I'm a 4.5 year experienced RN. Since graduation I have worked in a lower level III NICU. I'm ready to go back to school for an NP degree. I have reservations about which route to go. I have recently taken a job at a higher level III NICU so that I can gain more experience with a higher acuity population. Since taking this job I've started to question whether or not I have what it takes to be a successful NNP. I know that most facilities require that you work as an NNP at a higher level NICU for a few years to gain experience upon graduation. These units however, require 24 hour shifts. I'm just not sure that I can be at my best 20 hours into a shift that has been crazy. So this has sparked me to look again at the PNP route. I have been told that it is incredibly hard to find a job as a PNP. Is this true? I know for sure that I want to take care of children. I love my premies but I'm not certain that I want to work nights, weekends, and holidays away from my children. But I need to know that I can be employed upon graduation.
Jun 25, '13
It's not that hard to find work as a PNP, especially if you're open to relocating. But keep in mind it's one of the lowest paying of the nursing specialties.
Jun 26, '13
Most people I know who work 24 hours shifts do not want to go back to 12s. Although you're at work a long time, generally you get some down time during the 24 hours, and you get a lot more time off in between. It just depends exactly how they are scheduled. If you work 6 or 7 24s a month, you have a lot of days to be home
In terms of how much experience you need, I think it depends very much on the person. How comfortable are you with a baby that is decompensating? How do you feel about being in a leadership position when you're responsible for managing the care of NICU babies? If you aren't sure about how much you'd like that, then a different specialty might be better. If you look at PNP, you have to decide if you want to do primary or acute care. Either can get you pretty good hours, depending on the specialty. I am an ACPNP and had a two job offers a month before I graduated, and these were out of state jobs where I had no personal contacts. For acute care, the job market is great.