LVNs and NICU

  1. Hello all

    This is the area that I feel extemely drawn to work in. I think in part due to the experience of having our daughter born at home. We used a midwife, but up untill the last three hours it was just me and my wife. This for me was the strongest spiritual moment of my entire life. As is such I feel drawn to NICU.

    My question is as a student that that may become an LVN first and transition to RN do LVNs work in NICU and if so can LVN new grads work in NICU?

    NJS
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Brownms46
    Hi NJS,

    Yes they can, and I did...as a new grad...the next day after I got out of school. In fact I worked right there in Tx..in San Antonio. I loved it...but the money was pretty bad back then, and I went onto doing Agency nursing. I hope if you chose to start in nursing as an LVN, and while you continue your education...you will have the chance to do so also..

    And congradulations on the birth of your child...
  4. by   nell
    Whether or not LVNs can work in a NICU is up to hospital policy. Here in California, they can help out, but cannot be counted in the minimum staff ratios (1:2 in NICU, 1:4 in intermediate care).

    You might do better in L&D if you like the miracle of birth - preferably in a birthing center or hospital where things are more home-like and nurse-midwives are used.

    You probably wouldn't be completely comfortable in a NICU where the staff have likely dealt with the results of a few botched home births. Also, most of us have gone to baby codes in "normal" deliveries where something unforeseeable went wrong and only the immediate actions of highly skilled personnel and appropriate equipment and medications prevented tragedy. I have never known anyone in NICU that supported home birth.

    Good luck finding the right spot for yourself.
  5. by   NJS
    Hi nell, thanks for your oppinion

    You probably wouldn't be completely comfortable in a NICU where the staff have likely dealt with the results of a few botched home births.
    Yes I would. Also, I am sure a few have had to deal with "botched " hospital births.

    I know a couple RNs that have worked in NICU that support home birth.

    My wife, an RN with nineteen years experience and her sister who is also an RN not only support home birth, they participated.

    My RN wife gave birth at home and her RN sister attended.

    As is such, I do not have any problem what so ever working with others who are against home births.

    As honesty is a great virtue I don't think I will keep the fact that I attended a home birth secret from NICU nurses. If they choose to condemn me for attending my daughters birth at home then so be it.

    However those RNs and LVNs who have worked in NICU, that are aware I attended a home birth and encouarge me to persue my goal (see first reply to this thread from Brownms46) are welcome.

    As the subject of this thread is whether or not LVNs or new LVN grads can work in NICU perhaps it would be more appropriate if someone else started a thread regarding home birthing and institutional birthing.

    GOOD LUCK !

    Best Regards,
    NJS
    Last edit by NJS on Aug 17, '02
  6. by   NicuGal
    Our L/D, NICU and PICU are all RN staff. We had LPN's before this rule and they were the best! It depends on the hospital. We aren't even allowed to accept them for help
  7. by   Anaclaire
    Where I've worked, we only had RNs working (Level III NICU). We had a few Nursing Assistants who were responsible for restocking our storeroom and bedside tables and such and doing certain nursing type duties like vital signs, diapering, and feeding our growers and feeders as a way of helping the nurses when we were busy. That was pretty much it.
  8. by   Teshiee
    My initial training in NICU there were LVN's they did 1:3's growers and feeders and was usually floated out if we didn't have any. Unfortunately it does depend on the acute care facility you work for some are LVN friendly and some are like no way only RN. Giving birth to me is as natural as any other function humans perform. We have been brought to believe that home birth is bad. If the mom has complications like PIH, Diabetes or previous problems with her pregnancy then I can see not having a home birth but if you are low risk I don't see it being a problem. Women all over the world give birth and many have given birth in countries that do not have the state of the art technology like USA. 6 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet mother nature is doing something right. Labor & Delivery is great if you enjoy that birthing experience it is very touching. I say try all avenues in mother child you may like postpartum too. Whatever you choose I wish you well in it.
  9. by   Brownms46
    When I started in NICU...I had to work day shift! And I'm a night person thru, and thru. I even went to school nites! But...Lord I had the nerve to be late my first day...!

    My preceptor... kept me in Level III the whole dang time...I was being precepted!!!! She thought she was hurting me...and she made me feel dumb..everyday single day I was with her! But ya know what...she helped me ....and didn't even realize it...:chuckle! When my buddy who came in the unit with me, and I went on nites....she and some of her cronies...were taking bets about the babies not making it thru the nite with us caring for them! NEVER lost a baby.... ..at least not on my shift...Thank God!!!

    Now I must include...that my buddy...had a wonderful preceptor...who treated her very well indeed! I was green around the gills to say the least! They even went to lunch together...and :chuckle as they worked!

    I said that to say this...don't be intimidated by those who may not want, or feel you should be in a NICU! As I'm sure there will be someone who does feel the way my preceptor did.

    There are plenty of areas that allow LV/PNS to work in all areas of NICU...not just feeders. So go for what you want...and go where they will allow you to do...everything you're capable of learning to do. In Texas...you should have no problem doing this, as LVNs have very little restrictions...really except for what "a few" hospitals place on them. There are hospitals in DFW area...Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Brownsville, and others...where LVNs work...doing total care for Critical care pts. Also worked NICU in S. C....and was never restricted either! Not even when I worked at MUSC!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Aug 21, '02
  10. by   NurseAngie
    Originally posted by NJS
    Hi nell, thanks for your oppinion


    As the subject of this thread is whether or not LVNs or new LVN grads can work in NICU perhaps it would be more appropriate if someone else started a thread regarding home birthing and institutional birthing.

    GOOD LUCK !

    Best Regards,
    NJS
    EXACTLY!!! I was really confused when I read that post since I THOUGHT the thread was about LVN's working in NICU. One other thing, someone must have been feeling pretty superior to post such comments like that. I for one do NOT agree with a single comment she/he made. UGH!!!

    ~Angie
  11. by   NJS
    Thanks for the words of encouragement

    As I am in the middle of "covering my bases" ie. taking ADN prerequisites at two different colleges and waiting for word on acceptance to various LVN programs its is a treat to read what you have posted.

    NJS
  12. by   Working Girl
    In my unit we have several LVN's working and several have been there for many years. They are allowed to take intermediate assigments and are all wonderful at their jobs. I am a RN and I have worked in NICU for two years and I have learned alot from our LVN's. They are wonderful and are always willing to teach the new nurses what they know. Several of our LVN's have worked in NICU for 15-20 years.

    Good Luck!!!!
  13. by   guest01
    To NJS,
    We do not have LVN's in our hospital, but if they do in your area go for it. some nurses I work with say they can't believe why anyone would choose to give birth other than the best hospital with a good NICU. But I know it is from their horror experiences. I gave birth in the hospital where I now work 13 and 12 yrs ago. the last being in a birthing center in the basement with a midwife. Even though the NICU is only 2 floors away some nurses say they could never do even that. I was not a nurse then, but completely comfortable with my decision and still am. Most births are fine, it is a natural thing, not meant to be an institutionalized experience. And if the mom had good prenatal care and is not high risk, why not. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Thank God we can all have different opinions, this world would be boring without them.

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