how long have you been...

  1. I thought it might be interesting to see how long most of the nicu nurses have been in there positions. I was inspired to ask this question after meeting with a career services person (she was going over my resume). Anyway, she said most nurses only stay in a particular field for about 5 years. I would like to see "unofficially", if this is true. Thanks for your help!
    Tiny1
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   NICUman
    been for 19 years.....
  4. by   Gompers
    Seven years.

    NICU is pretty unique. Usually, once a nurse falls in love with it, she never strays.

    I've said it in other posts before. I work with 120+ nurses. 95% of them will never leave the NICU for another type of nursing. The vast majority of our nurses have been doing NICU nursing for 10+ years, with the average around 20 years. The ones who've left...it's been for stuff like outpatient clinics, home care, or adult ICU in preparation for CRNA school.

    Most of us can't imagine ever wanting to do anything else.

    I know I can't.
  5. by   SteveNNP
    7 months and counting.......but I work with 55+ RN's, most of whom have been working in our unit for 20+ years (28 is the highest) since we were a tiny 6 bed unit. we've come a long way! I can't see myself doing anything else right now. There's just so much to learn, and it's always challenging. Most of the RN's that have left recently did so because they needed a day shift job, or no weekends/holidays for their families. They hated to do it, but family comes first.


    SteveRN21
  6. by   Jolie
    11 years, before becoming a SAHM to my own preemies.
  7. by   minniemiteRN
    3 yrs and I will only go to another NICU if I must move for my husbands job. What can I say...I'm in love.
  8. by   rainbows4me
    A year and a half. Love the work I do, don't always love the politics of such a seasoned unit. Like yours, ours has many 25+ year veterans, many of whom started in our unit as new grads!
  9. by   TiffyRN
    I think most nurses that find NICU tend to stay there.

    I did step-down for 5 years, then cardiac telemetry for 4 years before going to NICU. I have been doing NICU for just over 3 years and would hate to ever change fields but maybe I'll feel differently in a couple of years, who knows?

    We've had few nurses leave our unit for a different specialty. One left to attend CRNA school full-time, one left to start practicing as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. One left to work mother-baby but she had worked there before. One other left to work Labor and Delivery after working nothing but NICU for 25 years. I can't think of any others that left the specialty and this is a large unit (up to 55-60 beds).
  10. by   Bailarina
    I've been in the NICU for 2 years and plan on staying there long-term. I can't see doing any other type of nursing, I love my job.
  11. by   sparkyRN
    20 1/2 years
  12. by   prmenrs
    25+yrs.

    What that person said might be true in general, but not NICU. I used to be able to go around the ICU part of the 40 bed unit and be able to add up >200 years of experience among the 6-8 or so RNs there.

    Also, if you do adults, you might go from Med-Surg to OR to PACU to Dialysis, assorted Critical Care Units. Not that easy in NICU. You might switch acuity levels, or even specialize in Cardiology, but that's about all. So, not that many choices. Fortunately, NICU nurses don't seem to mind!
  13. by   Gompers
    Quote from prmenrs
    Also, if you do adults, you might go from Med-Surg to OR to PACU to Dialysis, assorted Critical Care Units. Not that easy in NICU. You might switch acuity levels, or even specialize in Cardiology, but that's about all. So, not that many choices. Fortunately, NICU nurses don't seem to mind!
    No, we don't mind!

    What's really cool about the NICU (and PICU) that sets it apart from adult ICU areas is that you get a little bit of everything. A little bit of cardiac, a little bit of neuro, a little bit of surgery, a little bit of renal, etc. It's all thrown together in one unit all at once. One day you'll have a micropreemie with very bad lungs on an oscillating vent, the next you'll have a handful of cute grower-feeder babies, the next day might be a post-op surgical baby, and the next you might be doing peritoneal dialysis! There is so much variety sometimes!

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