How hard is it to get a job in the NICU or OB/GYN?

  1. I am planning on applying to accelerated BSN programs sometime within the next year. I know that I want to be a nurse, and I have had great experiences volunteering/shadowing in the NICU and in OB/GYN. I also think that I will enjoy public health nursing and perinatal, or anything related to women's health and infancy.

    However, I have recently had experiences volunteering in Oncology and the Recovery Unit (PACU). I have not enjoyed these experiences at all. I am getting very discouraged because a lot of people are telling me that all of the nursing jobs will be in these areas (especially geriatrics).

    I am just wondering how hard it really is to get a job in the NICU or OB/GYN departments? I understand that I may have to work in another department as a new grad, but I do not want to be in one of those areas for the rest of my career.

    I also realize that I may change my mind in nursing school when I am doing rotations, but as of now I really like any area that works with women or infants.

    Thank you for any input.
  2. Visit eminthesr profile page

    About eminthesr

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 18; Likes: 2


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Your question is highly dependent on the region in which you plan to work.

    In general, specialties that involve intense physical labor and more exposure to older patient populations (med/surg, ortho, long term care, acute rehab, oncology, dialysis, pulmonary, etc.) often have higher employee turnover rates and will be easier to enter. This is partially due to society's overall negative valuations of aged people.

    Since an extremely high value is placed on youth in America, the nursing specialties that involve more exposure to younger patient populations (pediatrics, labor & delivery, reproductive medicine, ER, postpartum, NICU, PICU, teen clinics, etc.) are coveted, have low employee turnover rates, and are usually far more difficult to enter.

    Keep in mind that, due to the economy, some new grad nurses are not immediately able to find jobs upon graduation in certain cities and states. Sometimes more than one year passes before they land that first job, often in a specialty they never envisioned.
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Oct 5, '12
  4. by   eminthesr
    Thank you for the response.

    Yes, I am sure that I will be happy to get any job once I graduate from nursing school.

    I actually went into those volunteering positions excited to see a different patient population. Unfortunately, I leave each week feeling anxious, overwhelmed and sad. I realize that obviously nurses have to be able to deal with these emotions and situations. I feel that with time and training in nursing school I will (hopefully) feel better about working in those areas. It is just hard to see myself working in those areas when I have left the OB/GYN clinic and the NICU having thoroughly enjoyed my time there, feeling positive and full of energy.

    Does it usually take many years to enter the areas with younger populations? I am willing to go anywhere in the U.S. Although I would ultimately like to return to California (which I know is one of the worst areas for nursing jobs right now...)

    Again, thank you for taking time to explain that further. I really appreciate it.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from eminthesr
    Does it usually take many years to enter the areas with younger populations? I am willing to go anywhere in the U.S.
    If you're willing to move to places where most people would not desire to live, such as extremely rural towns in the Deep South or desolate cities on the Texas/Mexico border, you might be able to find a job working with infants or women immediately. Those labor & delivery departments in border-town hospitals are known to be especially busy and willing to train new grads.
  6. by   MN-Nurse
    A classmate of mine (May, 2011) recently started in the PICU. Here's how he did it:

    Early in nursing school, he got a CNA job at a nursing home after being rejected by many, many hospitals. He worked his butt off at the nursing home.

    He kept applying to hospitals while working and going to school and landed a job as a CNA on a pediatric floor.

    He excelled at that job, worked hard in school, and was hired as an RN on the same peds floor he worked as a CNA.

    He worked hard and performed well as a new grad RN on the peds floor. After a year he applied for the PICU job and recently got it.

    It's just that easy.
  7. by   eminthesr
    Thank you all for your help. I am now thinking I might go directly to get my Master's (if I can get in...).