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I'm looking for advice. I'm a grad of 2018 and have been on a med/surg telemetry floor for 2 years now, the only unit so far.

My dream is to go to NICU, and even would love to be in postpartum or L&D. I loved my clinical experience there and knew that was meant for me. I've always had a passion for neonates and am not sure how to enter the world of nursing for babies since employers want experience there.

I have recently applied to a Mother/Baby unit, L&D, AND a NICU level II unit in hopes I can get my foot in the door of that world and open opportunities of experience in one of those units. I was denied ALL of those positions at the application level. They each sent an email saying I'm not a candidate d/t lack of "experience" and I assume that is d/t me being on a med/surg adult floor.

I feel STUCK!

How do I get the opportunity to work in one of those units if they won't even look past my resume for an interview? Med/surg has taught me a lot of skills and I would say I have great qualities as a nurse... it's just not for me. I do not like Med/surg at all and want to be where my calling is.

Does anyone have advice? I was tempted to even email the hiring manager stating my desire to be apart of their team and learn. I understand they may not have the staff to train someone who has no experience with infants, but still.. everyone starts somewhere.

I am becoming defeated knowing I'm submitting applications and not even being considered enough for an interview.

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 13 years experience.

OP: The way you are trying to land a NICU position is basically by accident/chance. It is possible to land a job this way, but the chances are slimmer if you are not in a union based environment. Another way to land a job in a specialty that you have no experience (basically a job where you have to convince someone to hire you and spend money to train you) is to get to know the hiring manager(s) and staff RNs of the unit where you wish to work. You can either get to know them because you work for the facility or you can get to know them by joining organizations for which they volunteer. Good luck! 🙂

HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 10 years experience.

I would look in to peds med surg jobs too. Very different than NICU but having peds experience might open more doors for you.


Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 4 years experience.

Apply to all children related jobs and eventually you will get your foot in the door. It might take a while, but someone will take a chance on you.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

5 hours ago, CaffeineDependentRN said:

Does anyone have advice? I was tempted to even email the hiring manager stating my desire to be apart of their team and learn. I understand they may not have the staff to train someone who has no experience with infants, but still.. everyone starts somewhere.

You might need to start where there's a greater need and/or less than ideal conditions. Be willing to move anywhere, and apply everywhere. It's unlikely that anyone will care about your dreams or your callings ...you need to go somewhere where you have something to offer them in return.

Most people in need of medical care are sick adults, so you may have to put in some serious effort to squeeze through the door. I do wish you luck!

gere7404, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency Services, Cardiac Step-Down. Has 5 years experience.

It's hard to get into a critical care position at my hospital without previous experience, either by being a student on the unit during clinicals or by working in a similar department in a different hospital.

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 39 years experience.

A hospital that does not promote cross-training, transfer is shorting itself. It could be that they have an acute need in Med/Surg. Where do they hire staff for these other floors? Doesn't look like they are doing it from within. I would look for another hospital that encourages cross-training. A hospital is depriving itself of talented nurses by requiring "experience". You will most likely get tired enough of med/surg and end up leaving, and the loss will be theirs.

BostonRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, critical care, PACU, fertility, school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

I started in an ER in a community hospital. From there I was able to go to the ICU. Good luck!

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I was a Med/Surg float nurse who got to cross-train for CCU and postpartum/couplet care. Being versatile made me a better nurse, and I actually came to prefer working those departments over my own. I don't know where you need to go or who you need to impress to be considered for a NICU or LDRP position, but if you could be cross-trained to other units, eventually you might get a foot in the door. I wish you the best.

cardiacfreak, ADN

Specializes in Hospice.

Have you tried to become active in shared governance or volunteered for committees?  I know it sounds silly, but when I was an assistant manager at a hospital we often looked to see how active someone was within their unit even if they didn't have experience.  It showed initiative, accountability and desire to learn.

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

Do you have a BSN?  If not, I would start working on it.  Everything counts to get into a sub-specialty.

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 9 years experience.

Make sure when you are applying, it is to a new train position. There are bridge programs or even new grad programs. If you apply for positions that are for experienced nurses, then you do not meet the qualifications. There are often bridge or otherwise job listings that basically say "In your letter, let us  know which program you want to be in". Others may have specific listings for each specialty area.