What are the requirements to work in the NICU?

  1. Hi, I was wondering how one can get into the NICU? Do you usually have to have experience in other departments first? Can a new grad RN go directly to the NICU? Are there other opportunities for neonatal nurses outside the hospital setting? Thanks
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   2banurse
    I think it all depends on the hospitals you will apply to. Now because of the shortage, I think that new RNs have more openings than in the past.

    Good Luck!
  4. by   Heather333
    I went into NICU as a new grad. I worked as a Tech/Secretarty in adult ICU for 6 years prior to graduation. You'll have to research the hospitals in your area to see what is available and possibly talk to someone in HR. Good Luck!

    Heather
  5. by   nell
    Lots of hospitals have new-grad training programs for NICU. As everyone already said, check the places you are interested in working.

    One of the opportunities for neonatal nurses outside the hospital setting is pediatric home care. These are usually kids with chronic conditions that don't require hospital care but still need frequent medical care - especially while their parents are at work or during the night so they can sleep. A lot of them have trachs and are on ventilators at home.

    It is a totally different kind of nursing and can be very rewarding.
  6. by   dawngloves
    We have new grads too! Make sure you have a refferance from you peds or OB clinical instructor. Can be a big help!
  7. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    I am transferring from the PICU to NICU. NICU was my first choice but recruitment pushed the PICU because they have such a bad turnover in nurses I am hoping to get a position in the NICU at the same hospital I am working at if not I will basically look for another hospital so I can start in the NICU. I am a new grad and I will be reading book after book and ask so many questions but I want to be a good nurse and be able to care for the lil ones.
  8. by   periwinkletulip
    Originally posted by CMAMW
    Hi, I was wondering how one can get into the NICU? Do you usually have to have experience in other departments first? Can a new grad RN go directly to the NICU? Are there other opportunities for neonatal nurses outside the hospital setting? Thanks
    i am graduating in 21 days and have already been hired at Childrens Hospital in Cincinnati in the NICU. I'm very excited to get started. They are putting me in training classes especially for NICU for 6 weeks before I start. Good luck to you.
  9. by   roxannekkb
    I started as a new grad in the NICU. I worked in the NICU for 2 years while I was in nursing school. It was the only place I wanted to work. I didn't have any problems getting a job, in fact, there were 3 hospitals who wanted to hire me. And when I started nursing, the shortage wasn't nearly as bad as it is now.
  10. by   NICU-RNHeather
    our nicu seems to hire a large amount of new grads. I worked for a bit in adult medicine, ICU/TELE/SDU and made my transition to the NICU. I am more happy now than I ever have been!!!! Thank god, I thought i'd never fing my niche If you decide to pursue this specialty, the rewards are limitless!!!!
  11. by   curlyqluli
    I got hired on into the NICU (as a new grad) because my hospital offers a Pediatric Internship Program. The hosptial trains you for 5.5 months with 75% hands-on time, and 25% classroom time.
  12. by   NicuNsg
    Hi! It is great to hear everyones comments, it is very encouraging!
    I am a recent grad and have a job awaiting me in a wonderful level 3 NICU. I have over the last 3 years worked at a skilled nursing facility for Peds (NICU grads) with chronic illnesses. I am extremely excited about working with these little babies and their families. The hospital that I will be working at is similar to curlyqluli, except the hands on is 100% and I will have readings at night. If looking for something outside of the hospital setting there is home health for the inexperienced (oddly enough), but if you were interest in a nursing facility with a feel of home do a search on the web for PPEC (Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care), with this, atleast in my state, you must have 2 yrs of Pediatric experience, perf. NICU. This is where I teched for 3 yrs (great experience!!!!! Good luck in your endevours and don't give up on your dreams, YOU can make them happen!
    Last edit by NicuNsg on May 29, '03

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