critical care pay

  1. For those of you who work in a NICU, do you get critical care pay in addition to your base and shift differentials? Also, do all of your nurses work all of the areas in your unit ( critical, intermediate, feeder-growers, deliveries, etc.)?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    I do not get critical care pay in either the position I have now nor the one I have just accepted; my pay is based on experience and additional certifications according to a scale. Some hospitals here do pay additional money, up to $1.50/hr extra from what I've seen, but they typically have lower base pay to make up for it.

    In my current facility, the nurses are hired to work within the NICU and the Intermediate Care Nursery; they float between the two according to need and patient acuity. In the facility I am moving to, nurses are hired for one nursery or the other, but do occasionally get pulled if the other is short, from what I understand. My current facility doesn't attend deliveries; my new one does.

    Is that the kind of information you needed?
  4. by   NicuGal
    No critical pay here either. Our hospital doesn't offer it at all. Most of the hospitals in this area don't.

    Our PRN pool works all areas of Maternal Child except for Labor and Delivery...they are closed. We are only hired into one area, but do float to the others.
  5. by   shelbabyrn
    The areas I listed (critical, intermediate, feeder-grower) are all in one unit. We have a newborn nursery also, but it is considered a seperate unit. Infants in the above areas are all in one unit. To clarify: Do you believe that the nursing staff in one unit should be expected to take care of all phases of care regardless of how critical the infant is?
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    Ultimately, yes, I do. Though I realize that certain people have strengths and weaknesses, it becomes much more difficult to staff a unit if only certain people do certain things (ie, only one nurse certified to do ECMO or handle nitrous oxide, or only certain people who can start IV's with their eyes closed, or only certain people who can handle cardiac drugs, etc.). What happens if someone can't come in to work and there is no qualified staff to handle particular cases? I don't think that newborn nursery nurses should have to do that; I think that should be a seperate pool of staff. Some nurses want to work with healthy babies, others do not. Just like some nurses want to work Med/Surg and others would prefer Psych or ICU. In the NICU, however, I think that all the nurses should be able to handle the critical babies, or else they should exist as two entirely seperate nurseries with two seperate pools of staff (ie, one staff for the NICU/Level III and one staff for the ICN/Level II).

    Certainly, the Level III nurses should be competent enough to handle the lower levels; if they can nurse a 23 weeker, they should be able to admit a healthy infant and handle what comes in between. I don't, however, think that they should automatically be pulled to those other units to staff when they are short. I think that's punishing them for being competent. If they are going to be pulled if they primarily work in the NICU/Level III, that should be made clear when they are hired so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to work there.

    In my facility, not only are we expected to staff both the Level II and III nurseries, but we get pulled not only to Well-Baby (which I don't mind at all) but to every single department within Maternal/Child (including L&D, Postpartum, High Risk Antepartum, Peds ER, Inpt Peds, and PICU, which I DO mind).
  7. by   fergus51
    We only get extra pay if certified in NICU as well. We are expected to work in NICU and level 2 only. No floating to bizarre and unfamiliar areas. There are some staff who prefer level 2 and others who prefer level 3, but we all have to work both. The skill levels of staff members are mixed so that we never have a case where no one is qualified to look after a certain baby.
  8. by   shelbabyrn
    We don't even get extra pay for being certified, which I am. We are only required to float to newborn nursery, but some of us will float to peds/PICU if asked. We also have those nurses who only prefer Level 2 or level 3, but some of those never do level 3 because, I think, they don't know how. And, if we have don't have any level 2 assignments at shift change, the level 3 nurses who have a level 2 assignment have to move to another assignment usually after having their assignment for 8 hours (most of us work 12s). That really hacks some of us.
  9. by   NICU_Nurse
    Oooh! That happens to us, too! Doesn't that just drive you mad?? There's hardly anything more peeving to me than getting half my work done, settling in with my babies, and then finding out I have to change assignments and go to another nursery to start over again (except I work nights; for us, it's four hours with the first assignment, 8 with the second). Undoubtedly, I will go to pick up my new assignment and NOTHING will be done, because that nurse knew she was leaving at 2300 and I have to start entirely from scratch.
  10. by   nfprn
    My hospital doesn't offer critical pay,
  11. by   nurseiam
    Our rnc is an extra buck! Bargin for it in your contract!!!
    If you are a level 3 nurse is $.80 and level 4 is $1.80. Anyone off residency is considered a level 2. Its an application and more CEU's.
    We also do 8's & 12's. I'm a 12 so I get shafted alot. Four with 3 patients, charting then charge nurse for 8. Get report, give report, then get my scattered brain back!

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