I am confused....How will being unemployed look better on a resume than getting nursing experience? Do you think that going into interviews saying "I wanted to work in NICU so badly that I refused to work at all when I found out I am underqualified for NICU" is going to make you somehow look good or be MORE hirable than if you work in the adult population? Because that is basically the choice you are making. No potential employer is going to see that and think that you are dedicated or passionate. They are going to think you lack common sense.
Yes, you need to take whatever actual RN position you can get. Get past the "I don't wannnnnnaaaaaaa" foot stomping
. Nobody gets to work a job simply because they want to. The current market has made you not qualified yet to work in NICU due to a plethora of applicants who are more educated and more experienced than you. Getting basic nursing skills, maybe having a foot in the hospital door where you can network and build a good reputation for yourself (if you can get a hospital position, which also may be extremely difficult) all are going to do nothing but serve you well, even if that experience is with adults rather than babies. Even with a BSN you would be having a hard time finding a job in a high demand specialty like NICU. Every third person who graduates from nursing school
wants that job too. Not everyone is going to get it...only the most qualified (or most networked) of the applicant pool.
Think hard. Working as a waitress or at a desk job or in retail or whatever you would do to pay the bills is 100% positively less likely to make you a NICU desirable hire. Being unemployed would be even worse. Your best option is to go to work in the adult population wherever you are fortunate enough to get offered a position, continue your education, network like crazy and hope for the economy to change.