Okay...my career trajectory was 7 years in a level IV NICU (ECMO, therapeutic hypothermia, peritoneal dialysis, vasoactive/sedative gtts). I did a year as a school nurse. I then did 2 years in PEDS float pool (11 floor children’s hospital, including peds ER). I also simultaneously did 3 years in intensive peds home health PRN. Peds float pool actually got me my first experience in a PICU and a peds CVICU. From there I moved into a PICU/Peds CVICU/Transplants for over 5 years.
I’m now in Psych but that is how my career trajectory into PICU went about. In my experience, new PICU nurses came from NICU, peds, and adult ICU. Depending on the level of NICU experience, it’s probably fine, as long as you get to deal with ART lines, Broviacs, vasopressive and paralytic/sedative drips.
NICU will give you experience with pedi doses and calculation, also working with peds specific drugs, which are different than adult drugs, which is a plus. Adult ICU will give you trauma and neuro experience, general ICU management, which is a plus. Adult cardio isn’t a ton of use because pedi heart defects tend to be congenital, not obstructive, therefore the treatment is hella different, but I don’t think anyone could consider it a negative, just not necessarily the most helpful.
And I worked at a level 1 trauma/transplant center, and they would admit an occasional new grad, so I don’t think it’s impossible to get into.
I would just pick what you like with the caveat that I probably wouldn’t pick a Level II or III NICU, as it won’t be the most helpful.