NICU —> pre op/pacu

by saltymermaid saltymermaid, ADN Member Nurse

Has 8 years experience.

I will be transitioning from NICU to pre-op/PACU. (Hospital, not surgery center although they do outpatient stuff too). would you say this area is more monotonous and lower stress than NICU? Minus random outliers and emergencies? I’m looking to get away from running to deliveries, the admissions, and floating. I love my babies, I just feel it’s time for a change. While NICU is not my only area I’ve worked in, I’ve done adults but never adult critical care, yet I'm told I'm qualified and obviously got hired. I’m at least assuming it must depend on where you’re located / what kind of surgeries your hospital performs that determines whether or not ICU experience is necessary? I don’t mind being busy and having a steady shift, I’m just looking to get away from the spontaneity of NICU at this point in my career and I’m hoping pre-op/PACU is more routine. Overall, at least - I am aware that in any patient care area you have the possibility of an outlier or something out of the norm, of course.  

Edited by saltymermaid


Specializes in PACU, pre/postoperative, ortho. Has 11 years experience. 1,113 Posts

By now, hopefully you have settled into the PACU routine.  While it can have some slow days where you twiddle your thumbs waiting for a pt to come out, I don't find it monotonous at all. Babies stress me out, so for me, it's definitely less stress than NICU!  ENT days are full of baby wrangling, so there is that; those days move fast.  

Location will definitely affect what the hiring requirements are. I'm in a rural area & while critical care experience is a plus, it's not required; only 2 of our current PACU nurses have ICU experience.