NICU jobs in MN-MSP area?


Hello fellow NICU nurses;

I have a lot of experience in many areas of nursing. Have been doing level II/III NICU nursing in a large metro city for past 12 or so 2 different 40-70 bed units. We are contemplating moving to Minneapolis area before the kids get too old and to be nearer to extended family, aging parents, etc

There are many NICUs there but it's hard to figure out which ones have good cultures/staffing, benefits/insurance, commutes, union or not, 8 hr vs 12 hr shifts...etc Am hoping to live west of the Cities in the suburbs and am hoping NOT to have a horrible commute. Where I live now, I have to leave my house at 545am to make sure I'm at work by 7am, which is awful. I'm Ok with a 30-ish minute commute, but not sure how badly the winter will affect things. Assume I'll probably be working a combo of days and nights.

Can any of you who have worked in the MSP area give me tips for where to work? Where do you work and do you like it? Acuity? All the stuff you like to know when looking?

I'll also add that I'm hoping to buy a house in the 250K-325K range. Let me know if you think this is possible west of MSP or not.

THank you!!!


723 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

Hey there! I live in the Minneapolis/St Paul area AND I worked at a Level III NICU! :) I worked at Children's Minnesota on the St Paul campus for nearly 3 years. I did a 2 year new grad training program and then stayed on for nearly another year before leaving to work full time as a school nurse. Not because I didn't like NICU but because the school nurse schedule was much better for me and my family. However, I still pick up NICU shifts through a staffing agency. Which, by the way, is a great way to try on the different NICUs for size before you commit! And the pay is good too.

Children's Minnesota NICU nurses and the NNPs and neonatologists are some of the most supportive people I've ever worked with. They really have each other's backs! I learned a lot from them and LOVE being able to pick up shifts on my old unit. There were some problems with morale (and sometimes there still is a lot of griping about management and changes being required from those up above but I think that's true of any job) and a bunch of people quit last year (for various reasons) so staffing was tough for awhile. However, a lot of new people have been hired over the last year so I think staffing is getting better.

I've also picked up a few shifts on the Children's - Minneapolis campus and it was fine. Obviously I don't know it as well as I know St Paul but the other nurses were always welcoming and asked if I needed help or had questions which is always nice to hear when you are a traveling nurse. Each campus kind of specializes in certain things so, for example, only Minneapolis does ECMO and any baby we had in St Paul with cardiac issues beyond a PDA or VSD was sent to Minneapolis. St Paul's specialty is neuro so we get most of the babies who need to be body cooled or are on the Brainz or video EEGs.

I've heard great things about the NICU at the Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital although I've never worked there. I have a friend who quit Children's and took a NICU job at Fairview and loves it. She says the other nurses are very friendly and it is a very busy NICU. They are a mixture of large open bay, smaller open bay and private rooms. Children's is all private.

I've picked up at Maple Grove Hospital's NICU (great western suburb!) as well and it was okay. Very different than Children's (different equipment and supplies and their Level III is open bay style versus private rooms like at Children's) but, again, the nurses were helpful if I had questions but they didn't go out of their way to welcome me or offer help like at Children's. They take babies down to 28 weeks but last time I was there they told me they are in the process of preparing to drop that down to 24 weeks.

I believe those are the 3 main Level III NICUs in the Twin Cities area.

I hope that helps!

kdkout, BSN, RN

159 Posts

Has 28 years experience.

Thanks! It especially helps to explain the differences between campuses. Are they all 12s or 8 hr shifts? I prefer 12s.


723 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

Mostly 12s. I think 8s are pretty rare these days.