Student persuing a new grad NICU position

  1. Hi all!

    I will be graduating in May 2013 and have always had an extreme interest for the NICU. I recently completed my rotations at our local childrens hospital where i rotated on a level 4 NICU.

    I want to persue an externship this coming fall which would increase my knowledge and skill level.

    I do have second thoughts however about becoming a NICU nurse right off the bat!
    Pros vs Cons?

    My boyfriend is in a career where we may have to move around in a couple of years and I am worried that if I start in a NICU, I might narrow my skills; however I believe this is where my heart is set.

    Input please!
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    About aztecnurse

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 3; Likes: 2


  3. by   tina0401
    Where do you live?? If your heart is into the NICU then I would go for it..New grads learn a lot in the NICU. You will definitively limit your skills when compared to the CSICU or MICU but it is a good start and most NICU nurses can transition into a TICU without much difficultly if you want to broaden your skills later on. Feel free to pick my brain, I have been doing this for 20yrs and still find I am learning something new everyday. Good Luck to you!!
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    if you want to pursue (sp) this as a course, and you can find someone who will hire you for it, why not? most new grads are not ready to begin an rn career in a critical care area, but if the nicu managers in question feels it's possible to give you adequate long-term orientation and supervision, i think you have to trust their judgment. good luck!
  5. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    I think that if you're really interested in working in the NICU then you should do everything you can now to try to secure a position in a NICU that hires new grad. nurses.

    Start networking now and find ways to get your name around to management. I would suggest that you look into obtaining a position as a CNA, student nurse tech, unit secretary, unit assistant or something similar so that you can get your foot in the door.

    If that isn't possible, I would look into volunteering opportunities.

    NICUs have a reputation of being notoriously difficult to get into as a new grad. because of the low turnover rate and the fact that it costs a lot of money to train a new grad. NICU nurse. Do everything you can to network now before you graduate but also be prepared for that fact that you might not be able to find a NICU position in your area right away. In that case, I suggest you look into a Maternity or Pediatric position initially that you can use to transition into the NICU at some point during your career. For example, this may mean taking a position at a hospital on the Mother-Baby/Postpartum unit and then transferring to the NICU when appropriate.

    Keep in mind that if NICU is absolutely where you want to start you may have to look into relocating in order to obtain the position you're seeking. Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

    Last edit by cjcsoon2bnp on Jun 19, '12
  6. by   ToughingItOut
    Where do you live? I understand your fear that you might narrow your skill set, however, I have mostly found that NICU skills are not narrowed as much as they are miniaturized, lol. It's still an ICU. It is true that you MAY pigeon-hole yourself just a little, however, with at least two years experience, I think you will find quite a few openings (especially travel nursing options) across the country. Maybe tell your bf not to move for the next two years, lol? Is he military? Also, not that I've tried recently, but I do feel that I could at least get some interviews for more medsurg like floors.

    Also, if you really love NICU, think of it this way. NICU nursing is an extremely specialized skill - an extremeley specialized skill they need almost everywhere in the country. I have had friends leave after only one year of experience and find other NICU positions relatively easily in other parts of the country (even in California). Moreover, while this may not be best practice, many NICU's will hire new grads over experienced adult/medsurg nurses. This is one of the many reasons that helped me decide between accepting a medsurg offer vs. a NICU offer (you can look back at my very first posts). I just decided, well, I could either start off in NICU (my dream job) or die tomorrow working medsurg and never even get to NICU. A little dramatic, I know, but it helped me decide. Btw, I have nothing but the most profound respect for medsurg nursing...I just wanted NICU.