what happens if...

  1. Some may know me from the post "who to contact." I was wondering, say 5 or 10 years down the line I want to move on to something other than NICU, but have only been in the NICU, would I easily be able to get a job in other areas? This has been bugging me, b/c I for sure want to go to NICU when I graduate, but who knows what my wants will be years from now. Does anyone know the answer to this?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    Quote from girlfromtx
    Some may know me from the post "who to contact." I was wondering, say 5 or 10 years down the line I want to move on to something other than NICU, but have only been in the NICU, would I easily be able to get a job in other areas? This has been bugging me, b/c I for sure want to go to NICU when I graduate, but who knows what my wants will be years from now. Does anyone know the answer to this?

    I worked the first 5 years of my nursing career in the NICU. I loved it, and didn't really want to leave, but I got the silly notion in my head that I was losing all of my adult skills. So, I went to an LDRP unit. I knew I didn't want to stray too far from my NICU roots, but I did get the opportunity to "brush up" on caring for adults. I found that I loved mother-baby, thought L&D was "OK", and got pulled to the NICU a lot! I eventually went back to the NICU full time.
  4. by   girlfromtx
    So I'm guessing you had no trouble going to L&D then... My mother has put a funny little notion in my head that I shouldn't start out in NICU b/c I would lose all of my adult skills and not get hired anywhere else if need be.
  5. by   Gompers
    Well I'll be honest...

    You will lose your adult skills if you stay in the NICU.

    HOWEVER...

    In seven years, I've only seen a handful of nurses leave my unit to do something other than NICU nursing. A couple went to work in peds clinics or offices, basically because they have better schedules than hospital nursing. Another went to adult ICU becuase she wanted to go to CRNA school and needed the experience. Then there were a couple of new grads who decided that NICU wasn't right for them, and they left within a year so they still had all their nursing school education still rather fresh in their heads.

    The other 120+ nurses I work with can't imagine doing anything bedsides NICU nursing.

    Basically, I'd say over 90% of nurses that start in the NICU never leave it.

    So try it out. If you don't think it's right for you, then you can go to adult nursing. But if you really want NICU, don't torture yourself doing a year of adult nursing "just in case" or just because someone told you to.

    Just my opinion. Good luck!
  6. by   sparkyRN
    Any good hospital with an established training and preceptor program would probably be happy to have an experienced licensed nurse regardless of his or her background. If you're willing to stick it out, they will likely welcome you with open arms and train you to fit their needs.

    You might benefit from subscribing to an adult-geared nursing journal to help you keep up your knowledge base.
  7. by   girlfromtx
    That's true Sparky. I want to go to NICU so bad, that I can't see me ever wanting to change areas:chuckle . However, if some unforseeable event comes up that I HAD to work in an adult area, I have heard that there are refresher courses, maybe I could just take those? I like the stats you gave Gompers, very reassuring.
  8. by   Jolie
    Quote from girlfromtx
    That's true Sparky. I want to go to NICU so bad, that I can't see me ever wanting to change areas:chuckle . However, if some unforseeable event comes up that I HAD to work in an adult area, I have heard that there are refresher courses, maybe I could just take those? I like the stats you gave Gompers, very reassuring.

    Refresher courses are intended for nurses who have been out of practice for a time. Changing specialties is a common occurence which your employer can (and should) accomodate thru an extensive orientation. Don't sweat it!
  9. by   fergus51
    I was offered several adult ICU positions because of my NICU experience. I know NICU nurses who have gone on to adult ICU, OR and OB.

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