NICU nurse to FNP

Posted
by lemur87 lemur87 Member

Am currently in my second semester of an FNP program and anticipate graduating in May, 2015. I have 2 years experience as a NICU RN and have been trying to decide if I should get a new job to get more experience with adults. I am cross-trained to work Peds and feel comfortable with pediatric patients, but that is the extent of my experience. Any advice?

SoCal_RN

SoCal_RN

1 Post

I am in a similar situation—currently a NICU RN and anticipate graduating with my FNP in Aug 2015. Just last week I had a lengthy conversation with one of my FNP professors. She advised that while it is doable to continue in the NICU until entering a FNP role, she doesn't advise it. She suggested moving to an ER or possibly med-surg/tele to get more adult experience. She was an ER RN before and during her FNP program and felt she had an advantage compared to NICU/specialty experienced students who struggled more.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience. 3 Articles; 5,570 Posts

If you have a good job then keep it.

If your program is decent then you will get all the experience you need through your clinical rotations.

lemur87

lemur87

125 Posts

I do have a good job, currently PRN but working as many shifts as I want. I was thinking about possibly throwing another PRN job in the mix working med/surg, but I'm not sure a PRN job for 1.5 years would do me any good as far as experience/resume goes. I am a bit nervous about getting hired as a new grad NP with only NICU experience :/ tough call!

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience. 3 Articles; 5,570 Posts

I do have a good job' date=' currently PRN but working as many shifts as I want. I was thinking about possibly throwing another PRN job in the mix working med/surg, but I'm not sure a PRN job for 1.5 years would do me any good as far as experience/resume goes. I am a bit nervous about getting hired as a new grad NP with only NICU experience :/ tough call![/quote']

I haven't heard of much actual evidence of difficulty finding a job unless you are shooting for a speciality.

I do some teaching for a well established NP DE program (about 10% of grads have no RN experience) and all 60+ grads from the past two years had job offers by six months out two years in a row.

If you intend to work for a NP-owned practice then I would think about it. If you are going to work at a group or MD practice then they often don't care at all about your prior RN experience, sadly.

mamamonkey

mamamonkey

1 Post

I was a NICU RN for 4 years before I graduated a FNP program. Now, to be fair, I worked adult critical care for the 4 years before that. Having the NICU experience made me more comfortable with babies and peds to an extent. I don't know that my nursing experience has really made a hill of beans difference as far as getting a NP job.

I worked for a NP owned practice as a new grad (still work there occasionally) and I will say that my adult experience helped b/c I was on my own after the first couple of months and having some adult background makes you feel a bit more confident (I mean, you're scared to death the first year anyway!).

If you can pick up a PRN job, then I would probably go for it if it's feasible. You are always getting a chance to hone/practice assessment skills and critical thinking skills (even if you aren't the one issuing the orders ;) ). If it is going to interfere with school or your home life, then I wouldn't do it.

Alisabeth

Alisabeth, BSN, MSN, DNP

Specializes in FNP, Surgery. Has 14 years experience. 75 Posts

Definitely keep your NICU PRN job, sounds like it works well with your school schedule. My BF was a NICU RN for 4 years before she became an Adult NP. She had no problem transitioning over. Your NP clinicals will help you feel more comfortable and gain adult experience. Good luck!

lemur87

lemur87

125 Posts

Thanks for all the advice everyone!

janetek

janetek

Specializes in NICU, Mother/Baby, OB-Infant Home Health. Has 19 years experience. 5 Posts

I was a NICU/Mother-baby RN for 20 years before going back for FNP. I am due to graduate with FNP in July. Due to this, I had very limited experience with diseases typically found in the adult (HTN, hyperlipidemia, DM, CHF, etc.) and therefore did not have much experiential background to fall back on. The experience I had was a LOOOONG time ago, and it is all obsolete. So, I have to spend more time on my weak areas...adult diseases, pharmacology, etc....

The good news--you have a lot of knowledge and experience r/t the childbearing family (mom and baby), respiratory and newborn care. You have quite a bit of knowledge about cardiac and a nice overall knowledge of GI, GU, STDs, infection and orthopedic issues of the newborn. Care of women and children will be easier for you than others.

I would caution you about changing jobs at this point. The learning curve is steep and the stress level is high in NP school without adding a new job to the mix. Do I wish I had more experience with adult diseases--yes. Do I regret the decision to work in maternal/child health for 20 years...absolutely NOT. You will have a bigger learning curve in some areas, but a smaller one in other areas. Expect to spend more time on your weak areas.

Good luck!

cbrown39

cbrown39

3 Posts

Hey, I know this topic is old, but I'm just wondering how did the NICU RN to FNP transition turn out? I'm currently applying to FNP programs, and I am a NICU nurse!