First off, congratulations on passing boards!!
It takes A LOT of time to get a routine down and have good time management skills.
I've only been in the NICU for 7 months. I remember those first few months when I was on orientation, wondering how I was ever going to handle 2 babies by myself because when I'd get behind my preceptor would help out .... and I knew after orientation I wouldn't have her to help out all the time. Just believe me that it gets better with time, I'm sure you hear that all the time .... but it's true!
By the time I was on my own I was able to handle my own assignment. But I had experience working in a well-baby nursery for about 5 months before I came to the NICU. That helped out with time management skills because we'd have 6-8 babies at a time. So even with that experience, I was still running behind sometimes with my 2-baby assignment in the NICU. So it may take you a little longer since you had no other nursing experience before now .... it's just part of being a new nurse, getting the time management skills down, and that's totally normal.
I write EVERYTHING down! Even in my round blocks I still write everything down that I need to do so I don't forget. I used to forget so many things. I'd get done with a round, get the baby all tucked in, isolette closed up and covered, lights turned off and then OOOPS, I forgot to take the temp! So I write everything down in those blocks. Under 2100 I'll make a list ..... temp, diaper, abd girth, BP (I used to always forget to take a BP too, so I write it down now), weight, chem strip, and whatever else I need to do during that round.
Do you know what it is exactly that takes you so much time when you get in there to do your assessment? At first, I found that writing everything down, so I could work in a certain order helped.
I start my rounds a little early too, especially if they're on feeds. So if I have a round due at 2100 and the baby is due to eat, I'll start my round at 2045 or so, depending on how much stuff I need to do. My first round always takes me longer because I get all my "extra" stuff done then. We only have to take BPs q shift, so I get my BP in that first round. Same with weights and chem strips ..... just once during our shift, so I try to get in there and get that done the first round. So I know my first round takes longer, so I start it earlier. Then with my next rounds I just get in there and do a quick, but thorough assessment, looking for any changes. Get a temp, change the diaper, etc. But before I ever get into the isollete I make sure I have EVERYTHING I need right there, so I don't have to run around to get stuff, I just have everything there and ready to go. If milk needs to be heated up for the feed, then I put it in hot water and let it warm while I do my round.
The best advice I can give you is to start your shift by getting organized and writing all your stuff down. Get all your ducks in a row, so to speak. Get your sheets all filled out and all your times filled in. Know what you need to do and at what time.
I hope this isn't too scattered and helps some. It will get better with time. Good luck to you!