Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse


I'm finally getting ready to begin my dream of becoming a nurse. Starting Fall 2015 :) I really would like to be a NICU nurse, see there any special requirements to this. Do I need specialize in an area. I know it's probably not possible right after graduation. I'm starting an associates rn program after a year or so of working I plan to do the rn to bsn

iPink, BSN, RN

1,414 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 10 years experience.

You would need to work in the area to be specialized in that area. New grads in NICU aren't unheard of, my hospital hired about 13 of them in NICU.

Wait to start your OB clinical rotation and decide from there.

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17 Posts

Thanks for the advice :) I definitely want to explore all my options before making a final decision on what area to specialize in!


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

It's possible to land in the NICU right out of school, but not super common. As you get close to graduation, look at getting your NRP and STABLE certifications. Also look into breastfeeding training, as you will often work with moms learning to breastfeed premies, babies with cleft lips, and other complications that can make breastfeeding more challenging. You'll look more appealing if you show the initiative and have some book knowledge under your belt (as you likely won't get have much real world experience yet).

Nursing school graduates generalist nurses. You'll have an opportunity to hang out in NICU during your maternal child rotation. It's always good to see what it's really like, as it's rarely exactly what we imagine!

Congrats on getting into nursing school!

Specializes in ICU. Has 12 years experience.

I would highly recommend shadowing a NICU nurse in a few different places if you think this is what you want to do. Depending on the type of unit, NICUs can range from babies that need short-term antibiotics and feeding help to incredibly sick surgical/cardiac cases or babies weighing less than a pound. NRP is great. I think STABLE is more of a regional thing... the only people in my hospital with STABLE are the transport nurses. Our unit does, however, hire a lot of new grads (for better or for worse)