psychonaut 4,890 Views
Joined Dec 8, '06.
Posts: 339 (42% Liked)
I had to fight hard to get time in a NICU as a student. This included changing out of the clinical group I had been in for three semesters, to another group as my original group didn't go to hospitals with a NICU. Even after that was accomplished (difficult, as this division of clinical groups was the dissertation-in-progress of a school admin), I then had to excel at my first three weeks on general ICU clinical to earn the chance for a ten-week final clinical practicum in the NICU. I did all of the above, and had a very positive experience, which ultimately led to my hiring in that unit upon graduation.
I am now on night shift, but spent some time on day shift. After I got over some of my new-nurse jitters, I would always grab the nursing students (often abandoned as Steve describes above) and show them my patients if no one else was giving them any attention (and the day shift crew has more than a few "nurse-cannibals", if you get my drift). Even as a night shifter, if I am out of report early and there are students around I'll get them started scrubbing and looking at the kiddos while the day shift gets ready to start (read: having a cup of coffee and yakking in the break room until 07:35...yeah, I know, petty day/night shift trash talk, can't help it, sorry).
It's fun to show a student things, especially as you know that if they are in the NICU they almost definitely worked hard to get that one day. Helps refresh my own wonder to see their reaction to a <26 weeker, or a catatonic nuero kid, or a beautiful drug baby screaming like a banshee and sweating bullets, etc.
So yeah, no matter how burned I get with nursing, helping out the motivated and interested student is still a blast (and that goes for med students, RT, PT, etc as well).
My short answer (I'll add more later) is that at least in my limited experience in the NNP arena, NNPs are in HUGE demand. It's once specialty that cannot fill slots fast enough. I receive around 50 NNP job listings via email from one site each week. I found my niche in NICU, so I decided to go for my NNP. One thing about the NNP is that you have to complete 2 years of Level III NICU experience before graduating from the master's program.
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