I am a new nursing student and I have no hospital experience yet. However, I am fascinated with what I hear about the NICU. Is this a difficult area for new grads to get into? Do you find that a lot of NNP's work in NICU? Would this be good to pursue if I wanted to work in NICU? Any information will help?
Jul 15, '03
The hospital I work at hires new nurses all the time. I suggest doing a preceptorship in NICU to see if this is the area you really want to work in. It has been a very difficult adjustment for me. I worked in newborn for a year, and then took a job in a Level III NICU.
We have several NNP's, but they don't do the routine nursing care. They work under the Dr's. I go to my NNP just like I would go to a DR when my baby has a problem.
With the state of nursing now, you can go into almost any area you want without any prior experience.
Jul 15, '03
Do you find that you're happy working in NICU? Does the stress get to you in a way that would make you want to leave nursing or not pursue it long term?
Jul 15, '03
NICU is very stressful to me, but I've only been there for 4 months. I'm hoping as time goes on, I'll feel more comfortable and not be so scared. I plan to stay in NICU for a year, and if things don't change for me, then I'll look into something else. The nurses tell me it just takes time before you feel comfortable and that what I'm feeling is completely normal. The people I work with are very supportive. They help me all the time and don't seem to mind.
A preceptorship is when you work 1 on1 with a nurse in an area of your choice while you are in nursing school. My nursing program allowed us to do this in the summer. I also got paid for the preceptorship. It is a good way to figure out if you want to work in that area of nursing and to secure a job. I did my preceptorship in newborn nursery and I was hired to work in that same nursery after doing my preceptorship. My nursing program also required us to do a 48 hour preceptorship the last semester of nursing school.
Jul 21, '03
We were required to attend a 1 day clinical in neonatal nursing while in school. It was so boring because it was only observation. But I love babies and the field of neonatal nursing really is still new compaired to other fields. Not to mention, I worked as a Nursing Aid on a Med-Surge floor while in school. I knew for sure I did not want to go that route. So, I applied for a externship in the NICU to fullfill a management requirement my senior year. Still boring, but at least, with supervision, I was allowed to touch the babies. Gave me a clear pathway to a job in the NICU. Ive been there almost 5 years now. We are now starting to recruit new grads. We have a formal 6 months orientation including clinical and classes. I started in the NICU directly out of school. I love my job and I can't imagine being anywhere else. I work in a 55 bed level III nursery. We are directly connected with East Tennessee Regional Perinatal. Yes, it can be very stressful. But nursing is stressful nomatter what field. Burnout in neonatal nursing is high. You have to remember to take care of your emotional health. You cant take care of anyone if you dont first take care of yourself. It takes much longer than a few months to feel comfortable as a neonatal nurse. I remember feeling wonderful the day I finished an entire shift on "auto pilot". Meaning I didnt have to consciously think about the tasks I was performing. The feeling didnt last long though. I've since realized that I learn something new every single day. It may be stressful, but it is also so rewarding! I like the fact that I am usually working with the same premie for weeks, sometimes months. When he finally gets the suck, swallow, breathe down, It is such a joy! Very worth all the effort! Lots of luck where ever you find yourself
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