How difficult is it to get a job in the NICU straight out of college (BSN). I have another BS degree in Biology, and I also work as a Patient Care Tech on a step-down ICU with adults, becoming an advanced patient care tech by July (monitoring heart rhythms, ACLS, etc). I plan on doing my senior transitions at the Children's hospital, and hopefully getting an internship/externship at a nursery or pediatric unit.
I just want to know if it is at all possible to land a job in the NICU straight out of college as a GN?
If not, what units would you recommend to start off and have a nice foundation for eventually becoming a neonatal nurse? I've heard from mostly everyone that one should do med/surg, but I honesltly cannot see myself doing that since the patient population is completely different. I thought maybe a general pediatrics floor or nursery? What other things should I do while in school to make my application look appealing to NICUs?
Jun 5, '09
There are many posts about this in the NICU forum here. Check there for much more information. The short answer is typically yes, many hospitals hire new grads for the NICU. The longer answer is that right now most hospitals aren't hiring at all or aren't hiring without experience. So this depends on the state of the healthcare economy and jobs when you graduate. Things may look different.
Jun 29, '09
I started a New Grad position in a level IIIC NICU at a Children's Hospital. After 4 months, I quit. I realized it was definitely not for me. I suggest you do your preceptorship or a couple hours on this unit before you make the decision. But to answer your question, it is possible! There were 8 other new grads with me on this unit. Good luck!
Jun 30, '09
Hi, LadyQT I'm curious as to why you quit the NICU I have a long ways to go in schooling but I too am very interested in peds!! My fear is I won't be able to handle certain situations!! But I love reading up on all these posts!!
I should be studying but I'm so intrigued by every1's diff. experiences!! I think I could spend days reading articles/blogs on this sight!
Mar 12, '10
I got a job in a level III NICU right after graduating and loved it. Now, after two years, I'm going back to school for my PNP because I want to care for a larger pt age spectrum. The one mistake I made was taking my first NICU job in a 'preemie factory' rather than a unit that gets more of the surgical stuff/ecmo etc. Don't get me wrong, admitting a 24 weeker is exciting and recusitating in the DR when a preem comes out with apgars of 0 and 0 is an adrenaline rush, but make sure the unit is offering what you are looking for. Looking back, a NICU in a children's hosp. may have been more for me. There was also another new grad who was hired after me in the NICU so if it's what you are looking for, go for it! It will help your assessment skills immensely.
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