LPN, 18 years old, and working in NICU

  1. :spin:Hi My name is Carlie and I'm an LPN and I work in NICU in New Mexico. I've been working in NICU since I graduated LPN nursing school a year and a half ago. I graduated from a highschool LPN nursing school that they offer here in New Mexico. There aren't many programs like this, I think it's maybe one of 5 in the whole nation. The cool thing about our program is when we graduate highschool we also graduate nursing school as well and can sit for our boards. It's a hard and competitive program and it's 5 semesters long!

    Anyways, I was hired on in the NICU when I was 18 years old as well as two other classmates of mine. They decided to "try us out" for a year and see how we can handle it. Fortunately for us, we did awesome and had sooo many compliments by many parents and staff that they've hired 4 other LPNs within the past 6 months! Yay for us!

    We do have to finish our RN within 3 years so we have a goal. Our NICU is a Level lll and I work in the Level ll part of the NICU. We have three parts to our NICU. The "east side = level 3", the "west side and special care nursery = level 2" and in April we will be opening up a fourth part of the unit which will be "transitional nursery".


    I was wondering how many of your NICU hire LPNs and what you think of it?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   MegNeoNurse
    I work in a Level III NICU and we do not hire LPNs. It would be pointless to as LPNs in NE cannot do IV therapy, admission assessments, and a few other things I don't remember right now from the Nurse Practice Act.

    Congrats and it will be great experience for nursing school! Being in the NICU myself as a CNA has helped me SO MUCH in nursing school (mostly in the OB/Ped section) with knowing labs, meds, medical term., respiratory, conditions, syndromes, etc. etc. etc.!
  4. by   SteveNNP
    Good for you!

    We currently do not hire LPNs, for the reasons stated above. LPNs can't do assessments, hang IV meds, blood, TPN, etc (99% of nicu nursing as you know) without an RN. In fact there is now a HUGE push for hiring only BSN-prepared RNs. We do have 1 LPN the unit decided to keep on, because she had worked for like, 40 years here, but she had to take a NICU tech position that does not include any patient care. Pretty sad.
  5. by   nursecarlie06
    Quote from SteveRN21
    Good for you!

    We currently do not hire LPNs, for the reasons stated above. LPNs can't do assessments, hang IV meds, blood, TPN, etc (99% of nicu nursing as you know) without an RN. In fact there is now a HUGE push for hiring only BSN-prepared RNs. We do have 1 LPN the unit decided to keep on, because she had worked for like, 40 years here, but she had to take a NICU tech position that does not include any patient care. Pretty sad.

    That's a shame that they made that LPN take a NICU tech position! As an LPN I'm aloud to hang IV med, TPN, DO assessments, admission on Chorio kids (well i've done one), discharges, IV starts... etc. But we can't hang blood or give blood products. There may be a few other things we cant do. My NICU also hires Externs, RN nursing students almost done with nursing school.

    I feel really lucky I can do those things because many cannot. It's definitely not a job for the cold-hearted.
  6. by   dawngloves
    WoW! When I did adults I never worked with an LPN that could hang IV meds, let alone start an IV. Are you sure that's in your scope of pratice and they're not taking advantage of you?
  7. by   traumaRUs
    In IL, LPNs CAN start IVs and hang some meds. Every state is different - makes it confusing at best.
  8. by   nursecarlie06
    Quote from dawngloves
    WoW! When I did adults I never worked with an LPN that could hang IV meds, let alone start an IV. Are you sure that's in your scope of pratice and they're not taking advantage of you?
    Ya it's in my scope of practice. We checked before they hired us. It gives us an advantage though because we can practice IV starts and hang IV meds, etc. We have a list of stuff we CAN'T do but we've always made sure we can do them before we do. It's pretty awesome actually! Ya every state is different.

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