I am a nurse who just finished my bachelor's degree online this month. I am 28 years old, and I have been a NICU nurse for the past 4 years. I started as a new grad in the NICU and I have been there ever since. I love being a NICU nurse, but recently I have been wondering if I should look into other areas and get more experience in a different field. I love working with the babies, but there is a part of me that wants to work with adults or possibly Pediatrics. Being a NICU nurse has been an amazing experience and I love my job. It is very rewarding and I feel very confident in my skills as a NICU nurse. When I was a CNA I worked in an orthopedic unit and I really enjoyed the interaction with the adult patients and all of the people that I met. In the NICU sometimes I miss interacting with my patients the way I did in Orthopedics. I do get to interact with the parents and so that part is nice. I want to become a nurse practitioner, but I don't think that I want to be a neonatal nurse practitioner. I don't see myself wanting to work in a hospital as a practitioner. I don't think having to take call shifts or work 24 hour shifts would be a good fit for me. I would love to be a family nurse practitioner who sees patients in a clinic or possibly a pediatric nurse practitioner. I also have been looking into just getting my masters in nursing education. My dilemma is that I just moved to Texas and I have been offered a position in a level 3 NICU. This would be an amazing NICU to work in, and if I decided to get my Master's degree, I could eventually become a nurse educator working in the NICU and I know I would be very good at it. Part of me feels like I should take this opportunity, but another Part of Me is thinking about looking into other positions and possibly taking a job getting experience with adults or children. Then from there, I could apply to become a family nurse practitioner, and eventually care for patients in a practice like I have envisioned myself. It is hard because I could see myself being an educator as well. My only fear with this is throwing away an amazing opportunity with this NICU position and regretting my decision and realizing what a great job I had. I love nursing because there are so many opportunities and experiences, but sometimes I feel like I wind up getting confused about what I want to do. I feel like I am at a Crossroads between possibly losing an amazing job opportunity, or possibly limiting myself and not stepping out of my comfort zone to see what other opportunities are out there. Any input or advice would be really appreciated. Thank you so much!
Take the job. After a year, if you still have the desire, put in a transfer to a peds M/S floor or PICU and work on your NP.
Thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate it. That sounds like a great plan.
Agree with guy in babyland, get some financial security in a specialty you know in your new town first.
Maybe take the job in the NICU and apply to be a float nurse with your unit base being in the NICU? That way you still have the NICU that you love but can get experience in other things like Peds.
May as well follow your vision since you're so motivated. That's great. Branch out now if you feel like getting new experiences. You only live once. You can always return if you want.
Get a PRN job somewhere else. Or see if you can float to another department and stat doing some hours there.
Or with 4 years of NICU experience, you could easily get a PRN position in a NICU and look for a full time position in another specialty you want to explore. That's what I did, and while it worked well for me, it kind of made me even more conflicted. I ended up going the PNP route, which I do love, but I also miss the NICU and am considering returning for post-master's NNP.
Take the job! I'd KILL for a NICU position, so congrats! If you want to explore other specialties, apply for a per diem position! Most hospitals will let you do PRN in another department. That way you get the best of both worlds and can see which fit is good for you! Good luck!
Quote from Micque11
Most hospitals will let you do PRN in another department.
That is not necessarily true. Working an extra shift in another department would put her into overtime. Unless the other department is short staffed and desperate, they will not be willing to pay time and a half for her to work the shift when they can pull a nurse from a floor that has low census.
Thank you everyone for your responses, I really appreciate it. I decided to take the job, and I start next week. I am going to give it a good chance and see how I feel after working there for at least six months to a year. I am actually really excited now and feeling so much better about this opportunity and my decision, so thank you guys for all your input!
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