HOW to become a NICU nurse

  1. Hi there
    I am a nursing student from israel...and my dream is to work in a NICU.
    I'll give you some info about our path to the NICU...
    we have to finish school and become RN's...after that we can apply for a job in a NICU....and immidiatly or in a year or two start studying (for 1.5 years) a course called INTENSIVE CARE OF THE NEWBORN OR THE PREMATURE.
    it's a long program, twice a week, a 12 hour day of school.
    after that you may insert IV meds to the newborns and premees and what not.

    My question is for the USA NICU nurses...i heard about a grading system: I,II,III grade NICU nurses...
    can you tell me more about that and about the path to become a NICU nurse.
    Thank you!
  2. Visit countessyana profile page

    About countessyana

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 37


  3. by   babyNP.
    There is a lot of information on this board about becoming a NICU nurse and I highly suggest you do a search.

    However, since you are completing your nursing education in Israel, the first step you need to take is to pass the NCLEX, which is the national exam that US nurses take. You cannot practice without passing it...there is an international board (under the "region" tab up at the top) that speaks to nurses in your situation and there is also an NCLEX specific board under the "student" tab."

    Level 1 nurseries hardly exist anymore but they are strictly for healthy newborns...

    Level 2 nurseries tend to have feeder-growers (learning how to eat, slightly premature)

    Level 3 is broken into level 3a, b, and c, which has varying levels of taking in sick babies, such has ventilator dependent, surgery, oscillators, nitric oxide, etc etc.

    Some units will tell you that they are a "level 4" unit but there is no such thing...some places like to designate themselves this because (IMO) they want to make their facility stand out since they do everything, like ECMO, whereas a NICU can still technically be called a level 3 and not do ECMO.

    I don't know what the situation is like for international hiring, but I thought I had heard about a freeze on international recruits during this economy recession...but otherwise my hospital has a lot of Filipina's who were sponsored to come to our NICU by the hospital a few years ago.

    Good luck!