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Neonatalnurse012 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU RN.

231 Profile Views; 11 Posts

How soon is too soon to start looking for jobs? There are a ton of postings in my specialty right now and I would love to start reaching out and making connections, but I don’t graduate for a little over a year.

I’m probably just getting too excited! I just see all these amazing postings and don’t know if there is an appropriate way to say “hey, want to hire me next year?” 🙂

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149 Posts; 373 Profile Views

Never hurts to ask u less you get annoying about it

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umbdude has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

2 Followers; 995 Posts; 14,553 Profile Views

It might be too soon. But obviously it doesn't hurt to apply.

I'm graduating in May (Psych NP) and I went to a career fair couple months ago (~6 mos before graduation). Most recruiters told me that they wanted people right away and asked me to apply when I'm much closer to finishing. Only one recruiter called and emailed me back for an interview, but that hospital is in a different state, one that has a much greater shortage. My area is pretty saturated.

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babyNP. has 12 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

2 Followers; 1,843 Posts; 28,163 Profile Views

You can certainly make lists of places where you might like to apply, but I found that most were not interested in talking with me until a couple of months before graduation. Keep in mind that you have to take your boards, get your license, and then credential, which could easily take 3-6 months. I got a job offer in July, graduated in August, boards in September, and then started in late November.

Edited by babyNP.

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Neonatalnurse012 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU RN.

11 Posts; 231 Profile Views

Thank you all so much! That's pretty much exactly what I figured.

There is just such a shortage where I live that I wondered if they would be interested in taking me under their wing now and having me do my clinicals with them and start learning with them. Just thinking outside the box!

Thanks for all your advice!

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babyNP. has 12 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

2 Followers; 1,843 Posts; 28,163 Profile Views

Sure what kinds of questions do you have?

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Neonatalnurse012 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU RN.

11 Posts; 231 Profile Views

I'm sure over the next year I will have a bunch of questions, but for now my biggest question is just your opinion about schedules. I've only ever seen a level III where they did 24 hour shifts and level II where they did just day shifts. I know the level II nurses like their schedule but haven't talked much with the level III nurses working the 24 hour shifts. I'm just wondering what you work, what do you like, what do most NNPs like, what is the preferred schedule, if you could choose any schedule what would it be, etc.?

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babyNP. has 12 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

2 Followers; 1,843 Posts; 28,163 Profile Views

Most NNPs do 12 or 24 or combo shifts. There are some positions for 8s & 16s but on the more rare side. That's interesting to me that the Level II was a 12 hour shift. I would say that is pretty rare. I know of one place where they do 36 hour shifts in a Level II. 

I don't feel like 24s in a Level IV are safe unless you have a guaranteed sleep break with no interruptions. The nature of a Level IV is that the kids are very sick and while many times you will get at least some sleep, it's not going to be 8 hours and if you've been up all day, I just don't think it's a good thing. 

Levels IIIs are more doable for 24s, but I have had a handful of shifts where I only got an hour or two of sleep and it can be horrendous but thankfully it's pretty rare, maybe 1-2 times a year for me. 

My experience has been working 12 hour days in a Level IV (and some 12 hour nights for overtime $$) and 12s/24s in a Level IIs/IIIs, although probably 90% 24s. I like it in that I only work 6-7 x 24 hour shifts a month. I have done "every other" for 2x24 hour shifts and once for 3 shifts (M, W, F) but doing 3 in a row was too much for me although some people like to do it. What I like about it is that I get to know the patients on the unit very well over my shift and there is a lot of time saved in job transaction costs like half the commute, saved "dead" time (like the 7-9pm period where you would normally be signing off/learning about your patients). This is particularly useful since I have been able to leverage some of this time saved to living in a place that I desire more even though the commute might be a bit longer- I still save time overall due to the commute being half of what it would be for a 12 hour shift.

