I am about to graduate from RN school (ADN) in December. All this time I thought I wanted to be an ER nurse. As I begin my pediatric rotation, I feel this emerging passion to work with kiddos. I am strongly drawn to the NICU, PICU, and CVICU. I am wondering about other peoples' experiences with each of these and how I can make a decision without really ever been a "real nurse" (yet) in each of these departments? Any guidance would be appreciated. I do plan on becoming a Nurse Practitioner one day.
Oct 16, '10
For most of us, finding that perfect job involves a lot of trial and error. Do you have any opportunities to rotate/shadow in NICU or a pedi critical care area?
Oct 16, '10
As a matter of fact, I have one day in the NICU, one day in the PICU, one day on the oncology floor, and two days on the med-surg floor. I hope to get a flavor for it!
Dec 13, '10
Greetings! I agree with Eric that seeking an opportunity to "shadow" a nurse working in your desired work area may help you make your decision. I worked in a neonatal intensive care unit for several years and loved it, however some nurses have told me that they were not comfortable with some of the realities of NICU work. For example,there is some sadness because no matter how hard one tries, unfortunately some of these little fragile ones do not make it. And as a nursing supervisor once said to me, NICU work is not for the "faint of heart": these tiny kiddos often suddenly have complications, so one has to be quick to recognize warning signs and quick to do appropriate care or get help from the respiratory therapist or the neonatologist. Another challenge is that despite top notch care, some children do experience serious chronic problems associated with premature birth such as cerebral palsy. On the positive side, in recent years in the United States premature babies frequently do well with good care. One of the most rewarding experiences about NICU work are times after hospital discharge when parents sometimes bring in their oh so healthy infants for a visit with their former nurses!
Dec 13, '10
Thank you, ocean waves, for your thoughtful response. I am having my pinning ceremony this Thursday, and I'm so excited that I've finished my grueling RN program! I did 100 hours of preceptorship in the Emergency Room, and I did great! I loved it, so I know critical care is where I am comfortable. I did end up applying for the RN Residency program in the PICU at CHOC, but there were 775 applicants for probably 25 positions. How does one stand out in an online application process? I don't have my hopes up. Thanks again, and happy holidays!