New Grad Shadowing in NICU


Hi All,

I am in the process of interviewing for a NICU residency program. I have made it through the first three phases and I am now in the final phase which includes shadowing a nurse in the NICU and interviewing with the unit manager.

Is there anything I should specifically make sure I do during my shadow day? I already plan to ask tons of questions and be as hands on as possible. Is there anything I should know specifically before going into this?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much.


4,123 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.

There is usually no "hands on" during a nurse shadow. Be aware that a nurse shadow is a peer interview to see if you are a good fit in the unit.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

It is an opportunity to see how the unit runs, the dynamics and to see if you are a good fit for the unit/peers. There isn't any hands on since you aren't an employee and not covered legally. Ask questions about assignments, acuity, classes offered, if they encourage certification. Don't say things like, so how soon can I take 2 weeks off in the summer, I hope I don't have to work a lot of holidays and weekends, do you think I will go to day shift after orientation, oh wow, you have 3 patients, isn't that unfair? Yes, I just heard all of that from someone this week...

So so take in the atmosphere, see how the staff interacts with each other! Good luck!


45 Posts

You've probably had your time shadowing, but the thing that most impresses me is someone thats done some reading on neonates BEFORE they arrive! I really like students that see something and the next day come in and say "I did some reading on xxx" and ask good questions. It shows you want to be a smart nurse!