LPNs in the NICU??

  1. this Neonatal part of the site contains so much information, I really don't know where to start!! In reading as much of it as I have, though, I am wondering if anybody has ever heard of a hospital staffing LPNs in their NICUs? I haven't signed up to go to RN school yet, and I really want to know more about the Neonatal part of nursing before I decide if more schooling is my next step. Any suggestions besides calling every hospital in the area? (which would only leave me with a few options-I live in Tiny Town, USA) Thanks much!!:roll
    This nurse had a stressful day and is very tired. Going to sleep on this.:zzzzz
  2. Visit luvbug profile page

    About luvbug

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 182; Likes: 23
    clinic nurse; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience


  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    We haven't even gotten to 3000 posts yet! Try looking in Off-Topic. It's absolutely impossible to read everything!

    Are you working as an LPN now? I don't know about working in a Level III NICU (my unit does not hire LPN's for LIII), but perhaps you could get a job in a Level II NICU, or in the well-baby nursery? My hospital, and others that I am aware of, *does* hire LPN's for both of those nurseries. Obviously, though, your options may be limited in the town that you currently live in. I live in a pretty large metro area in the South, and we have at least 10-15 well baby nurseries, 10-15 Level II nurseries, and at least 4-5 Level III nurseries, so this means a lot of job opportunities within a sixty-mile radius. Don't forget that "neonatal" includes ALL newborns, not just those needing intensive care! Just about every hospital delivers babies, and all those babies need nurses. If you aren't able to get a position working in the NICU, perhaps you might consider the "healthy" nursery? Surely some of the hospitals in your area have those, and you could always call and explore your options.

    Welcome to the boards! Let us know if you have any questions, okay?
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 18, '03
  4. by   fergus51
    I have never heard of a position for LPNs in an NICU. We haven't had any healthy baby nurseries for years because they room in with their moms. I would imagine if you are willing to relocate after grad there must be some places with such positions.
  5. by   Joannie
    I presume that an LPN is what we in NZ call an Enrolled Nurse - a graduate of a shorter programme of training (18 months I think it was). We used to employ several ENs in our Level II nurseries, but they have now all done their degrees and are now RNs. I think it depends on the policy of the particular hospital whether they are employed in NICUs or not.
  6. by   love4neos
    I worked in a large general hospital a year ago, and we did have LPNs that worked in our NICU. It was a level 3 NICU, but they took only the feeder-growers and did almost every discharge because of that. It was bad when our census fell they were always the ones to get cancelled. They were VERY smart nurses and had been doing it for a long time, so they kind of grew with the unit. Every other NICU I have ever been in does not have LPNs.
  7. by   luvbug
    Thank you all so much for the replies!! I was pretty sure that I would have to go back to school, but I think I just needed some confirmation on that.
  8. by   NicuGal
    We had LPN's when I first started there 17 years ago, but they reassigned them to the peds floors about 12 years ago. They were the best nurses I worked with! We can't even have an LPN float to us anymore because they can only feed kids, no assessment, no meds (even if med certified).
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    NO LPN's in any of the NICUs or Special Care Nurseries in any of the hospitals that I KNOW OF. It's hard to get a job in OB or Newborn nursing as an LPN in my area, period.
  10. by   magRN
    We had LPN's in the old days, but about 12 years ago the hospital decided only RN's in all ICU's. About a year before that the hospital offered full payment for any LPN to get the RN...and some did do that...but only one still works in our unit.

    They were some great nurses too, I learned so much from them. It was hard because our NICU has it's own step-down area through to home going and many worked there.
  11. by   TriciaLPN
    I am an LPN from Eastern Idaho and one of our Hospitals in Pocatello called Bannick Regional Medical Center does or at least in 2001 had staffed LPN's in the NICU, I was there for awhile as I have 12 years experience in NBN and Peds, but what you can actually do in the NICU is very limited and you are limited to the feeders that are getting ready to grad and go home. But as they say anything is possiable.
  12. by   nell
    In CA, LVNs can't legally be counted in the NICU staffing ratios, so hospitals don't put them there.

    I haven't been able to find out if they can work in intermediate nurseries or not.

    They CAN work in well-baby nurseries (actually, we have one of the few in the area and we are always packed - a lot of the moms in this area want the option of sending the baby to the nursery...) and Mother-Baby.
  13. by   Anaclaire
    In a Georgia NICU Level 3 30 bed NICU I worked in there were 2 LPNs who had been working there for nearly 20 years. They were not transferred to Peds or Mother-Baby Unit but were only allowed to care for feeders & growers. Our policy was that if they left, they would only be rehired if they had their RN. Any new nurses hired into the NICU were to be RNs or RN students in their second year of nursing school.

    There are only RNs in the the NICU here in my new town in Alabama which is a Level 3, 25 bed unit.

    Both of these hospitals hire LPNs to work in their Mother-Baby Units and Post-partum and Well Baby Nursery. (One hospital has a mother-baby unit where post-partum and well baby nursery are essentially combined and the other is the old-fashioned separated way.)

    So, luvbug, this very non-scientific poll here at allnurses neonatal nursing board seems to confirm your suspicions that an RN degree is probably needed if you want to work in a busy NICU. In smaller towns I'd expect you'd have a much better chance of working with babies either in a nursery or in L&D, but I'd bet they'd be healthy babies and any really sick or preemie ones would be shipped away to a larger hospital which is equipped to deal with such illnesses and preemie needs.

    Good luck and please visit us here often!!!
  14. by   Mimi2RN
    We don't have LVN's in our level II as core staff. I was told it was related to CCS certification. When we are very busy, we sometimes have an LVN come in to help out, but they can't do assessments.