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How to land a NICU job as a new grad?

by Isabel_student Isabel_student (New) New

Hello all,

I'm a 2nd semester nursing student. Before I even thought of nursing school, I knew that I wanted to work with infants. It was brought to my attention that my resume is seriously lacking and If i was to look for a job I would probably be lost among the other applicants.

That being said,e I started to do my research on the requirements that one must have in order to apply for a NICU position, such as 1 year experience. Also I came across threads where new grads fresh from nursing school are able to get a NICU position. What can I do now (such as volunteering etc.), in order to be able to work in the NICU when I graduate?? Any advice is well appreciated.



Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

a new grad residency in NICU which requires (mine did) a minimum 80 hr senior capstone in a NICU.


Specializes in Neonatal, NICU level IV. Has 4 years experience.


I also knew that I wanted to work in the NICU before I started school. It is a wonderful and rewarding place to serve. As far as "what to do", it varies from hospital to hospital and there are as many answers as there are people to answer questions. I will share what I did, as well as what I am aware of others having done or not done to obtain a position in a NICU.

I had a preceptorship/capstone in a level III NICU for 255 hours during my senior semester. I also had BLS, ACLS, PALS, and NRP before I started to apply to positions. I served as the treasurer for CNSA and volunteered in multiple roles during school (Pre-nursing advising, peer mentoring, lab assistant and TA. Most all of those things I did to insure that my resume stood out but no one can really be sure how effective each thing is. I obtained a position in a level IV NICU out of school and the application required letters of rec, and essay and a GPA > 3.5. So again, each hospital is different.

As far as others, I know of a few who didn't even have a preceptorship/capstone in a NICU and still got jobs (this is rare but it does happen). I also know of some who had no volunteer, certs, or board positions but, interviewed well and got jobs too. I wish there was a straight answer I could give you but, like most answers in nursing school "it depends". At the very least you need to have a good GPA and I would suggest having some form of volunteer activity to have on your resume. I know for sure that many hospitals really just want you to be passionate about being in the NICU and they can just teach you the "nursing" part. You can't teach passion, desire, or character. :yes: