I disagree that you "need" med-surg before starting in the NICU. I also disagree that everyone needs the requisite 2 years of med-surg experience. I started in pediatrics as a new grad and don't- in any way- feel like I'd be a better nurse if I'd done med-surg right out of school. I went to school with people who started in NICU as new grads. I imagine those jobs are harder to come-by today than they were 5 years ago but I would say that experience in OB/mother-baby or pediatrics would mean more than med-surg when you're applying to NICU positions. The best thing you can do, IMO, is try to get your preceptorship in a NICU.