I am a 2nd semester nursing student and I don't really want to work anywhere else but the NICU. I absolutely love it and I know I belong in there. However, like all students/new grads, I am a bit discouraged because of the job market right now. I am trying to figure out ways to get myself a little ahead of the rest so that I can be marketable when I graduate. I want to get as many certifications under my belt during the summer while I am on break from school. I did a bit of research online but I am finding a lot of information that I'm not sure will be relevant. I was wondering if I can get some advice. So far I have found:
Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP)
Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP)
Perinatal intensive care nursing certificate
Any any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you to those that respond!
May 20, '11
NRP and STABLE are probably the most helpful, IMO. NRP>STABLE if you have to choose.
Ask if you can rotate to the NICU during your senior practicum and/or during your peds rotation. Volunteer in a NICU, see if you can work as a tech there. Good luck!
May 21, '11
I'll be watching this as I'm on the same boat as you! I have a few years before I'm even out of college but of course it's always nice to know
Good luck with your future NICU career! Maybe even consider becoming an Advanced Pediatric Practitioner or a Neonatal Practitioner? Both are offered as graduate study at my uni/college of choice.
May 21, '11
I suggest getting a job doing something like unit secretary or other clerical work at the hospital where the NICU is that you want to work. Just work part time like one or two shifts a week. I know lots of people who were given first choice when jobs came open because they were already "in the system" at the hospital so much less hiring paperwork had to be done, and they had already proven themselves as good employees (not tardy, hard worker, gets along with others, etc.). A little note about "certifications"... The word is sometimes uses when it really should not. For example in NRP, PALS, and BCLS you actually are not "certified" you are considered someone who has "completed the program". (I read that in my NRP book too.) True certifications require generally longer term experience and a very difficulty exam to prove that you have expertise in an area of knowledge. For example I have my certification in intensive care neonatal nursing from NCC (www.nncnet.org
) and it required I have at least 2 years of full time experience in the NICU and then I had to take a test that took about 2 hours after studying for several months for it. I have to do continuing education in the specialty to maintain my certification too. Just a little side note...
Good luck in your endeavors! Sounds like you are going to be a wonderful asset to our profession!
May 21, '11
I agree on being in the system.
Honestly, I'd skip the certifications....they really don't mean much if you don't have the clinical skills to work with.
May 27, '11
I would also recommend waiting on the additional education. Much of it won't make sense until you have some working knowledge of the NICU world. The NICU has its own language, procedures and even equipment. Those classes will be packed with terminology and acronyms that are completely foreign.
A part-time job or volunteering in the area you're interested is a great suggestion. You might also see if your local facility offers nurse intern/externships.
Jul 8, '11
Just out of curiosity, would it be more beneficial to be a PCT or unit secretary in the NICU?
Jul 8, '11
I would usually say that the more hands-on experience the better. However, it would just depend on what those roles entail for your particular unit. In the last unit I worked in, the secretary knew everything about everything, and the PCT did mostly housekeeping. In this unit, the PCT runs most of the show. Ask first.
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