New Grad in the NICU?

Specialties Pediatric


Specializes in New Grad in Cardiac.

Hello all!!

I graduated in May and just passed boards in August. My family and I moved right after I graduated so any ties I had to hospitals are Birmingham based and we now live in Foley, AL. I am wondering how hard it is to get an interview with a NICU as a new grad. NICU is ultimately where I want to work regardless of how long it takes. Currently, I am working on my BSN and plan to pursue my Masters/Doctorate for Neonatal NP. I found a hospital around here that has many pediatric openings but they are now saying they want 2-3 yrs experience even for the floors. So, I'm getting a little discouraged. Given what I want to do, should I start in peds or do adult until I can get a peds interview? Thanks for your input!!

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

Getting into the NICU as a new grad is very hard. My friend had previous experience as a unit coordinator in an OB department. When in school she did a preceptorship in the NICU and then set up two extra preceptorships in the NICU on her own. The manager of the NICU told her she had to start on Med/Surg, work her way through PP, then L&D and finally NICU. She is now on the Med Surg floor but gets all the ped patients when they come.

I got a job in NICU straight out of college, i've been there a year now, you need to look in the right places because it all depends on the hospital. There is also a NICU forum here as well

Specializes in New Grad in Cardiac.

Thank you for your input! I would have precepted in a NICU if my school would have given me the opportunity. We were limited to adult ICU or Med-Surg. I am thinking of contacting the manager directly. Bad idea?

Thank you for your input! I would have precepted in a NICU if my school would have given me the opportunity. We were limited to adult ICU or Med-Surg. I am thinking of contacting the manager directly. Bad idea?

I don't think that's a bad idea. Contact her, let her know you are interested and ask what you need to do to be able to apply or be eligible for a position. Some NICU's take new grads, some don't so thats something you need to find out too

Specializes in New Grad in Cardiac.

I have only spoken with the nurse recruiter and she said all their peds positions were asking for 2-3 yrs experiece. I also spoke with another hospital close to me and they aren't hiring new grads period, even for med-surg positions. She said if for some reason they do, you must have a BSN. Crazy! I am working on my BSN now and looking to attend an ACLS, ECG, and NPR class while looking for a job. I'm hoping all this helps!

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Family medicine.

Don't pass up opportunities to work in mother/baby. I am currently on this unit, and I feel it has given me a great base of information for an easier transition to NICU. You get to learn everything about a healthy baby, which helps you recognize when things aren't 'healthy.' it is a great place to start if you would like to be a NICU nurse, but cannot find a job.

Also, if you are in mother/baby (at least in our hospital) you are the first to float to NICU when they are short. Generally we take care of the growers and feeders, but it is also a great way to become familiar with their charting system.

Don't give up! I just graduated with my BSN in May and passed boards in June. I was lucky enough to have a job in the NICU before I graduated, so it is possible. Keep working and I'm sure you will end up where you want to be! Good luck :)

Specializes in New Grad in Cardiac.

Thank you to everyone! I'm just getting discouraged because I can't seem to find anything period. I've applied across the board to everything. I graduated in May but have only had my license for a month. It just seems that no one in my area wants a new grad at all. I would consider relocating but my husband is an RN with 5 yrs at his current job and we have a 4 year old that just started preschool. Not sure what to do or why I can't land an interview :confused:

Specializes in Pediatrics, Home health.

I know it's hard. I finished school in march with my BSN and passed boards in june, I didn't find a job until october, and now i'm working pediatric home health, which is not teaching me anything, i feel like i do absolutely nothing. I finally have an interview for a NICU position on friday, i'm so excited for! so just keep looking everywhere and take what you can get. something will eventually come along

Keep your head up! If you are willing to re-locate that could help you find a job in the NICU. I am re-locating 1200 miles away for my dream position in a level 3 NICU in a very respected Children's Hospital. Some hospitals regularly hire new grad to the NICU but others want experience.

Hello new grad! I enjoyed working in a great neonatal intensive care unit for several years. Now I'm retired. At my hospital, the preferred path in order to be considered for work in NICU was to start by working in the normal newborn nursery---not as exciting as NICU, however great further learning about how to quickly recognize serious complications in newborns. Best wishes in your plans!

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