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Corrections to NICU

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Has 2 years experience.

Hello everyone. Just to introduce myself a little: I am a registered nurse and have been working as a corrections nurse for about 14 months. I have learned so much in this area, both about myself and this vulnerable population. However, this isn’t where I wanted to start out. My first love was, is, and, most likely always will be: neonates. When I was younger, my baby cousin was born prematurely and I didn’t quite comprehend why he was in a box with holes on the side (incubator), or why he was exposed to a weird light (phototherapy). It was very hard on my aunt and her husband, but to see how compassionate and skilled the nurses were, I thought to myself: “I have to be one of these nurses!” The nurses also took the time to teach me a few things when I visited. So from that day on, although I didn’t quite know what this entire specialized field of nursing consisted of, I knew I wanted to help as many of these babies as I could. Fast-forward to December 2018- I just graduated nursing school, DEFINITELY got a better idea of what the NICU consisted of, and I was looking forward to taking my exam to get a job in the NICU. I was not able to find any job openings. I took my exam in April of 2019 and continued to look even though I felt a little dejected. I still was not able to find one. Then, the opportunity to work in a correctional facility came along and I took it. Now I am in school for my BSN. All along I have not forgotten the passion I have for the NICU and I just wonder if I were to look, find an opening, and apply, would I have a better chance of being hired? I am also taking a PALS course and want to be NRP certified. Does it seem as though I’m doing too much for a career I don’t even have yet? Or will it show how determined I am to show how badly I want to be a neonatal nurse? I welcome all and any advice you may have. Thank you for taking the time to read. -Nurse K

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

17 hours ago, Nurse KF said:

I am also taking a PALS course

PALS is not useful in NICU. No one in the NICU is PALS certified unless they transferred from PICU. NRP is the protocol in the NICU.

Finish your BSN and either apply to all NICU jobs nationwide (that don't require XX yrs of experience). If you can't or are unwilling to move to another state, find a job in a children's hospital and then attempt to transfer as an internal candidate after 6 months- 1 yr. We currently have four openings in our NICU (night shift).

 

Nurse KF, ASN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

On 9/22/2020 at 11:21 AM, NICU Guy said:

PALS is not useful in NICU. No one in the NICU is PALS certified unless they transferred from PICU. NRP is the protocol in the NICU.

Finish your BSN and either apply to all NICU jobs nationwide (that don't require XX yrs of experience). If you can't or are unwilling to move to another state, find a job in a children's hospital and then attempt to transfer as an internal candidate after 6 months- 1 yr. We currently have four openings in our NICU (night shift).

 

Thank you so much for the feedback. I am definitely going to take your advice. 

AnaBanana.RN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

On 9/21/2020 at 2:27 PM, Nurse KF said:

Hello everyone. Just to introduce myself a little: I am a registered nurse and have been working as a corrections nurse for about 14 months. I have learned so much in this area, both about myself and this vulnerable population. However, this isn’t where I wanted to start out. My first love was, is, and, most likely always will be: neonates. When I was younger, my baby cousin was born prematurely and I didn’t quite comprehend why he was in a box with holes on the side (incubator), or why he was exposed to a weird light (phototherapy). It was very hard on my aunt and her husband, but to see how compassionate and skilled the nurses were, I thought to myself: “I have to be one of these nurses!” The nurses also took the time to teach me a few things when I visited. So from that day on, although I didn’t quite know what this entire specialized field of nursing consisted of, I knew I wanted to help as many of these babies as I could. Fast-forward to December 2018- I just graduated nursing school, DEFINITELY got a better idea of what the NICU consisted of, and I was looking forward to taking my exam to get a job in the NICU. I was not able to find any job openings. I took my exam in April of 2019 and continued to look even though I felt a little dejected. I still was not able to find one. Then, the opportunity to work in a correctional facility came along and I took it. Now I am in school for my BSN. All along I have not forgotten the passion I have for the NICU and I just wonder if I were to look, find an opening, and apply, would I have a better chance of being hired? I am also taking a PALS course and want to be NRP certified. Does it seem as though I’m doing too much for a career I don’t even have yet? Or will it show how determined I am to show how badly I want to be a neonatal nurse? I welcome all and any advice you may have. Thank you for taking the time to read. -Nurse K

If this is your dream job, put all you have into it and one day you will get it. Find out if the NICUs in your area accept Associate's degree nurses or if you must have a Bachelor's. I have one in my area that accepts Associate's degree nurses and I also made it clear that I'm working on my BSN so that they know I am headed in the right direction. Also, see if you can find out what units you may be floated to. For instance the hospital I applied for can float you to L&D, peds, and postpartum. I would definitely have current BLS and NRP. If possible also get STABLE program certified. It's about post resuscitation care of the neonate and due to COVID, you may be able to get it online. I also have ACLS (relevant for L&D), intro to fetal heart monitoring (relevant for L&D), and PALS (relevant for pediatrics). I honestly feel like getting these certifications can give you the edge you need over other candidates. Some people say to wait till you get hired and the hospital will pay for your certifications, but if the hiring manager is down between two people I think they would pick the one that already has the certifications. Invest in your future career and you will get where you want to be. Best of Luck! 🙂