Hi. I am a nursing student and very interested in NICu nursing when I finish. Right now I am a Pediatric Nursing Assistant.
For a school project I need to promote NICU nursing. Do any of you have any information that I could incorporate into a 10 minute presentation about benefits of being a NICU nurse? Please respond to this post.
Thank you so much.
PS Do you have any advise for a prospective NICU nurse?
Nov 30, '02
I feel the most wonderful thing, for me, about NICU nursing is because it's generally a very happy place to work. There are so many other areas of the hospital where patients are very, very ill and often not expected to live, or if they do live, they will have many problems to endure and adapt to. There can be lots of satisfaction in caring for those types of patients when you can make their lives more comfortable, but for me it's just not my niche.
The NICU has progressed so much since the mid to late 1980's with how well the patients do. It's a pleasure to work with the families and the babies, watching and helping them grow into healthy babies and go home with their incredibly happy families! Of course, there are very, very sad times... and when they are sad they are very, very SAD to say the least! But thank goodness those times are not as frequent as they could be!
I also love the one-on-one type of intensive care. We get to know soooo much about our patients. Some times are very hectic and intense... like when a baby crashes and everyone works together to solve the problem quickly. We also find excitement attending high risk deliveries because we never know what we will find. I love transporting babies from hospital to hospital too and that can be incredibly exciting. Of course we also enjoy the "feeders and growers"... the babies who are mostly stable and spending time growing in strength and size, weaning off of oxygen, etc. These babies and their families are great to work with and we get to do lots of teaching as we help prepare the families for life at home with their little ones.
I could fill a book with all the reasons I love NICU nursing, but maybe some of the few I listed will help you in your presentation or at least give you a few ideas of things you can talk about.
As far as advice for a prospective NICU nurse: I'd say that your job now as a Pediatric Nursing Assistant is fantastic! It shows that you have worked with babies and their families and know how to do many tasks already and know a good bid about how to plan you time during your shift to get all your duties done. That's usually difficult for new nurses to learn and really only comes with practice. Study well in school so you can pass your NCLEX-RN. You can't be a NICU nurse or any kind of nurse without your license... You can look into organizations where NICU nurses often belong in order to keep up with the new knowledge in the area and to network with other nurses. I'll look up the web sites for some for you and post them in a few minutes. That's all I can think of for now. Just try to keep the Pediatric Nursing Assitant job and do very well at it. Staying in a position for a long time is always a plus for your resume since it shows you don't hop from place to place too frequently... that you are a stable person who knows what they want... meaning that when you apply to work in a NICU that you know it's something you want and that you'll probably stay at a long time too. Managers don't like to spend a lot of time having their preceptors train a new person and then the new person leave in a few months time... you know what I mean?
Good luck with everything!
Nov 30, '02
Here are some of web sites for you to check out. I am a member of NANN and ANN. I find that AWHONN is more oriented to the Labor and Delivery nurses but is another very good organization!
All three organizations have their own journals which are full of relavent, up to date, research-based information which is incredibly important for nurses to keep current with to do their best job possible. Nursing is not a job where once you graduate that all the learning is over! You must keep up with all the new drugs and procedures that are constantly coming out. I'd also suggest, even if you become a NICU nurse, that you join the ANA and get their journal "American Journal of Nursing" as well as the "Nursing2002" (or whatever year, lol) journals to keep up to date with regular med-surg type nursing. Don't let yourself get behind because it's awfully difficult to catch up! Who knows, you may decide after a few years that you'd like to work in another area rather than with NICU babies... Just good old-fashioned advice...
Academy of Neonatal Nursing
National Association of Neonatal Nurses
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Best wishes for a fantastic future!
Last edit by Anaclaire on Nov 30, '02