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nursex23 nursex23 (New Member) New Member

ADN in the NICU

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Hi everyone! I just finished my first year of nursing school and during my OB rotation, I fell in love with the NICU. I've always been drawn to babies and being in the NICU felt like that's where I'm supposed to be. I'm on track to graduate May 2018 and I've already been looking into requirements for jobs in my area (greater Chicago). It seems like they all either want years of NICU experience or new grads with a BSN or higher. I plan on enrolling in an RN to MSN (or at least a BSN) program as soon as I possibly can.

I've seen other posts on here that say to get a job in labor and delivery or in peds to gain experience but many of those seem to require a BSN as well. I'm going to try to get into those specialties if I can but my question is what other options as an ADN grad should I consider?

Thanks!

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What you are seeing is the reality of the job market. Schools are graduating students faster than positions are opening. This means that a lot of people are applying for one position. I'm not in your area, but I've heard that we've been getting 50+ applications for a single position. One of the ways that employers have found to reduce the applicant pool is to require a BSN. You are going to need to broaden your search, possibly to include outside of the hospital and even outside of your current area. Complete the BSN ASAP to make yourself a competitive candidate.

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In small or rural or isolated communities, you will be far more likely to find a NICU position with an ADN. Of course, there aren't very many small or rural communities that have NICUs.

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Good luck! I got my BSN just so I could have a better chance of getting a NICU job, and I haven't even gotten a single interview. It seems like the impossible dream!!

Annie

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NICU, ICU, pediatrics, L&D and ER.....the five golden arches, one of which almost every new grad is hoping to break into. Getting into these specialties right out of school is something to look for, but recognize it is unlikely to happen even with a BSN unless you have connections. Your best bet will be to get a position as a CNA or PCT in the hospital of your choice and start making nice with everyone you can so that you have a foot in the door should a position open up for a new grad RN around the time you graduate. HOWEVER....

Major metroplex areas are saturated with new grads, allowing them the luxury of choice when it comes to who they hire. BSN is the push that won't be going away any time soon. Therefore your search is highly narrowed....you want one of the highest demand specialties in one of the most saturated markets with an education that isn't first choice. Your chances aren't very good. You will want to start preparing yourself the rest of the way through school to look hard for your "dream" job, not just where you live but all across the US..... but also coach yourself to be open to other types of nursing.

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In my experience, the easiest way to get a job in a NICU without NICU experience is to find a unit that's desperately short-staffed, since they're willing to train new grads and new to specialty nurses despite the high cost. Of course, there are challenges to working in a short-staffed unit (less approved vacation time, heavy assignments) and it can be difficult as an outsider to know if a unit is short-staffed and desperate to hire. As the applicant, the main thing you can do is to cast a wide net, apply to several units, and also have a back-up plan in case you are unable to start in a NICU (i.e. adult units). You can also apply to post-partum to get some experience; post-partum may be easier to get into, simply because there are more of them than NICUs. I had a second degree ABSN and put out applications to every Level III unit in my state (15+), got interviews at 3, and received job offers from 2.

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