NICU Or Bust


Hi all,

I have about a nine months left on my ADN. I really want to do NICU as soon as possible once I'm out. It seems to have everything I'm looking for - the technical precision, critical care, etc...

All of my work history and publishing is completely unrelated (I spent three years doing a BA in Political Communication and Pre-med before deciding to go to nursing). I'm curious as to what experience builders I should be working on as of now. I feel like I'm between a rock and hard place... I think I've got a pretty big knowledge base but am really not certified or qualified to do anything special.

Any suggestions would be great!



2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

I would talk to your clinical advisor about getting some clinical time in a NICU. Pay attention during your Mother/Baby classes. Other than that, you should be fine... a lot of units hire new grads into NICU. Honestly they don't expect much. It's hard to bring any outside experience/knowledge into NICU, it's mostly learned on the job.


234 Posts

I also switched to nursing from another field and had no clinical experience in the NICU even from nursing school. I had no problem getting hired straight to the NICU though - I think the managers are looking more for intrinsic personal qualities and a passion that come across in the interview. They understand that it's difficult for new grads to have much technical knowledge or experience.

If you have a NICU where you live, you could always try shadowing or volunteering to be a cuddler. I found that even reading the posts here helped me get a realistic view of what the work is like.


126 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Passion in what you want to do is important. I interviewed for a position in a NICU internship and was chosen because they could see how passionate I was about becoming a NICU nurse. I had no expirience outside of clinicals, so I didn't have an edge there (except that we go to the NICU for a long period of time and have an entire ICU course), so I used those clinicals and my own personal work history to stand out from the crowd.

Talking with your Pediatrics teacher may be a good first step so that they can help you find a way to go to NICU to gain some insight/experience into what it is actually like. If you can go into an interview saying that you actually have shadowed/had clinicals in that environment, it is a good thing. The manager that interviewed me said that people who didn't have any understanding of what the NICU was all about (apparently someone wanted to hold babies all day long) didn't get considered.

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