Advice please

  1. I am under a contract with a local hospital to work for them for 2 years after graduation in exchange for them paying for school. They have a Level II NICU that is undergoing a big expanison next year right before I graduate. I was hoping to start in the NICU right after graduation. I told them this in my initial interview and was told that they would need more NICU nurses due to the expansion.

    Today I was talking with someone in HR about an externship in the NICU next summer and told them I was glad for the opportunity to do an extenship since we have NO NICU exposure in school and we can't do our senior preceptorship there either. I mentioned that I had been hoping that a preceptorship might help get me a position in the NICU as a new grad. She said that they don't really hire new grads in the NICU. Newborn nursery, yes, but that she'd be very surprised if they hired a new grad in the NICU.

    So, understandably, I was surprised. In thinking back, I don't think anyone ever specifically said, "You can work NICU as a new grad" but I certainly got that impression. And, there is the possibility that I'll impress them during an externship and get in. Either way, they paid my tuition and then some so, it was a good deal, and I'm sure I can find another unit that I would enjoy working in for 2 years (or until I can transfer to the NICU, I don't know how much experience they prefer you to have...).

    My question is, if I can't get into the NICU, what is the next best option? Newborn nursery? It doesn't appeal all that much to me. I like the babies, but I really want critical care. They've got a lot of adult ICUs and I KNOW they hire new grads there. There is also the possibility that there won't be any NBN jobs available. My second choice after the NICU was a Cardiac Surgery ICU, but NICU was my 1st choice because I want to pursue my NNP. That is my ultimate career goal.

    Advice? If I can get it, is it better to work NBN even though CTICU I would find more interesting because NBN works better with long-term goals? Or is it better to go get really good Adult ICU experience (and be more fullfilled possibly) and try to get in a Level III NICU when I'm done with my commitment to this place?

    I have my OB rotation enxt semester and that includes 2 weeks of NBN, so there is always the possibilty that I'll like it more than I think...for those who have worked NBN, is it like the floor of babies? I really can't stand the thought of working med-surg, those rotations have driven me crazy!

    Sorry for the long post! Thanks!
    Bryan
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   googabin02
    At the hospital where I work they hire new grads into the NICU, and we are a Level III NICU. I don't see why they wouldn't hire you. Ever think of PICU? It is probably the closest in some respects to NICU. It's much more variety than NICU but always exciting! Do they hire new grads into PICU there?
  4. by   Sweeper933
    If you end up not being able to do NICU right after graduation, then NBN is always a good choice. This way you will learn exactly what is "normal" in babies. It is hard to know when things are wrong in a baby when you don't know what they should look like in the first place...
  5. by   NeuroNP
    Quote from googabin02
    At the hospital where I work they hire new grads into the NICU, and we are a Level III NICU. I don't see why they wouldn't hire you. Ever think of PICU? It is probably the closest in some respects to NICU. It's much more variety than NICU but always exciting! Do they hire new grads into PICU there?
    I would love to do PICU. I actually did an observation semester with Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at a "top 10" Children's hospital before I got into nursing school and loved it. I thought about going that route instead of NICU, but ultimately, I like NICU more, plus I want to go into Advanced Practice and the job prospects for an NNP are much better than for an NP in the PICU.

    At the end of the day in this case it doesn't matter...there is no PICU at my hospital. There is a Children's Hospital in town and so other than NICU, there's not much peds any where else.
  6. by   NeuroNP
    Quote from Sweeper933
    If you end up not being able to do NICU right after graduation, then NBN is always a good choice. This way you will learn exactly what is "normal" in babies. It is hard to know when things are wrong in a baby when you don't know what they should look like in the first place...
    Well, the more I think about it, the more I decide it might not matter. To get into NNP school, I really need Level III experience, which I couldn't get at this hospital anyway. So, maybe after I've gotten my feet fet, I'll try to get a PRN position at the Level III here in town. As long as I'm workign FT for my hospital for 2 years, I'm ok. I can always get PRN somewhere else. Then maybe when my 2 years are up (whether or not I ever got into the Level II here) I can parlay the PRN position into something FT in the Level III. :-)

    Plus, the more I think about it, the more I think I'd enjoy NBN. Do NBN RNs typically attend all deliveries? That's one thing I like about the NICU, attending the high-risk deliveries. Who does the initial peds care of a "standard" delivery? NBN or L&D? OB rotation starts in a few weeks, so I guess I'll find out!
  7. by   Sweeper933
    Quote from bryanboling5
    Do NBN RNs typically attend all deliveries? That's one thing I like about the NICU, attending the high-risk deliveries. Who does the initial peds care of a "standard" delivery? NBN or L&D? OB rotation starts in a few weeks, so I guess I'll find out!
    Each hospital is different. The hospital where I did most of my clinicals at had a combined L&D, Post-partum/recover unit. The moms would labor, deliver, and recover all in the same room until they went home. In the NBN, there would be an assigned nursery nurse who would go to each delivery (if NICU wasn't needed) and would do all of the baby care.
    At my current hospital, L&D is a separate floor from the post-partum/recovery unit, so a L&D nurse is assigned to be the "baby nurse".

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