NICU nurse certifications

  1. Hi all,
    I will graduate nursing school in April. I have very much enjoyed my women's health and neonatal rotations and am considering trying to get a job in a NICU when I graduate. It's not unheard of for new grads in my area to be hired into a NICU, but I'd like to stand apart a bit.

    Are there any certifications or additional educational achievements that would be a plus to a NICU applicant? I've read about the NRP and of course PALS. In your opinion, are those worthwhile things for me to work on while still in nursing school?

    Thank you
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    About Jenbripsu

    Joined: Jul '17; Posts: 57; Likes: 140

    8 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from Jenbripsu
    Hi all,
    I will graduate nursing school in April. I have very much enjoyed my women's health and neonatal rotations and am considering trying to get a job in a NICU when I graduate. It's not unheard of for new grads in my area to be hired into a NICU, but I'd like to stand apart a bit.

    Are there any certifications or additional educational achievements that would be a plus to a NICU applicant? I've read about the NRP and of course PALS. In your opinion, are those worthwhile things for me to work on while still in nursing school?

    Thank you
    Don't bother. You don't have the knowledge base at this point to make the learning meaningful- and your future employer will put you thru the class when they feel the time is right.
    'Standing out' as a new grad is more a function of who you know and where you did your capstone and how you interview- otherwise new grads are all the same.
  4. by   Jenbripsu
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Don't bother. You don't have the knowledge base at this point to make the learning meaningful- and your future employer will put you thru the class when they feel the time is right.
    'Standing out' as a new grad is more a function of who you know and where you did your capstone and how you interview- otherwise new grads are all the same.
    That is great advice and just saved me some time. Thanks!
  5. by   babyNP.
    I would respectfully disagree. PALS isn't worth it but if you have the time to dedicate to studying something extra, I think NRP would help you stand out. I did it as a student and while I also did have my senior practicum in a NICU, the manager that hired me told me that it was impressive.

    It would take quite a bit of studying though, so only go if you're in a good spot with regular schoolwork. Actually, the NRP class I taught today had 2 nursing students. They were very eager and really knew the algorithm well (steps of resuscitation).
  6. by   jennylee321
    Agreed that PALS is not worth it, we don't use in NICU
  7. by   babyNP.
    Quote from jennylee321
    Agreed that PALS is not worth it, we don't use in NICU
    well...we do. In large NICUs where there is a large chronic population of 6+ month old infants (my oldest was 20 months) NRP isn't really applicable and PALS more suitable. They did not require us to get it in the last place I worked (although they talked about it)... the local level IV where I live now does require it if you work in the NICU.

    but, yeah, not worth it for a nursing student, totally agreed.
  8. by   jennylee321
    Quote from babyNP.
    well...we do. In large NICUs where there is a large chronic population of 6+ month old infants (my oldest was 20 months) NRP isn't really applicable and PALS more suitable. They did not require us to get it in the last place I worked (although they talked about it)... the local level IV where I live now does require it if you work in the NICU.

    but, yeah, not worth it for a nursing student, totally agreed.

    That's why these old chronics need to be in PICU, we used to complain that why are we using NRP on 9 month olds. I feel like these kids would get better suited care on a proper paediatric unit/ICU, they need to have proper play not just swaddled with a pacifier.
  9. by   babyNP.
    As I understood it, we (using the royal we) didn't feel that the medical care in the PICU (not the nursing care) was going to be as optimal considering the infant's lung disease pathophysiology was from prematurity and not from other common pediatric respiratory diseases (and the PICU often wanted to wait as well). TBH there was also a big pushback from parents. Some parents would flat out refuse to even go to the step down NICU that we had, let alone the PICU. Family centered care and all that... I know that the children's hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) actually markets their "NICU" as a "NIICU" --> neonatal/infant intensive care unit to account for their older babies.
  10. by   Leader25
    Why do you want to be a stand out?Graduate,pass your exam ,get your license and a good resume. You need to absorb all about newborns to have a basis for what a sick neonate does.You will be given NRP as a requirement by your employer and you must do well on it,you can not work without it post orientation.Be careful about your job description because today many are nicu/peds/picu positions,meaning they send you everywhere,including newborn nursery.

    There are some books you can purchase on cardiac rhythms of neonates ,your employer will teach and test you on that too,if you have some extra change around do the BLS -everyone needs that in my place.
    Remember you will be working in an area where people are highly skilled,astute thinkers and very busy do not rub them the wrong way.Take time to learn as much as you can for your specific unit and in two years take the nicu certification exam.

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