Adult ICU to NICU


  • Specializes in MICU. Has 5 years experience.

Happy anyone made the transition from adult ICU to NICU? I have worked adult MICU x5 years and am possibly looking for a new position. Mainly due to poor management issues but also burnout.

I'm aware that there are still going to be ethical dilemmas, moral distress, & burnout in the NICU (there's a reason my hospitals neonatologist is chair of the ethics committee). Where I work has a Level 3 NICU. What should I expect there?

babyNP., APRN

1,921 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 15 years experience.

That you will feel like a new grad again and can't trust your instincts. Many folks are not comfortable with that, but as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open, it'll be fine.


101 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

I transitioned from adult ICU (everything except CT surgery) to a level III NICU with about 1.5 years of experience. Like others have said, expect to feel brand new again. Even the things I was familiar with -- vasoactive meds, ventilators, assessment skills, time management, etc. -- are different. I'd say I had an easier time overall than the new grads I was hired with, in that I started working with more critically ill patients sooner, but the learning curve was still extremely steep! The ethical issues are still there but different in nature. If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Good luck!


400 Posts

Extremely different... feels like starting from scratch and the ethical issues are 100 times worse!!! But if you need a change then try it!