Quote from KJRN79
I don't have any NICU experience to relate here, but it seems that part of the problem could be if you are looking for a weekend position only. It seems to me that a hospital may want you to have weeks of orientation to NICU full time days before "allowing" you to work weekends. That might be part of the problem. Good luck. I hope someone else has a better answer!
As a former NICU nurse manager, I think KJRN is right on the money here. Most large, teaching hospitals with Level III NICUs will hire new grads or nurses who lack NICU experience, but typically insist that they work full-time for a minimum of a year to gain proficiency before going to a part-time position. The learning curve in any specialty area is so steep that trying to "climb it" working part-time is very difficult and time consuming. Most new grad orientation programs for the NICU run from 3-6 months. Accomplishing that part-time could take as long as a year, far too long for a manager to have a "non-productive" employee on the payroll.
Also, managers of smaller Level II NICUs tend to be less willing to hire inexperienced RNs since these units may not consistently have a patient population sick and vaired enough to support the orientation of a novice. I went to work in a Level II NICU about 5 years into my nursing career. I had previously worked in Level III NICUs and on an LDRP unit. During the 6 weeks of orientation to my new job, there were several days when the NICU was closed due to no census, and not a single ventilator baby was admitted during that time. That was not really a big deal, since I was already experienced in the care of ventilated infants, but it would have been imposible to adequately train a novice in that setting.
So, if you are serious about getting into a NICU, you will probably have to be willing to work full time for at least a year. If you don't want to work full-time, (and with a new baby, I wouldn't either) then I would suggest taking a general peds or mother baby position in a hospital with a Level III NICU. You will get your "foot in the door", establish a good work record, network with your colleagues in the NICU, and prepare for a time better suited to full-time work.