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Specializes in ER. Has 10 years experience.

In February I accepted a position in the NICU, something I have wanted to try for years. Then this pandemic went in to full force. I have been an ER nurse for over 6 years and love it. I was scheduled to start in the NICU the first week of April, but offered to stay until the end on the month to help and support my amazing co-workers in the ER.

As we all are working thru this I am questioning whether or not I should be leaving the ER at the end of the month or not. I feel that this is where I am meant to be right now. We haven’t even peaked yet, and it’s supposed to get worse before it gets better. I am also wondering if the NICU will be as stimulating for me as the ER has been? I also have to consider the income change. Right now as an ER nurse, our hospital is paying us $10 more an hour because we’re frontline workers. I’m torn between staying in the ER and going to the NICU. Any positives/negatives that will help me make this decision any easier?

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

Is there a reason that you wanted the job in the NICU? I assume you wanted and needed the change for a reason. Also, it may look negative to back out of the NICU job after already accepting it. I do have a few suggestions - can you move your start date for the NICU to a later date? Or can you stay PRN at your ED job? I understand the ties to your team.

First consideration- Covid.

Second consideration- Covid

Third consideration- nothing.

That is the whole deal.

Are you a good ER nurse? Fit, able to weather multiple unprotected exposures and likely to ride out a round of actual illness? If so, it would be great if you could continue to help.

On the other hand, if you are unfit, have medical problems, live with immunocompromised family, get out now.

$10 an hour should be the least of your concerns.


Specializes in NICU,PICU, PCICU, and Peds ER. Has 13 years experience.

I think you should stay in the ER. It seems like that is where your heart is and eventually you may get burnt out or tired of the fast pace and the NICU may become a topic again. I think while you still can you should continue your work in the ER and transition later. To work in NICU it is a big transition because your patient is doesnt speak and at times it's a guessing game but once you get used to it, it becomes predictable ( unlike the ER) the biggest learning curve is managing parents. It's also an emotional thing you've got to deal with a lot of emotional roller coasters working in NICU or with children period. Just give it some more thought but I think you may end up waiting, good luck. By the way thank you for what you do believe me I appreciate you.