New Grad NICU Support Thread - page 9

Calling all New Grad NICU nurses...thanks to a thread started by NurseDevonL, we have decided to start a support group. Hopefully some of our more experienced NICU nurses will look in every so often... Read More

  1. by   albpreemieRN
    Hi everyone! I am a new grad who just found out I will be starting a NICU new grad residency program in Jan! I am SO excited, this is exactly what I have wanted to do throughout school and I feel so lucky to be able to start in NICU. Any advice for my first few days? I know I will be taking classes from some of the CNS's in the area.
  2. by   banannie
    Congrats! What state is your program located in?
  3. by   albpreemieRN
    Quote from banannie
    Congrats! What state is your program located in?

    Southern California
  4. by   new2nicuRN
    Hi all!

    I am a new grad RN and was just offered a position in a level III NICU at a large children's hospital I am unbelievably excited and thankful! I am in shock that I got my dream position. I had applied for countless jobs with no luck and was getting very discouraged. To all the new grads out there. Keep your head up and stay positive, I know this is hard to do. Any advice or recommended reading would be greatly appreciated! :heartbeat
  5. by   Info(RN)matics
    ADN - May 2008
    BSN - May 2010

    Taking my professors' advice to get med-surg experience first, I've been working on the med-surg floor at a small community hospital in Yonkers, NY since June 2008. My dream is to become a NICU nurse. The hospital I work at does not have a NICU or a mother-baby unit, or even pediatrics.

    I've been applying to NICU positions since May 2010. However, I have found that everyone finds a "candidate more suitable for the position" since I do not fit the criteria of "previous NICU experience preferred."

    I am still hanging on to my dream of becoming a nurse in the NICU.

    What do I do now?
  6. by   irish_rainbow
    I started working as a new graduate in a Level 3 NICU in October 2010. The hardest part for me was simply applying what I had learned (mostly on adults) in a completely different patient setting. The assessment was the same and different all at the same time. It still followed the same layout... head to toe, however what you are assessing can be and is different in the babies. Also, working with the parents and family was something I had to get used to. They are usually quite anxious or scared because they do not understand everything that is happening with their baby. Some will simply ask you questions and others will act out this anxiety in emotions. Being able to understand that, and deal appropriately with parents and their varying personalities is a big part of being a NICU nurse.

    Working in the NICU was my dream because I had worked there for a year as a student nurse... I knew it is where I wanted to be. It has been extremely fulfilling, at times demanding, but overall I would not change a thing.

    If you are about to start working in a NICU... enjoy it! If you are still seeking a job, my advice for you is to never quit. You may have to take a position that pays a little lower since you don't have any or very little NICU experience... but if that is truly your dream, then I would say go for it! Some important things to remember during a NICU interview: discuss being a team player (gives examples in nursing school or your current job), show enthusiasm and appreciation about the prospect of working in the NICU, and lastly... be yourself in your interview and let your inner goodness shine through.
  7. by   2Nurture1
    Thanks irish nurse for the info and along with everyone else, I will keep it all in mind on my NICU journey. While in school, I'd always thought for sure OB/L&D was where I wanted to be, that was only until my third day while precepting in L&D, my preceptor and I ended up having to spend the rest of the day in the NICU due to short-staffing. OMG! After 5 minutes of being there I was sold! One nurse allowed me to give feedings thru g-tubes, showed me how to warm the feedings, reposition them, and of course rock, hold, and feed the growers. I enjoyed every minute of being in the NICU more so than I ever had while in L&D; I felt as though this area was my calling.
    Funny thing is though, I had never given it one thought before, just never seemed to cross my mind I suppose until I was actually exposed.

    Ever since that wonderful experience, my eyes have been set in the specialty. As it turns out, since graduating this past May, trying to get any job in a hospital in my area is like pulling teeth. So I've ended up accepting a job in a LTC facility since they were the first to offer employment. Meanwhile, I've been in contact with the Nurse recruiter at our local Children's hospital for a position I put in for on their CVICU. She's told me that I will definitely be considered once they start interviewing and to keep in touch with her. I've even went so far as signing up as a volunteer in this same Children's hospital in their NICU.

    Nonetheless, I am staying optimistic and praying that I will one day land a position in a NICU as you all have and start taking care of these little angels. I am so happy for all of you (and a tad bit jealous I have to admit) that have been able to find your calling in the NICU, so please keep posting your experiences as this is what also keeps me going.:redpinkhe

  8. by   mawy568
    Thanks for starting this. I am a (sorta) new grad, graduated August 2010 and will be starting in a level 3 NICU August 22. I did an internship through CINHC while I was looking for work in a different level 3 NICU. I love the NICU and am super excited to start!
  9. by   happy2bNICURN
    Hi All! Happy to have this thread. Just graduated with my BSN in May and got my RN shortly thereafter. I am so lucky to have found a NICU RN job at a local Level III NICU. Just started last week and recently had my first day on the floor, loving it! I am super nervous and want to learn everything I can, so hopefully this forum will be a good information source and support zone.

    I recently joined NANN and ANN for the CNEs, journals, and the points (my hospital uses a ladder merit system for RNs). Does anyone have any ideas about other great resources or organizations? Specifically I am looking for some really great journals.
  10. by   happy2bNICURN
    Also- anyone have any good NICU brains they would like to share? I am making up my own, but I would like something to compare it to. A lot of the nurses in my unit just make their own on scratch paper, but I like something pre-printed so I don't forget things.
  11. by   Bortaz, RN
    My NICU brain:

    It's an excel spreadsheet.
  12. by   EricJRN
    That's a cool brain, Bortaz. I don't use a pre-printed one anymore, but I'm interested in them because they may help our new nurses that I sometimes precept. Thanks for sharing yours.

    One thing I do on my improvised brains: I make sure to make sure to draw two small boxes near the corner. I label one Family and write in any changes or questions that I need to relay to parents. I label the other Doctor, for any MD order questions I have or any assessment issues I want to relay. It never fails that I'm up to my elbows in ostomy refeeding fun when the team rounds and I'll forget something if I don't write it in one specific place.
  13. by   prmenrs
    Mine was 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, printed on both sides. The front had a vertical line just to the R of center, and a time grid on that side. I put meds due in the boxes, scratched them out when given; I circled the hours that feedings were due, and notedfluids output.

    The L side had larger boxes for vent settings, most recent gases, labs due or values of that am's draw, IV sites and fluids; feedings--what when and how. The last box on that side was for any special procedures, x-rays, OT, etc.

    The back side of the paper was also split in half--one side for baby hx, other for mom hx and social issues. I abbreviated the most common things so I could circle them in Report: baseline info, BW Gestation, initial dx: "IDM, pnm, pntx, nec, ivh...." Surgeries. Mom's g/p, c-section, diabetes, pih, etc.