Is it possible to get into a NICU?

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    Ive been working as a med/surg/tele nurse in a med/surg and observation unit for about 9 months now and it is NOT where I want to stay. I got into nursing with the desire to be a NICU nurse, that desire and passion has not gone away. I have been trying to get an interview in a NICU bt i cant even get a call back or an interview. I guess im just getting a bit discouraged and frustrated. Can anyone give me some advice, or even some encouragment would go a long way!! Do I just need to get more experience? Is it really a good idea to get a general med/surg background if you want to specialize in NICU? Anything is helpful!! Thanks sooooo much in advance!!
  2. 7 Comments so far...

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    Keep trying! If you can get a job on a peds unit or maternity where you can get experience with full term newborns and older babies will help. take a PALS class. Watch the job postings. Sometimes it's easier to get hired in a level 2 nicu to start out with. Keep letting the nicu managers in your area know you are interested.
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    PALS isn't going to do a whole lot for you or the premature infants. If your hospital has a NICU, or another area hospital, get into the NRP class. This is like ACLS for neonates. Aside from that, you will most likely meet the NICU educator(s), neonatologist(s) and a nurse or two from the unit. NETWORK! There were ER nurses, L&D nurses, and respiratory therapists in a class that I was in, so I know it's not limited to NICU staff. Another good class to get into in a facility is for the S.T.A.B.L.E. program. Again, another networking opportunity.

    Hope this helps:

    The S.T.A.B.L.E. Program
    Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
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    I'm in your same position. I've been a nurse on a med-surg floor for 2.5yrs. I've always been interested in NICU nursing. I've been shadowing the NICU at the same hospital I work on the med-surg floor. You get 3 dates and are there for about 4 hours. I absolutely love it but they are low in their census so the last thing they want is to hire. So I'm registered to take the NRP course and will put this experience on my resume. I've been applying to jobs but no call backs. Very frustrating! But I do hear stories that nurses were hired with no NICU experience we just have to find our break! Good luck to you.
  6. 0
    Quote from RNChrissy4
    Ive been working as a med/surg/tele nurse in a med/surg and observation unit for about 9 months now and it is NOT where I want to stay. I got into nursing with the desire to be a NICU nurse, that desire and passion has not gone away. I have been trying to get an interview in a NICU bt i cant even get a call back or an interview. I guess im just getting a bit discouraged and frustrated. Can anyone give me some advice, or even some encouragment would go a long way!! Do I just need to get more experience? Is it really a good idea to get a general med/surg background if you want to specialize in NICU? Anything is helpful!! Thanks sooooo much in advance!!
    I didn't have any NICU experience when I was hired in the NICU. It is so different from any other type of nursing but what experience will teach you is how to do an assessment, prioritize, deal with families and doctors, charting, and time managment skills. If you already have these skills when you come to the NICU, your preceptor will be able to skim over those things and spend more time on the NICU education which will be a brand new learning experience for you. Any experience you have will be helpful to some extent in any job you get. I prefer to precept nurses who have some hospital nursing experience but not necessarily NICU experience. I have had some new grads. and some were fine and others didn't work out. It really depends on the person more than experience. When it's important to have an experienced NICU nurse only, as an applicant, would be in a very small NICU where experience really matters if there are only 2 nurses on and you're one of them! Or if the unit didn't have enough nurses to train you properly. Your best bet might be a larger unit with many experienced nurses, then hiring a few without skills would be ok because there would be a lot of back up for the less skilled nurses. My unit has between 10 -20 nurses a night depending on census and having 1 or 2 newer nurses a shift works out fine because we all pitch in and help the new nurses as needed.
  7. 0
    Considering the state of our economy and the new healthcare initiatives, hospitals aren't in a very good position to offer new grad classes. I just recently worked for a NICU in Mesa, AZ that was considering putting together a class, not necessarily for new grads but nurses with some kind of experience in a hospital already (ideally peds, or newborn nursery). It is not a guarantee that they will be able to implement this class but a possibility to look into. Other hospitals might be considering something similar. Hope you get into the NICU. We always need fresh faces.
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    It just might be your area of the country, because I know around me they are killing for NICU nurses,
  9. 0
    Kidrn911 where are you located? I also really want to get into a NICU. I however am one of those darn new grads that nobody really wants .

    I've done the NRP class and did my senior semester in peds cardiology but I really want to do NICU, I loved the time I got in there during school and look forward to some day working in the NICU.

    Is there any extra reading anyone can suggest to help me get a leg up?

    Thanks


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