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NICU vs MedSurg

by migo1234 migo1234 (New) New

Hi fellow nurses,

I am a new grad, and was recently offered a position in MEDSURG and NICU. I'm having a really hard time deciding which one to accept. MEDSURG is a broad unit, which I feel would be a great start to my nursing career. And NICU is specialty unit, so I'm not sure if this is the best choice to go with initially.

Please help! And thank you in advance :)

Sounds like you made your decision! :)

Thank you for replying! I guess I'm feeling very confused! And I want to be 100% sure with my decision.

I understand completely. Im only in my first semester of my program. Whatever you decide will be awesome and the right one for you.

Lennonninja, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in MICU - CCRN, IR, Vascular Surgery. Has 10 years experience.

Do you really want to work with babies and work ICU? If so, go with NICU. If you don't, go with med/surg. Both will get you valuable experience, but you need to decide what the end goal is to decide where you should start.

Also, congrats! :)

Edited by Lennonninja

excited 1, thank you :)

Lennonninija, thank you. I've heard that MEDSURG is a great unit to start with, but that it can be very stressful and busy! I am ready for the challenge. And I'm not sure if I want to work with babies. However, I've been told that it is a great experience working in NICU. They are both completely different units!

Where are they hiring new grads into NICU, I've been applying at local hospitals near me but it seems most don't hire new grads into the NICU

NICU all the way. Way harder to get into. Easier on your body. Surreal and amazing.


Specializes in NICU, Acute Rehab, Med/Surg, Quality. Has 30 years experience.

NICU is a hard unit to get into for seasoned nurses. You are a new grad. This opportunity does not come along often because most people stay in NICU once they get there. I was there for 14 years. Med/Surg is good for learning but you can learn it later if you decide NICU is not for you. I was also a Med/Surg Nurse, Charge Nurse, Supervisor, and Manager after I left NICU and it is a "hard" place to work. It is probably the most tiring job of any other type nursing short of ED.

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

I would say go with the NICU, like the other posters have said, it is a very hard area to get into! This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, medsurg jobs in comparison are a dime a dozen and if you don't like NICU it will be easier to get a medsurg job versus the other way around!


I say go with medsurg based on the fact that you said you are not sure you want to work with babies. Medsurg will give you solid experience and it is not impossible to switch specialties. Ask to do a share day in the NICU also. This will give you more insight.