Discouraged Nurse Graduate - page 2

Hello everyone. I have a bit of advice to ask all of you if you have any to offer. I will be graduating as a new nurse with an ADN in just a few more weeks. I will be taking the NCLEX first thing in... Read More

  1. by   Wanahakalugi
    I am currently finishing up my 1st year of my ASN program and I am in the same spot as you; I know that I want to work in NICU and that is where my passion lies. I have a friend that just graduated (South Western VA) from our program and was hired directly into the NICU, but she is a rare exception and did very well in pretty much everything that she did.

    I am 24 and a father of 3; the youngest born in February spending some time in the NICU for Premature Lung Disease. After being there for my Son in the NICU for a few weeks, I just knew that is what I wanted to do. I am lucky as I will be a male nurse with some "inside" connections with the nursing management. Sadly to say, I did "use" the oppotunity up there with my Son to express my interest in the floor and specialty and will be doing an internship there over the summer.

    All I have been told is do not pass up opportunity as a new grad RN. Most everyone I have talked to says that as much as the Med/Surg floor can suck, it has invaluable expreience that you can roll over to other fields. Granted, NICU is a specialized field but the assessment skills and daily practice/TIME MANAGEMENT that you gain from other possitions will aid in the process once you do get there.

    I do not expect to graduate and be able to go right to the NICU like I have dreamed. I know that I will undoubtedly be working nights on a Med/Surg floor for the first year after I graduate to gain that wanted "work experience". Don't be discouraged and keep going for what you want to do. You will get there! Pluss, the hardest part is behind you...YOU GRADUATED AND PASSED THE NCLEX-RN!
  2. by   BabyRN2Be
    Hello, new grad... I have a few suggestions that may help you out as you strive towards your goal of becoming a NICU nurse.

    Of course, you probably know, the ecomony isn't really good right now, but you cant use that towards your advantage at the moment. I know that you REALLLY, REALLY want to work in NICU, but keep in mind that you'll be up against A LOT of competition. So, here are a few recommendations to maybe get a "leg up" on the competition, which we know is TOUGH.

    First of all, get ANYTHING nursing related that you can. I know that L&D and mother/baby is also competitive as well. However, if you don't start somewhere, like ANYWHERE, you'll appear unemployeable and that's not good either. Here are some tips for trying to get into L&D or mother/baby:

    1. Consider taking a 3-day doula course for ~$500. There you will learn how to support the mom during labor using non-pharmacalogical techniques. This may show a perspective employeer that you are interested in the field and set you apart (possibly) from other candidates. While you are waiting for ANY job to come up, you may want to go ahead and get certfified as a doula. While I know that this has nothing to do with NICU, you will get your foot in the door as far as working with any type of neonate is considered. You may even want to consider just going and get certified as a labor doula through various organizations such as DONA (Doulas of North America) or CAPPA, just to know a few. That way if it takes a long time to land a coveted NICU job, you will come in with SOME experience. There are beginning and advanced courses, so if you can complete those, you will at least have experience others DON'T have. If you have the time, you may got on and get certified as a Certified Labor Doula and get experience that way.

    2. Secondly, consider taking a Certified Breastfeeding Educator conference/class. Debi Bocar teaches them and she lives in OKC. Check her schedule: she travels all over the US and her material is AMAZING. You'd think that after studying BF for 9 hours a day you'd want to go back to your hotel room and think nothing of the material. Quite the contrary for me: I went back every night and continued to devour her material. She's an awesome teacher and I highly recommend it. She even covers extensively breastfeeding in the NICU environment which will possibly make you stand out from other candidates.

    3. Now I'm not a nurse at time, but if you haven't done so already, you may want to take certification tests as such as PALS (which is the only one that comes to mind at the moment). There may be others, too.

    4. Being a volunteering as a cuddler in a NICU might help as well, but I've found these positions around here very few and far between in this area. But, it would give you some experience and face time with a nurse manager.

    I know that I've given you some ideas for L&D/mother/baby and I KNOW you want NICU. But honestly, I don't know it's a good idea waiting around for that coveted NICU position to open up. But others have said, take what you can get (after all, you worked so hard to get that BSN). Take some time, study what you want to do, but if anything comes around, TAKE IT, get some floor time, while at the same time, study for the things you want to do. That way I feel that you will be more marketable when YOUR NICU position opens up!

    My very best to you and I hope that you5 NICU position opens up soon. Best wishes to you!