NICU is my dream but I am a new grad..

  1. It is so frustrating to look for a job as a new grad.. The selection is this: med/surg or telemtry... What if this is not what I want to do..? I applied in a big Chicago hospital for a NICU job. There were 12 positions opened. I did not get it and they reply " you don't have any hospital experience." They right, I don't. I have been working in a nursing home for a year as LPN and took my RN NCLEX today. I want that experience in the hospital, but I would like to get a position that would help me when I apply for NICU job again later. Maybe there is someone who would be so kind and give an advise..
    Is there a unit other that would help me to become NICU nurse?
    Is there a certifications that I could take on my own?
    Overall what should I do if I don't want med/sug and telemetry?
    Thank you in advance...:uhoh21:
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    Don't be discouraged by one hospital. Chicago has a number of hospitals with NICUs, and many of them offer specialized orientation designed for new grads. Keep up the hunt!
  4. by   missapoo
    VTN: I was a relatively new grad when I came into NICU nursing and they focused my training from the ground up so to speak. My director told me she didn't expect me to know anything yet and to throw everything I did know out the window and begin from scratch. I think her method was a good one. Since I have been at this hospital there have been several new grads hired with little to no experience so I wouldn't give up just yet. Jolie is right, there are places out there with the right orientation focused on you the new grad and they will welcome you aboard and give you all the training you need. My unit director sends us to training seminars and gives ample opportunity for continuing ed. Some is required and some is voluntary and I am sure that will vary from place to place. I wish you the best in your quest!!
  5. by   aviator411
    Having done some NICU management I can tell you that many units "try" to hire people with a couple of years of experience when they can but they aren't always able to do that and when they can't they will hire less experienced personnel. Even when they are able to hire people with nursing experience these people require substantial training and supervision before they are able to function in the environment.

    The experience you have as a LPN is more than the BSN grads I see being hired by local NICU's here have. There are very few absolute rules rules on this; it's a matter of supply vs demand. Just be patient and keep trying; you will find the NICU job you're looking for. Meanwhile any ICU or pediatrics experience you can acquire will only help you get where you want to be.

    Best of luck to you!
  6. by   verytallnurse
    Thank you all for responding. It made me feel a little better. I was just disapointed when looking for a job.. I am looking into 4 hospitals around me and they would not even consider your application id you don't have at least a year of hospital experience or even better: at least 2 years in that field you are applying. I considered Rush even I would have to drive for an hour to get to work. It might be easier to get in to ICU or ED, pediatrics have high requirements also. I guess since I have a job right now I am not so desporate and will keep looking until I'll get lucky. Thank you so much again!
  7. by   mvanz9999
    hi verytallnurse. i have a friend who went to the university of chicago nicu after graduating a year ago. that was his first job right out of school.
  8. by   Jolie
    Rush, U of I, U of C, Michael Reese, and Loyola have all hired new grads into their NICUs. Children's Memorial also hires new grads, although I don't know for sure which units. I'm sure that there are more possibilities out there, but these are the hospitals that I know have hired new grads.

    Peds can be tough to get into as a new grad because peds jobs are relatively scarce. Most children are healthy and not hospitalized between the ages of 1month-18 years. That's why most of the time, the peds unit is the smallest in the hospital.

    NICUs are a different story. The first 28 days of life (the age group theoretically served by the NICU) are among the riskiest, with a very high rate of hospitalization. NICUs are typically much larger than the general pediatric units in hospitals, and require more intensive staffing. If peds is your area of interest, you stand a much better chance of finding a job in a NICU than any other area of pediatrics.

    Inner city hospitals typically have more difficulty maintaining staff than those in suburban and/or rural areas, and are often willing to hire new grads. Just make sure that there are adequate numbers of experienced staff to orient and mentor you, and that your orientation is comprehensive. Look for a unit where at least 50% of the nurses on any given shift have 2 or more years experience on that unit. NICU orientation should be about 12 weeks long 1:1 with a consistent preceptor, and should also include classroom instruction, including NRP if you will be attending deliveries.
  9. by   RainDreamer
    Come to AZ!! Tons of hospitals here hire new grads right into the NICU, with great orientation programs.

    There are hospitals out there that will hire you, so please don't give up. I wish you all the best of luck and hope you find what you're looking for!
  10. by   WannaBCRNA
    RainDreamer,
    Would you be able to give me some names of the hospitals in AZ that hire new grads into the NICU with great orientation programs? I'm from MN but have always dreamed about living in AZ, I especially fancy the Scottsdale area!

    Thank you!
  11. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from WannaBCRNA
    RainDreamer,
    Would you be able to give me some names of the hospitals in AZ that hire new grads into the NICU with great orientation programs? I'm from MN but have always dreamed about living in AZ, I especially fancy the Scottsdale area!

    Thank you!
    St. Joes in Phx (AWESOME orientation program for new grads!), Phoenix Children's Hospital/Good Sam in Phx, Banner Desert in Mesa.

    Those hospitals hire new grads into the NICU and they have the biggest Level III NICUs here in the valley. I don't think Banner Desert does ECMO right now, but I know they're in the process of a huge NICU expansion. If you want to move to Scottsdale, then working in Mesa would be a shorter commute since it's in the east valley. But do check out St. Joes too (about a 25 minute commute from the easy valley), as it's a great hospital.

    http://www.stjosephs-phx.org/intrado...nodeId=5001534

    http://www.bannerhealth.com/Location...cal+Center.htm

    http://www.phoenixchildrens.com/

    Check those out and contact the recruiters! Good luck!
  12. by   WannaBCRNA
    Wow, thank you so much! I am pretty fimilar with the Mesa area, as well as Tempe and Scottsadale.
    I appreciate the info, thanks again.
  13. by   verytallnurse
    Thank you all for a great advice. I did something great since the last time I wrote - I started to focus on "What do I need to do to GET NICU" and not on " Oh no... I don't want to work in med/surg..". I took NRP class on my own which, by the way, impressed NICU manager in Loyola. Next day I got an offer and accepted it. Sooo.... I will be stating in Loyola NICU June 4th. I am so excited, I can't even express it!!!! This is THE JOB I went to nursing school for. Fantastic! NICU, ready or not - here I come! Thanks again everyone!

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