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Gaining NICU experience in a pandemic

Posted
by nurse1920 nurse1920 (New) New Student

Has 2 years experience.

Hi everyone,

I'm a nursing student and I am really interested in working on a NICU unit when I graduate.  I signed up to be a volunteer cuddler and shadow opportunities but they have all been cancelled due to the pandemic.  I applied for a PCT job on a NICU unit, but didn't get it due to a lack of experience.  I want to gain more experience with this patient population while I'm in school to boost my chances of being hired onto a NICU unit when I graduate.  But it seems like so many opportunities have shut down due to COVID-19.  I completely understand why, but I would appreciate any advice on any activities to do to gain experience to be a NICU nurse!!  I'm open to any ideas.    If you're a nurse who works on a NICU unit, what activities or opportunities did you do to get there?  If you're a charge nurse or manager, what do you like from your applicants?  What do you wish more of them had done before applying for a job in the NICU?  Thank you!!

kam394, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

I recently just got offered a job in a NICU as a new grad. I had worked as a nursing assistant in a NICU for about 2 years. I also volunteered at a different hospital and was able to spend time in their NICU. During my maternity/peds clinical I made sure that I was able to shadow in the neonatal ICU. Becoming a cuddler would be great exposure but I think working on this type of unit as a nursing assistant was what made me feel very comfortable with this patient population. I learned a lot from my coworkers there. If you still have a few years left of school don’t sweat it. Hopefully by the end of Spring covid will be more under control and you’ll be able to find a job as a nursing assistant or be able to volunteer.