ICU vs NICU

  1. For those that do -thanks for taking time to read all this and offer your help.

    Med-surg 11 years and feel the need for change. I am 35 and have 3 children -13, 11, & 9. My husband is supportive.

    Two job offers on the table & can't make a decision. I love critical care of any kind adult or peds -it doesn't matter! But at the time I applied I wasn't sure anyone would have me with no experience. Oneday I might like to continue on in the field to obtain NP or CRNA, if it's in Gods plans for me.

    The NICU position/offer is in a renowned hospital and I was chosen out of quite a few. I had to undergo two interviews and they seemed very picky & firm. Staff was friendly and helpful. I've only been in the unit once there. It is a very large hopsital. You have to pay for parking approx $300/yr. It's about 20miles from my house but the drive in our traffic takes about an hour or two. It is a night position, extensive orientation, including nursery as well.

    The ICU is in a small, rural hospital approx 5 miles from the house and the kids school. Offer is also at night. They see quite a bit -triple A's, etc. I've worked in their unit 7 times. They have a good team that act like family, very friendly and helpful. There is no parking fee here.

    My dilemma: I truly enjoy both so it's hard to pick one - but I will have to.
    My husband retires in 3 years and I know we will move back south. I want to pick the one that will offer the most opportunities when we leave. Something good on the resume and that works with my family.

    The salary offers were close, the rural hospital actually offering $2 more per hour. I'm afraid of picking one over the other -afraid I may miss an opportunity either way.

    Please offer your advise and experiences in these areas. I have been praying that one will pop out at me then decided to finally post - feedback is good!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Being in the NICU, I obviously like that end but I have to admit that adult ICU experience offers you more opportunities if you want to move (and it's the traditional path if you are thinking of CRNA in the future). A lot of towns only have level 2 nurseries, so if you like the acute nature of NICU it isn't always easy to find when moving.

    Considering the drive and the fact that you already know the ICU has a good team, I would pick the adult ICU unless you know you want to work with babies.
  4. by   IamRN
    When I returned to nursing and after interviewing only at one place I decided I would work there. My DH suggested I research my options as a better paying opportunity may have come along. I decided against doing that because I *really* liked the team-like supportive atmosphere I sensed. Most hospitals tend to pay about the same for the area and to me $1.00 or $3.00 would not make up for not having that type of atmosphere to work in.

    I haven't regreted my decision!

    Having said that...I did put up w/quite a bit from a "groupie" atmosphere ICU where I obtained my internship because they are also "renowned." The hospital I am at now also has internships and is way more supportive.

    Not much help, am I?
  5. by   Brownms46
    Quote from gapeach69
    For those that do -thanks for taking time to read all this and offer your help.

    Med-surg 11 years and feel the need for change. I am 35 and have 3 children -13, 11, & 9. My husband is supportive.

    Two job offers on the table & can't make a decision. I love critical care of any kind adult or peds -it doesn't matter! But at the time I applied I wasn't sure anyone would have me with no experience. Oneday I might like to continue on in the field to obtain NP or CRNA, if it's in Gods plans for me.

    The NICU position/offer is in a renowned hospital and I was chosen out of quite a few. I had to undergo two interviews and they seemed very picky & firm. Staff was friendly and helpful. I've only been in the unit once there. It is a very large hopsital. You have to pay for parking approx $300/yr. It's about 20miles from my house but the drive in our traffic takes about an hour or two. It is a night position, extensive orientation, including nursery as well.

    The ICU is in a small, rural hospital approx 5 miles from the house and the kids school. Offer is also at night. They see quite a bit -triple A's, etc. I've worked in their unit 7 times. They have a good team that act like family, very friendly and helpful. There is no parking fee here.

    My dilemma: I truly enjoy both so it's hard to pick one - but I will have to.
    My husband retires in 3 years and I know we will move back south. I want to pick the one that will offer the most opportunities when we leave. Something good on the resume and that works with my family.

    The salary offers were close, the rural hospital actually offering $2 more per hour. I'm afraid of picking one over the other -afraid I may miss an opportunity either way.

    Please offer your advise and experiences in these areas. I have been praying that one will pop out at me then decided to finally post - feedback is good!

    To me this is an easy one, but I may not have all the facts here. But here is my 2 cents. I have worked nights in a NICU when my children where small. I have also worked in rural hospitals. I would pick the rural hospital, as many times you will get stuff there, you might not get a chance to see anywhere else. I worked in a hospital in a tourist area, and we got the most interesting things there, including a dog bitten by a rattlesnake.

    Here is the run down;

    You make more hourly at this hospital, which will afford you more savings, and the not having the pay parking fees is additional bonus. Also not having to drive as far, saves you gas...and also saves you from drivinig home sleepy in traffic. I almost fell asleep one morning while driving home from a hosptal that was an hour away. Never again! Was in bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic, and almost drifted off!

    Believe me on the nights that you are tired, and/or the kids have a last minute emergency...you will be glad that work is only 5 miles away. And right now I drive about 23 miles home from a hospital now, and many times I have to drink coffee to get home, and then can't go to sleep because of it.

    You also have to factor in quality of life, especially with a family. That hour or two commuting could have been spent with your family, or doing an errand, instead of being in traffic.

    Here is another plus for the rural hospital. "Most" of these places tend to keep their employees longer, and big hospitals are known for their large turnover. People get the experience and move on, or their needs change...etc..etc. I have returned to a rural hospital on a travel assignment from 1997 to 2003, and each time I went, just about the same folks where still there. A stable staff is the best in my opinion, and most of the time the doctors are very approachable, and love to teach.

    All in all....my vote would be for the rural hospital for sure. Good luck no matter what you chose.
    Last edit by Brownms46 on May 29, '04

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