NICU exposure in Nursing School

  1. I know all schools are different, and I do plan on asking the schools I am applying to this very question. But I am curious what everyone's experiences were in their school. How much time did you spend learning about the NICU. Did you actually get to spend any time during clinicals or a practicum in a NICU? If I can't get any time in a NICU in school, I definitely want to shadow to see what it's really like, since my only experience was as a parent, which is totally different.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   RunnerRN2015
    We took a tour of the NICU in maternal/neonatal and I think in peds we spend 1 clinical day there. You can choose it for your 202 preceptorship.
  4. by   elkpark
    I spent six weeks doing 4 days/week clinical in NICU, but I attended a hospital-based diploma school. I realize my experience is highly unusual.
  5. by   Preemie 2 RN
    I attended a community college for my ADN and we had a 5 week clinical rotation through labor and delivery which included one 12 hour shift in the NICU. While in the NICU we were only allowed to observe and feed the feeder and growers.
  6. by   LadyFree28
    I had a rotation into the NICU during my Maternity rotation; I made a care plan for my patient as well.
  7. by   vanessaem
    I don't know about other schools and their clinical rotations but at the hospitals where I did my rotations, whether or not people were able to go to particular units or have certain types of experiences was based solely at the discretion of whomever was in charge of hosting the various students. The clinical instructors rarely had a say so on where you went. In my Peds and Maternity rotation, we were able to spend time in the NICU. We lucked out and had a great group of nurses there who taught us a great deal. I was allowed to feed and comfort the more healthier and stable babies.
  8. by   jamisaurus
    I was in the NICU for my entire peds rotation and i loved it! Other clinical groups were in burn units, GI floors, Etc. We do have a large children's hospital close to our school though.
  9. by   Satori77
    It's nice to know people are getting some time in the NICU.

    Jamisaurus, that would be amazing. I've never talked to a nurse or student that spent more than 1 day in the NICU.
  10. by   NYbabyRN
    Quote from elkpark
    I spent six weeks doing 4 days/week clinical in NICU, but I attended a hospital-based diploma school. I realize my experience is highly unusual.
    That is awesome! I wish I could have had the experience of a hospital-based diploma school.
  11. by   zeus&lincoln
    I spent one day shadowing in the NICU during my maternity clinical and requested 1 more day to shadow during my peds rotation. Two days.. That's it! We hardly learned about the neonatal population during NS. It only took 1 day in the NICU to know that's where I wanted to be. After getting a job in the NICU I can completely understand why NS doesn't provided more of an in depth education in NICU. NICU is a completely different breed of nursing than any other nursing speciality. If you don't work in NICU, you really don't need to know much about it. NS provides a general education on nursing. Therefore it would stand to reason that they'd predominately discuss adult care with a sprinkle of women's health, peds and nicu. Also, we weren't allowed to do a practicum in the NICu... Hopefully you'll have much more time in NICU. Good luck, I know I am biased but NICU "is" the best speciality there is in nursing!
  12. by   Bortaz, RN
    I went to the NICU anytime a mother refused to allow me to care for them during my OB rotation, which was just fine with me. I and my instructor knew I wanted to work in NICU, so she kinda looked the other way and let me find any excuse to go in there. Thankful for that.

    i also did a 160 hour preceptorship in the NICU where I currently work.
  13. by   babyNP.
    I completed my "practicum" (a couple hundred hours) in a NICU during the last semester of nursing school (traditional BSN). I would ask the schools that you're applying to if they allow student preference during elective/specialty/capstone type clinical courses.
  14. by   Satori77
    Quote from zeus&lincoln
    I spent one day shadowing in the NICU during my maternity clinical and requested 1 more day to shadow during my peds rotation. Two days.. That's it! We hardly learned about the neonatal population during NS. It only took 1 day in the NICU to know that's where I wanted to be. After getting a job in the NICU I can completely understand why NS doesn't provided more of an in depth education in NICU. NICU is a completely different breed of nursing than any other nursing speciality. If you don't work in NICU, you really don't need to know much about it. NS provides a general education on nursing. Therefore it would stand to reason that they'd predominately discuss adult care with a sprinkle of women's health, peds and nicu. Also, we weren't allowed to do a practicum in the NICu... Hopefully you'll have much more time in NICU. Good luck, I know I am biased but NICU "is" the best speciality there is in nursing!
    It definitely is a different type of nursing compared to all other specialties. That's why I want as much exposure as possible.

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