transition from adult ICU to NICU

  1. hey NICU nurses!

    i have just applied for a NICU position, at a children's hospital near where i live, and am desperately hoping to get it.

    i have not had any experience with neonates, or pediatrics for that matter (except in nursing school...many years ago). but have had 2 years of experience adult cardiac and medical intensive care. will this be too hard of a transition for me? now, i do realize the age differences, different medications and dosages, VS differences, etc...you know all of that stuff...but is it going to be like starting all over from scratch? will i get treated as if i have no nursing experience what so ever?

    i have always wanted to do NICU, but i followed the advice of my ICU instructor in college and started off with adults. i wish that i would have just started in that area. i guess, at this point in time i am lacking confidence. any input, especially from nurses that have gone through this, would be helpful!

    thanks!
    becky :roll :roll :roll :roll
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    An experienced and dedicated nurse is a valuable asset on any unit. Good luck to you. I hope you get the job!

    P.S. What a pleasure it will be for you to have all your patients within eye-shot at all times, and be able to reposition them all by yourself!
  4. by   live4today
    Yes, the transition will be like starting from scratch, but you'll be surprised at how quickly you catch on. Congrats ahead of time! You'll love the switch, I'm sure. Infants are a joy to work with. Heartbreaking when you lose one, but tears of joy are shed when you help one survive beyond all hope.
  5. by   prmenrs
    The hardest thing for me when I made the same move was losing the ability to look at a pt, and know by "Gestalt" impression whether they were "ok". All that adult stuff you learned in nursing school has to be unglued, and new "norms" installed. You CAN DO IT, but be patient w/yourself.

    On the other hand, you will have skills that some of the NICU nurses don't have, and you know monitoring and stuff like that.
    I would suggest you start doing your homework--buy a Merenstein and Gardner, Neonatal Intensive Care, a brand new edition is available on amazon. Also get a Neofax--it's a drug reference book, and will prove useful. A neonatal stethescope helps, don't try to get by w/an adult one. You don't HAVE to get a Littman--the less expensive stethescopes work fine. Also, review stuff on breastfeeding--usually, you start off in the convalescing area, and that's a really big issue.

    Remember that, just as babies are immature people (and that affects how they deal w/drugs, infections, and other stuff), premies are immature babies. Every body system is not ready to be out of the uterus, and everything that goes wrong is usually reflective of that fact. Most of the problems will be outgrown, but not all, esp the neurological problems.

    Parents are grieving for the baby they did not have, and are very fragile.

    You will be welcomed, I hope, and learn an incredible amount. I wish you the best of luck. Where else can you work where on some days, you can hold and rock a baby, and et paid a lot of $$ for it? Also, the messes are a lot smaller!!
  6. by   HPlayBoyU
    WHat is the hourly wage of a new grad working in the NICU where u work prmenrs ?
  7. by   dawngloves
    Hey Becky! You sound like me 6 months ago!
    I went from adults to NICU back then and no, it wasn't easy. You literally do start from scratch. There are some similarities as far as art lines and lab values and med side effects. But dosages, v/s ranges, all different. And ACLS, forget all that!! There are what? Two meds you give for NALS?!
    It's tough when you're the rookie. I still get nurses that come up to me and are like, "Don't forget this" or " You better tell the doc that" Well no sh#t! I didn't fall off the turnip truck! Boy, I miss my "Gestalt"! But I think I 'll get it back.

    Good luck!:kiss
  8. by   prmenrs
    Hplay--I'll find out for you. pre
  9. by   slazrn
    I was just thinking about the same thing...I work in an adult cardiac ICU and plan on moving in about a yr and a half to the northeast (i live in FL now) and have always wanted to work with neonates and decided to look into it...definitely never expected to find this feed so quickly...hope it goes well for you...keep us posted as I am interested in the same transition. Good Luck
  10. by   babyNP.
    Um...this thread was started in 2002 and the OP has not posted since 2003. I don't think she's going to return since it's been 8 years.

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