Hi I am almost an RN. I have an 8 week externship in a NICU and I love it. However, I am concerned about having enough time to spend with my family, I am a wife and mother. For those of you that are NICU nurses, how do you manage time with your family.
I am also concerned about job opportunities. I understand that by working in the NICU I will be limiting my skills. If I continue my education, I would like to pursue a NNP degree but again I feel as though I am limited to working in the hospital and have a schedule that can fluctuate often. For any NNPs, what are your typical schedules like?
Aside from that, I have no complaints thus far. Your advice is greatly appreciated!
Jun 28, '12
As for spending time with your family, it's no different no matter what kind of nurse you are. I find it's actually easier to spend time with my family. I am also a wife and mother. I find that nurses generally work three 12 hour shifts per week. I realize there are other kinds of shifts out there, but the NICU I work in only does 12 hour shifts. That leaves 4 days a week to spend with my family.
If you are sure that you want to be a NICU nurse, to me it doesn't matter about limiting your skills because you will be a NICU nurse, and that's all you need to know. When you decide to further your education, you can go for anything.
If I further my education I will not go for NNP, because I don't want to work 24 hour shifts, and working on holidays and weekends sucks. With 2 young kids(under 4), a M-F and 9-5 job looks pretty nice.
Jun 28, '12
You're going to have to mange your time as any other nurse; NICU is not special in that respect. I recommend you ask this in the general nursing forum. NNPs generally work 8s, 12s, or 24s (largely 12s from what I've seen). So do other NPs.
If you want to do clinic work and do 9-5, you should be a pediatric nurse practitioner. NNPs are built for the hospital role, not clinics.
Aug 18, '12
Same here... Work three Ps a week leaving me with 3-8 nights off in a row. We self schedule in my unit which is a huge plus!