How did you know you were made to be a NICU Nurse

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    Hi, I have a question for the NICU nurses. I am a nursing student. I am now officially a senior as of yesterday (YAYYYYY). My classmates and I are starting to develop senioritis so we will have it bad when we come back in August. (LOL). Anyway, I am debating between Peds and NICU. Next week I have a interview in the NICU for a patient care tech. I will either do my senior capstone in Peds or NICU. How did you know you were made to be a NICU nurse? What are some good qualities of a NICU nurse? Now, I know this question has been asked a thousand times on here because I have read the responses but I want honest opinions here. My feelings do not get easily hurt. I am pretty strong. For those who do not mind answering this. Would NICU be a good starting place for a new grad or do you honestly think they should start somewhere else before moving to the NICU. I know a few of the close hospitals close to me hire new grads in the NICU. Is there any good books I can read on the NICU If I decided to do my capstone in NICU.

    Thanks for anyone who reply.
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    I went in as a new grad...honestly, the only place to go before would be normal newborn nursery, but you don't even have to do that! If it is where you want to be, then yes, go for it! But, alot of new grads come in and don't realize how hard the work is...we don't just feed babies LOL and they can't do the workload. So....go for it! Merstein and Gardener is a great book as is any one written by Fanaroff and Avery
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    I am new in the NICU, graduated from an ADN program 4 yrs ago.
    I have worked in many diff. places so far from pedi homecare, nsg home, and hospital nursing. I hated most of it, love the NICU. I learned things in the other places that were helpful, but if the hospital where you are interested in working has a good orientation you don't need the other places. Mine was 40 nights, plus classes. I have many coworkers who were new grads when they started and they are doing well.
    I agree that mernstein and gardner is a good book, Avery is good, I have to take what I can out of it for now, as some is beyond my knowledge, so it will take you many years into a career in Nicu.
    Hope this helped. Barb
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    I almost went L&D and didn't get hired. I thought it was the end of the world. I start looking into NICU and I fell in love. I knew I was made for this area because I love the strenght they carry in making a difference and bonding with families who have these challenged darlings. It is a beautiful process from beginning to end. Start as a vent dependant to a grower feeder and home. I love it. One of the positive places where babies have a fighting chance. :-)
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    Hey Peaceful,

    I'm a fellow student! Unfortunately, I'm still quite a ways behind you. I'm only second semester. I do know of a great book though! It's called "Baby ER", it's not a text book, it's a nonfictional novel that chronicles the lives of several babies, nurses, and doctors who all either work or are patients in NICU. It is what convinced me that NICU is for me. I think you can only get it hard cover now, but it should be in paperback soon. If you read it, holler back and let me know if you liked it.
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    As a new grad from LPN school in 1989 I started in a Level II NICU. I loved it and when I moved there were very few openings for an LPN in NICU. I worked other areas and missed those babies so badly. I went back to school for my degree to be an RN so I could work Level III because anywhere I went I always came back to NICU and I didn't want to be made to leave because I was an LPN. Now, I don't have to leave, and I'm staying!!! .:roll If you are meant for NICU, even if you leave you will be back. Trust me
    Last edit by Adele4012 on Jun 24, '02
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    I was a nursery nurse first, then trained as a general nurse worked in care or the elderly for 3 years then moved to NICU 7 years ago just cos it was the only way I could get back into childrens nursing (back to Uni for childrens convertion in Sept ) and simply love it! Have tried other areas including PICU and adult ITU but I enjoy the variety on NIUC. the unit I work on has 10 vent beds but goes down to low dependancy cot babies ready for discharge. Dont know many areas you get that range .

    You have to be very patient (hormonal Mums anxious Dads etc)

    Ready to learn there is just so much new and changing all the time things seem to move fast

    be prepared for hard work, but its so rewarding when they go home then come back to visit clinic days christmas etc

    We are lucky cos some of our new qual nurses get to do a rotational post for 2yrs inc NICU, Med Babies-5yrs, Med 6-16, kids burns + plastics and kids neuro. which gives them a good post reg grounding before they specialise. It may be harder but I do wonder it this is the best way to do things
    Last edit by karenelizabeth on Jun 25, '02


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