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L&d or critical care to get in NICU

NICU   (5,064 Views | 10 Replies)
by hilary717 hilary717 (New) New

1,043 Profile Views; 8 Posts

I currently have a year of experience in adult ICU. My ultimate goal is to be in a NICU. I just got a call from a hospital to interview for an L&d position. This is a huge academic hospital where the area's only level 4 NICU is located.

I am also interested in L&d and think it would be great experience, but do you think this job would potentially set me apart as a NICU candidate in a few years?

Any advice appreciated. If any of you transitioned from L&d to NICU, do you feel that experience helped you any?

By the way, I plan on getting my NRP certification asap and also signing up for neonatal care classes that the hospital provides.

Edit: the only hesitation I have about this is that I LOVE the hospital I'm currently at, as well as my unit, even though adult critical care isn't what I always want to do. I don't want to leave a job I love for a job that won't ultimately help me get into a NICU.

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NICU Guy has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

1 Follower; 3,649 Posts; 33,118 Profile Views

I do not work in a NICU (at least not yet) but did my senior capstone in a Level IV NICU and I see far more parallel with Adult ICU (ie. vents) than anything that I saw in L&D. When was the last time you saw a post-partum patient with central lines, PICC lines or on a vent?

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8 Posts; 1,043 Profile Views

Well I'd only take it if it was l&d, not postpartum. I guess I was thinking fetal monitoring and immediate care after birth of the baby would be the experience that would help.

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41 Posts; 1,938 Profile Views

I also don't have NICU experience but I think getting a position in L&D at the hospital that has the NICU would be good to get your foot in the door. You will develop a relationship with the NICU staff, pediatricians and get some experience with newborns. You will learn what a healthy newborn looks like, normal vitals etc. Then, when a position opens up it will be easier to transfer in house plus you already have some ICU experience.

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applewhitern has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1,871 Posts; 25,713 Profile Views

I have 6 years of NICU experience. I did not have any L&D experience, nor did anyone else on that unit. We had no involvement with the mother; we went to the delivery, just to get the baby, resuscitate the baby, whatever the baby needed, but the L&D nurses took care of the mother. Every facility is different, though. I worked at a large hospital; a smaller hospital might expect you to be well-rounded, but I doubt that would include L&D. Actually, I was charge on a telemetry unit prior to transferring to NICU. Keep in mind that NICU is not the same as a regular nursery; these babies have something wrong with them, so are put in the neonatal ICU for a reason. They will probably have IV meds, maybe be on a ventilator. I agree that ICU experience is far more relevant than L&D. Fetal monitoring is not the same thing.

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49 Posts; 1,523 Profile Views

L&D nurses take NRP. You will be in critical deliveries and see how the delivery nurse handles 22 weekers, cardiac babies, and codes. I think LD is a great place to get the experience to transition, but why not apply directly to the NICU?

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NicuGal has 30 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

2,743 Posts; 22,405 Profile Views

I'd go L/D. Yes, ICU experience is good but these kids are not little adults, our vents are different, codes are different, etc. L/D will have you see kids with different problems, you will learn normal newborn, transitioning. Plus you will be in the Maternal-Child division and will get to know people better.

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ICUman has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

1,683 Posts; 54,473 Profile Views

I spoke with a handful of NICU nurses and asked them which outside specialty tends to transition most easily into their unit-

They all told me Adult ICU. (except picu taking 1st place)

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Seas has 4 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, OB, NICU.

519 Posts; 9,828 Profile Views

I would also say L&D. You will get familiar with babies and will have NRP. Plus, you will be an internal candidate once you apply which will be an advantage for you. You can better get a hold of NICU manager and get acquainted with him/her once you are already within hospital.

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GingerRN17 has 1 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

78 Posts; 1,664 Profile Views

I would think having experience in ICU, and experience with normal newborns in L&D would both be great experiences for you to have under your belt for the NICU. And if that hospital has the NICU you want to be in, then I would go for it.

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412 Posts; 5,106 Profile Views

I'd say they both definitely have their advantages. I can imagine working in a hospital with a level 4 would make it easier for you to transition especially when you'll be constantly interacting with NICU staff at deliveries. Even though you may be caring for moms and the babies will be whisked away to the NICU you will probably learn a lot about NICU conditions just from being in the room. Also you have your adult ICU experience regardless it's not like you are choosing what area to have your first job in. If you go work in L&D now, when you apply to the NICU down the road you have ICU and baby experience under your belt.

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