New NICU Nurse

  1. I hope some of my fellow "seasoned" NICU nurses can give me some help.. I've been working as a med/surg nurse for the past 16 years and now have accepted a position in the NICU, which has been my dream every since I became a nurse.. I'm so excited but yet a little apprehensive..You know how it is when you leave your comfort zone for new territory..Any words of encouragement would be appreciated..Also, I read some other postings about some reference books that would be of help to me..If you could give me the names again I would be ever so grateful..I start my new position on March 2nd.. Hope to hear from you all soon!! Linda
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    About A_Nightingale55

    Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 27; Likes: 1
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   2banurse
    Hi Linda, I'm still a "prenursing student" so I can't help you. But I did want to congratulate on your new position. I'm vascillating between L&D, NICU and PP. Since PP is the easiest to get started in (at my local hospital), I'll start there.

    There are a few very knowledgeable NICU nurses that are very informative about this field.

  4. by   BBnurse37
    I am a fairly new NICU nurse also, having just started last May. I really love it and am sure you will as well. One of the best references I have found and use extensively is Core Curriculum for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing by Jane Deacon and Patricia O'Neill. It is really logically written and hasn't steered me wrong yet. Congratulations on your new position!
  5. by   prmenrs
    Scroll thru the threads on this forum, there are a lot of newbies posting for advice, and you can check it out. If I were you, the minimum books I'd pick:

    Merenstein and Gardner--make sure it's the 5th edition, published May 2002.

    Neofax--they have a website, but they also have a book.

    Start from there, you'll need highlighters!!!

    And WELCOME!!
  6. by   jml
    i have worked in neonatal (level IV) for 20 years, and also trained many new RN's. in addition to the "core curriculum" book, which I like,a good book for nurses new to the field is "Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care" published by Mosby.......... it's set up more as paragraphs, whereas the other book is more like outlines. I understand your change is nervewracking, as I have just relocated, and am about to start in a new unit here......still in NICU........but still scary!......good luck, once you've done neonatal you can't go back!!!you'll love it.
  7. by   NicuGal
    Welcome aboard! Your organization skills from floor nursing will b very handy!!! And you should be good at multi-tasking

    See if the unit you are going into offers any type of unit specific handbook. Our attendings, CNS and others got together and we have our "Little Black Book"
  8. by   A_Nightingale55
    Thank you all for the valuable information and encouragement!! I'm anxious to get started but terrified at the same time..I'll keep you all updated as my orientation goes along and I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions.. Thanks again.. Linda
  9. by   Anaclaire
    Hi Linda,

    I just wanted to welcome you to the NICU board too! I'm sure your experience will be very, very helpful as you learn to care fo the little ones. It's incredibly exciting and rewarding to work in the NICU, in my humble opinion.

    Along with the other book suggestions, I'd like to add:

    Neonatal Medication & Nutrition: A Comprehensive Guide 2nd Edition by Karin E. Zenk, PharmD, FASHP with Jack H. Sills, MD and Robin M. Koeppel, RNC, MS, CPNP, published by NICU-Ink Book Publishers, Santa Rosa, CA, ISBN# 1-887571-07-8. The Neofax is definately a must, but this other one has loads of good information and a home study CEU course included if you want to do that.

    Physical Assessment of the Newborn: A Comprehensive Approach to the Art of Physical Examination, 2nd Edition by Ellen P. Tappero, RNC, MD, NNP and Mary Ellen Honeyfield, RNC, MS, NNP, also published by NICU-Ink, ISBN#1-887571-00-0.

    Preemies: The Essential Guide for Paraents of Premature Babies, by Dana Wechsler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, and Mia Wechsler Doron, MD, published by Pocket Books, ISBN# 0-671-03491-X is great for helping you learn some great ways to communicate information with parents.

    The Core Curriculum for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing and Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care mentioned in earlier posts to this thread are all absolutely wonderful resources too!!!

    Best wishes for a rewarding career in the NICU! Be sure to stop by here often too.

  10. by   A_Nightingale55
    Anaclaire, Thank you so much for your reply. I just sent away for the book neofacts. I will definately look into the books that you suggested. I am so looking forward to starting my new position in the Nicu and I will definately be stopping in to let everyone know how it's going, and I'm sure, to ask for your input from time to time. Have a great day! Linda
  11. by   Anaclaire

    You are most certainly welcome! I'm glad you found my post helpful.

    My NICU preceptor taught me to always look up each drug I give in the Neofax every time I give the medicine. At first I thought that was overkill but I trusted her and am forever glad I did! After a while I could practically memorize some of the information but I'd still look it up and read it anyway. The Neofax gives concise information about the drug and fits nicely in your pocket. In times of crisis in the NICU, when the stuff hits the fan during an emergency or on a transport, I was forever thankful for my 'overkill' of learning the drugs so well because I was able to be more effective... I had learned the drugs so well that I didn't have to concern my mind so much with worring about the dosage, purpose, effects/precautions, etc. of them and could instead focus more on the other time-sensitive actions that needed to be taken. In a rush, medications errors can occur much more easily, and I attribute my daily opening of my Neofax to helping me avoid medication errors over the years. If you get in the habit of it from the beginning, you can easily learn to allot the time needed to check your Neofax as you incorporate this activity into your care routines. Just a little suggestion of something that worked well for me that I thought I'd share with you...

    We look forward to hearing from you on this board and send you sincere wishes for a wonderful NICU experience!

  12. by   A_Nightingale55
    Anaclaire, Thanks so much for that suggestion about looking up the drug and dosage in the neofax each time you give it. I'm sure that book will become my "best friend". Talk to you soon..Linda
  13. by   Anaclaire
  14. by   Hefe
    Linda, I am currently on orientation on NICU after working med/surg for 4 yrs and peds for 1. I feel like I have to unlearn alot of adult nursing stuff, but so far I like this new field. I'm trying to get better at turning babies with vents and UVC's etc... Good luck to you when you start next month! We'll have to compare notes!