Psych or NICU job - HELP!!

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    Hi! I was wondering if I could bounce something off of someone who has a background in Psych nursing or NICU nursing - or nursing period!! I have been offered a position working on the adolescent unit of an outpatient behavioral health facility. I have no Psych exp except for what I got during nursing school -which I graduated from in 2010. I have also been offered a position in the NICU. I have been in an administrative position since graduation (not by choice but because I was going through a divorce and needed good income with good benefits-of which this job provided quickly and also let me work from home). This administrative position is ending this week due to outsourcing. I have applied for this Psych nursing job ( and was offered the job ) and also was offered a position working in a NICU with a friend of mine. I am interested in both areas and was VERY surprised to have been offered jobs in BOTH these areas. Also, strangely enough, I was considered for both of these positions and was offered employment doing both (and on a good shift 3p-11p-good for me anyway) and I could never even get an interview with any of the hospitals around here in something like Med/Surg. I even applied for part time 3rd shift positions in med/surg and could not even get a call. Anyway, nevertheless, I have been blessed and just need some opinions badly and not sure where to get any. If I talk to my friends, they are star-struck by a NICU job as everybody thinks they would love a position working with babies but that is not all glory either. Babies die. Sadness is there just like with Psych....it's just different. I think Psych nursing is misunderstood. I posted my dilemma on another nursing facebook page (posted it anonymously) and I would say about 85-90% said to do NICU. They would say things like - ' you need to keep your sanity and stay out of psych nursing' - why do people say this? Is this something I need to seriously reconsider? I don't need a crystal ball, just some good sound opinions. Any help with this matter would be sooooo greatly appreciated. So much stress! Thank you for listening - reading. :-))
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  4. 4 Comments so far...

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    This a very personal decision. I would pick the NICU but that is because psych does not interest me. They are the same shift so maybe look at benefits? I am not sure.. I wish I had better advice. I don't think you will necessarily lose your sanity working psych though, some people just hear psych and think scary and want nothing to do with it.
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    Thank you for your reply. I have officially decided on the NICU position. I had to do some soul searching and realized that I don't have the drive for psych like I probably should. It's all about what is best for my patients and I think (no, I know), that this is best.
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    Good luck with your decision. My background is Critical Care - have worked in all areas. The only area that I 'could not' cope with was NICU - due to ethical issues. It was a constant emotional battle for me - expending enormous resources with very little hope of satisfactory outcomes; seeing parents (& their marriages) disintegrate due to the stress & consequences of catastrophic neonatal situations. It was the ONLY time I have had to leave for my own peace of mind.

    I hope your experience is much better.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  8. 0
    Both are very specialized areas, so the one you pick should be the one that interests you more and the one that you feel more driven to...as you did. The only advantage that psych really has over NICU is that the psych skills could be carried over and put to use in more specialties, whereas the NICU skills may not translate as well to as many areas.

    I know I couldn't do NICU. I thought I would like to do pediatrics, but then I had a very hard time during all of my pediatric rotations for many reasons, a lot of which HouTx mentioned already. I knew I wouldn't handle any peds specialty very well. So I would have chosen pretty much any other specialty over it...possibly even L&D (no offense to L&D nurses, it's just really not for me).

    But that doesn't mean my decision would have been the right decision for YOU. Only you could have made that choice.

    Best of luck with your new job!


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