looked for when interviewing job applicants -- just as long as it was combined with realistic expectations.

    llg

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