Hello! I'm a nursing student who about a year away from graduation. I strongly believe NICU is my passion. This semester, I've had the opportunity to care for babies and even get to assess and feed a baby in the NICU. I've never been happier during clinicals (half was labor and delivery, half postpartum care + babies). I didn't think I'd ever want to work with babies, but this semester has seriously changed my perspectives!
I'm moving out of state upon passing the NCLEX so I'm a bit worried it will negatively impact my ability to secure a NICU job. I'm trying to gain relevant experience but there aren't many opportunities available to me. I'm interning at a step-down unit during the summer, which isn't exactly what I wanted (but I'm still immensely grateful for the opportunity and wouldn't consider refusing such an offer). I'm also planning on doing my Honors thesis on NICU babies... I also wanted to generally ask here if there are any glaring research gaps that I might consider looking into. How could I go about seeking opportunities and getting involved? I've heard that getting your NRP/ACLS certification prior to graduation makes you look more serious about the career path (?) Academically, I'm in the Honors program and also recently was elected the vice president of my school's SNA... dunno if that will help with a job though.
Sorry for the long post!!!
Honestly, getting NRP prior is a bit of a waste of time and money. Most places have it built into their orientation.
It sounds like you are already doing a lot of good things that will significantly help your chances. Is the step-down unit that you will be working on this summer a step-down NICU or a step-down for older patients? If it is a step-down nursery, you are in great shape. Most NICU hiring managers would consider your experience to be a big plus. Just keep doing what you are already doing.
Do you know exactly where you will be moving to after graduation? If so, you might want to contact the Managers of the NICUs there. Explain your situation briefly and ask if they have any advice. "What could you be doing now to make you more attractive to them as a future new grad hire?" Such a move would put you "on their radar" in a positive way without asking them for too much of their time now.