NICU New Grad


I'm a new graduate nurse who graduated with a BSN in December 2016 and have obtained my RN license. I did not have my preceptorship in the NICU.

I'm applying to some new graduate residencies and have chosen to apply to the NICU. I'm worried that I won't be qualified because I didn't have my preceptorship in the NICU and because I have been out of school for a long time. I'm especially concerned that if I get called for an interview, I would struggle in answering situational questions related to the NICU.

If anyone could share some tips on preparing for situational questions, I would greatly appreciate it. Should I review some conditions (acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis...etc)? Are there particular classes of medications I should review?

Also, are there other new graduates who have been able to secure a position in the NICU without NICU preceptorship experience?


412 Posts

If you have no NICU experience they won't expect you to answer questions heavy on NICU theory. You are more likely to get asked questions that will test your professionalism, critical thinking, responsibilities as a nurse. They might just make them NICU themed. You see a coworker not following a protocol, breaking sterile technique, ect. How do you handle it?


28 Posts

Hey, I'm a new graduate too and like you, I didn't have my senior preceptorship on the NICU (I was on a general pediatric floor), so the extent of my NICU experience was a day or two shadowing in the NICU during school. I managed to get a job in a Level IV NICU though upon graduation and I can tell you that my interview was not NICU specific at all! Questions were really broad, like things about flexibility, accountability, etc. As a new grad, even one with NICU preceptor experience, I don't think they expect you to know much. I can't really comment on how not having any NICU experience affects you on the floor (orientation just started!), but from what I've gathered, they know there is not much education in school based on the NICU!