I've worked with 4 male nurses in the NICU and all were great to work with. The fathers seemed to enjoy having another man around sometimes too. I've never heard of men having a difficult time being nurses in the NICU and all of us women got along well with them too. Where I've worked the pay is often a bit more than on the regular floors because it's considered an intensive care unit. Most of the NNPs I've known all had their BSN and their MSN and then attended 6 months to a year of schooling in a Nurse Practitioner Program. Our hospital even paid the tuition for the three staff RNs who they felt would be good NNPs (and had their BSNs at least) to go to NNP school if they agreed to work at our hospital for at least 2 years. A good deal for sure. The best NNPs I've worked with (IMHO) were staff RNs for at least 3-4 years before pursuing their NNPs. I think it's because they had plenty of hands on experience with the babies, how NICUs work in general, the dynamics of the nurse-physician relationship. Our neonatologists were generally in the NICU for the full day shift and most of the evening shift with the NNPs there too and covering the night shifts. The neonatologists would often pop in at night for difficult admissions, if a baby was crashing, if an undelivered premie mom was in L&D and expected to deliver, etc...
One of the male RNs in our NICU was a traveling RN and made lots of money and had been doing it for years. One stayed with us for almost 5 years and then went on to be a traveler too. The other two were fresh out of nursing school
and both stayed in the NICU for about a year and then one decided to go to CCU and the other decided to go to the ER.
I only worked in one NICU, a Level III busy one, so that's all the perspective I can offer you. Maybe someone else can add something better for you.
I will say that one reason the NICU is an interesting area is because all the nurses are generally within 3 feet of each other all the time. We chat a lot. If you are unhappy with someone it's usually best to try to get along with them anyway, because you can't LEAVE the area like a floor nurse can do. LOL
Glad to hear you are interested in nursing and that you're interested in the NICU too. It's a fantastic place to work, in my humble opinion. I just LOVED it and plan to return soon. (I quit when I got married a couple of years ago).