College student needing some more info about NNPs... Please help!!! - page 2

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- hey everybody, im a junior at stonybrook university majoring in psychology. At first, i wanted to become a... Read More

  1. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from babycheekz420
    Nicumom75, thanks so much for your help. That link you sent did wonders. i was looking through other posts n many people have gotten volunteering jobs as cuddlers and feeders in a nicu. i would like to do something like that maybe. What exactly is a CNA? what job responsibilities do they have? not really sure about this. could u please gimme some more info about this... THanks a lot....



    Kim
    A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant. In our NICU, they help with getting vital signs, diaper changes/intake and output measurements, baths, feeding and weighing the babies, stocking supplies, changing out isolettes/warmers, cleaning equipment, etc. Not every NICU out there has a cuddler program and I have not worked in any NICU (although I am sure they are out there) that allows volunteers to feed a baby. Premies are at a high risk for choking/aspirating while feeding because their suck/swallow/breathe reflex is underdeveloped. They have to learn how to do what comes naturally to a term baby - therefore, it increases risk and liability to allow a volunteer to feed a baby in the NICU. That said, there are probably units (maybe some level II units?) out there that would allow volunteers to feed, but I would think that most do not.

    If you want to get a better idea of what NICU is all about, particularly the nursing aspect of it (remember...you cannot even begin clinicals in an NNP program without 2 years of RN experience in the NICU), I would recommend working as a CNA rather than a volunteer cuddler. Your exposure would be much broader that way.
    Last edit by RN4NICU on Sep 25, '05
  2. by   babycheekz420
    Thanks so much RN4NICU... is there any type of program that i will need to go through to become a CNA or is it just something that you apply to at a hospital? i completely understand what you are saying about the cuddler/feeding thing. Thanks for your help n hopefully u can gimme some more advice...


    Kim




    Quote from RN4NICU
    A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant. In our NICU, they help with getting vital signs, diaper changes/intake and output measurements, baths, feeding and weighing the babies, stocking supplies, changing out isolettes/warmers, cleaning equipment, etc. Not every NICU out there has a cuddler program and I have not worked in any NICU (although I am sure they are out there) that allows volunteers to feed a baby. Premies are at a high risk for choking/aspirating while feeding because their suck/swallow/breathe reflex is underdeveloped. They have to learn how to do what comes naturally to a term baby - therefore, it increases risk and liability to allow a volunteer to feed a baby in the NICU. That said, there are probably units (maybe some level II units?) out there that would allow volunteers to feed, but I would think that most do not.

    If you want to get a better idea of what NICU is all about, particularly the nursing aspect of it (remember...you cannot even begin clinicals in an NNP program without 2 years of RN experience in the NICU), I would recommend working as a CNA rather than a volunteer cuddler. Your exposure would be much broader that way.
  3. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from babycheekz420
    Thanks so much RN4NICU... is there any type of program that i will need to go through to become a CNA or is it just something that you apply to at a hospital? i completely understand what you are saying about the cuddler/feeding thing. Thanks for your help n hopefully u can gimme some more advice...


    Kim
    The Red Cross offers a CNA program that I believe is about 6-weeks long. However, you might want to check with the hospital first. Many hospitals these days list positions as "Care Partners", "Patient Care Assistants (PCAs)", "Patient Care Technicians (PCTs)" instead of CNAs. Some of these positions may still require CNA certification, and others may not. Someone in the Human Resources department of the hospital would be able to tell you what kind of certification you would need for the position, if any is required. Basic Life Support (BLS) certification is required for any position involving patient care, but that is part of the hospital orientation once you are hired at most places. So, basically, it is best to check out open positions you think you might be interested in and then inquire further about the requirements of the positions with the Human Resources department. Hope that helps
  4. by   foxyhill21
    How many years of experience is needed b4 beginning the NNP programs? What is the avg. salary? Are NNP in demand?
  5. by   sunnysideup09
    It is 2 yrs NICU experience, preferably a level 3. In my facility, the salary of NNPs is poor. The nurses make more than the NNPs once you count in the overtime. I personally made more than the NNPs last year. NNPs are in demand, just depends on where you're willing to go and work.

    Christine, RNC, BSN

    Quote from foxyhill21
    How many years of experience is needed b4 beginning the NNP programs? What is the avg. salary? Are NNP in demand?
  6. by   Gompers
    Quote from nicumom75
    It is 2 yrs NICU experience, preferably a level 3. In my facility, the salary of NNPs is poor. The nurses make more than the NNPs once you count in the overtime. I personally made more than the NNPs last year. NNPs are in demand, just depends on where you're willing to go and work.

    Christine, RNC, BSN
    Right, the problem is that many NNPs are now paid by salary, so they lose the chance to get any overtime pay. And most of them DO work more than 40 hours a week! I know that when my hospital went from hourly to salary for NNPs, we lost about half of them within the year.

    Definitely get at least two years of experience, preferably at a Level III that employs NNPs. That way you will see what they do and it will help you decide what career goals you have. I wanted to be an NNP until I saw what they did, then I decided that regular NICU nursing was a much better fit for me.
  7. by   foxyhill21
    Thanks
  8. by   LauRNicu
    I don't know if this helps or not, but I am a NICU RN in Indianapolis. I have almost 2 years clinical experience and I am preparing to apply to NNP schools so I have done quite a bit of research so far. You definitely need an RN license before you can begin working in the NICU (at least at my hospital). To apply to almost any NNP program, you need a BSN, RN and a minimum of 2 years clinical experience in a level 3 NICU. The other problem is there is no abundance of NNP schools in this country. I've only counted 49 in the entire country. There is only one in my state and only one in Minnesota (which is where I may be moving). I think there are several out east so just keep researching. The best thing to do is to contact the school and get a list of the requirements. I know that for both of the schools i'm looking at, you have to take the GRE if your GPA is below a 3.0. If anyone out there knows more about nursing in Minnesota or NNP schools or any other information, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks. Hope this helped.
  9. by   sunnysideup09
    What NICU are you working at in Indy if I may ask? I'm relocating to the Indy area.

    You're right, there are not that many NNP schools out there, but the one thing about the NNP schools is that many allow clinicals to be done where you are. It's a new trend with NNP schools going online to allow this.

    Christine, RNC, BSN

    Quote from LauRNicu
    I don't know if this helps or not, but I am a NICU RN in Indianapolis. I have almost 2 years clinical experience and I am preparing to apply to NNP schools so I have done quite a bit of research so far. You definitely need an RN license before you can begin working in the NICU (at least at my hospital). To apply to almost any NNP program, you need a BSN, RN and a minimum of 2 years clinical experience in a level 3 NICU. The other problem is there is no abundance of NNP schools in this country. I've only counted 49 in the entire country. There is only one in my state and only one in Minnesota (which is where I may be moving). I think there are several out east so just keep researching. The best thing to do is to contact the school and get a list of the requirements. I know that for both of the schools i'm looking at, you have to take the GRE if your GPA is below a 3.0. If anyone out there knows more about nursing in Minnesota or NNP schools or any other information, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks. Hope this helped.
  10. by   LauRNicu
    Hi! I work at Riley Children's Hospital. We have a 52 bed level 3/4 NICU and I think we'll be hiring soon because they just opened up another NICU on the North side of town so some nurses will be going to work there. It's a fantastic place to work. Very progressive. We do a lot of research and it's a teaching hospital which always keeps things interesting. I will be very sad to move if I end up relocating because I love my job. Let me know if you want to know more!

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