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new to NICU

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in cardiology nicu.

Hi everyone: I just wondered how long it takes to start feeling comfortable in NICU. I am currently in a Level II Nursery and have been taking 3 babies as an assignment, but need to get my organizational act together a bit more since 4 babies are the typical assignment. It has been 4 weeks and some days I go home feeling accomplished and others I feel like a moron! Any tips for a new NICU nurse?:nurse:


Has 6 years experience. Specializes in NICU, adult med-tele.

It has been 4 weeks and some days I go home feeling accomplished and others I feel like a moron!

Hahaha that is typically a normal day for me and I have been at this awhile! LOL

It is going to vary for everybody. I would just say pay attention to the nurses that you respect and want to model yourself after and don't be afraid to ask for help or instruction if you need it. Oh and never trust a 35 weeker. ;)


Specializes in NICU.

Ages ago, when I began my NICU career, I was warned it could take 2 years to "feel comfortable". They were right. It took just about that long before I could go to work without that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Ask questions always. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. I still ask!

And yes, NEVER trust a 35 weeker!!! That is great advice!



Has 24 years experience. Specializes in ICN.

I'd say it took me over a year to feel like I knew what I was doing in the ICN. I made a lot of mistakes and even got in trouble with the manager once but I stuck with it, and now they let me teach the new nurses! lol

I still feel like a moron on occasion. The first time I had a head-cooling baby, I went home crying from exhaustion and felt as stupid as the first day I'd worked in the nursery--and I had been there twenty years.

On the other hand, I still remember the day (in the first year) that a parent asked me why I had to stick his baby yet another time in the heel for a blood gas, so I explained what each component of a blood gas was. And astounded myself! Me, the dyslexic nurse who never understood blood gases in nursing school, and I was explaining them to someone else--correctly.

That felt very good.


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