Things that make this work well for me are that I can usually sleep well at work in the call room (and when the bed wasn't "good enough" I donated a foam topper to it : ) and have read a lot about sleeping to give myself the "best" chance, like wearing orange safety glasses that block out blue light of a bright computer screen (which deactivates melatonin in your brain, making it harder to get back to sleep if you need to put in some orders for a nurse in the middle of the night), high quality eye mask, doing my "bedtime" routine of washing my face, brushing my teeth as soon as I'm done eating dinner so it's one less thing to worry about if I go to bed later at midnight, etc etc. I also sleep well at my home post-call if I need to by having again, the eye mask, some white noise, light blocking curtains, etc. I also try to be disciplined about going to bed as soon as I can while at work.

I usually do some brief night rounds and this is where I am "social" with the nurses so that they feel like they know me and feel comfortable with me- but I am not staying up to midnight chatting with the nurses. Some of my colleagues do that because they like being more social or are night owl creatures, but I know that I am a better provider if I get more sleep (as almost any human is). It does take discipline though, because things will fill the time if you let it. I ask about their personal lives and usually get in a bit of teaching when we go over issues with their patient and the whole thing is almost always <1 hour. Of course all bets are off when you have admissions or an "active" baby (meaning sick and requiring many interventions), but this isn't the case all the time.

Overall I think most NNPs in the community setting (Level II/III) prefer 24s. The nature of the job is nights, weekends, and holidays so I would expect that. It's not a foregone conclusion- see that when I worked in a Level IV it was straight days (although I did work weekends/holidays), but that is the most common. 

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Neonatalnurse012 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU RN.

11 Posts; 231 Profile Views

That was very helpful! Thank you so much!

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Neonatalnurse012 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU RN.

11 Posts; 231 Profile Views

BabyNP I have another question for you. I have an alert set for new NNP job postings in my area just to see who is looking, the kinds of things they are looking for, etc.

A new job posted actually within the health system I work for (but at the main hospital - I currently work at a "satellite" hospital) for a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Intern. Do you have any idea what this is? It says "Awaiting licensure. Completion of an NNP program prior to August of 2020 preferred"

How can they get away with hiring an unlicensed NNP? Is it just under this term "intern?" I guess I've never heard of NNP interns and am wondering if you've ever heard of this.

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babyNP. has 12 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

2 Followers; 1,843 Posts; 28,163 Profile Views

Never heard of it. I would email or call to ask

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I am graduating in May and got an NNP job in January. Both of the offers I got are from hospitals that have a pretty significant NNP shortage right now, so they are hiring on a continuous basis until they reach capacity. If a hospital only has 1 or 2 open positions and are looking to fill those sooner, they may not consider you until you are closer to graduation. One thing I would caution you on though, is that if you don't know for sure where you want to work, it may be beneficial to wait a little longer before applying so you can try to get as many offers as possible before deciding. If you know you want to work at a certain hospital, it may not hurt to apply now, but since other hospitals may not consider you this early, you might end up really only having that one choice for now. If you wait a little longer and apply to several places you think you might want to work, you can figure out which place is the best fit for you. As hard as it was for me to decide between two very good offers, I'm glad I got that chance to figure out which place would be the best fit for me. I did clinicals last fall at one of the hospitals and probably could have applied then and gotten a job, but it may have been too early for the other hospital to consider me (even though they have a big shortage) and then I wouldn't have been able to compare the two places and weigh my options. It definitely doesn't hurt to look into doing clinicals at a hospital you think you might be interested in working in, though, even if you don't apply for a job there right now. If they are short on NNPs, they will probably gladly have you do clinicals with them if you express an interest in working for them in the future!

Also, adding onto what babyNP said about different shift options, one of the big deciding factors for me when choosing between my two offers was shift length. Both of my options were level IV facilities but one does 8, 16, or 24-hour shifts while the other one does 12 hour shifts days and nights with the option to lay down and rest at night when possible. I have a friend who works at the one that does 24s and she rarely gets any sleep. To me that sounded awful, so I ended up going for the offer with 12 hour shifts (for that and other reasons). 

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