Isn't NICU like adult ICU?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am an RN, BSN with 5 years of Neonatal ICU experience. I've enjoyed my experience in NICU but am looking for a change and having trouble switching out of the speciality. I am wanting to get into areas such as PACU, pre-op/recovery, or similar procedural areas, whether inpatient or outpatient. Any suggestion on how to connect with managers or make my application/resume stand out?

    Often they don't answer emails, or my application isn't considered because I don't have adult ICU or ER experience. NICU is still critical care, just a different population with a different set of numbers :-). Although it was 5 years ago, I had externship and practicum experiences in nursing school in ICU and PACU.

    Dear Switching Specialties,

    It can take persistence and networking to get hired from a highly specialized area such as NICU into a new specialty. You may find some who do not agree that "NICU is still critical care, just a different population with a different set of numbers" and maintain that NICU and adult ICU are more dissimilar than similar.

    NICU really is its own world with its own body of knowledge. Having said that, you are an experienced RN with transferable skills and exposure to acute care.

    Do you have any previous class mates who work in op invasive areas? If so, contact them and ask them to keep you appraised of openings and put in a good word for you to their managers.

    Let everyone know you are looking for a job- activate your network. Attend any local chapter meetings of the Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN) to meet nurses in other local hospitals. Join the PACU forum here on allnurses to chat with PACU nurses.

    There are ways to make your resume stand out, and it's also important to understand application tracking systems (ATS) and keywords. Here's an excerpt from my book:
    "Your resume should mirror the values and culture of the organization.
    How can you do that? Use industry keywords from the job posting for your skills. Many organizations use keyword scanning software to screen resumes. Have the job description in front of you as you compose your resume."
    Make sure your resume is error-free, and individualize your resume to each facility. For tons more resume tips, see the book link below..

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,439; Likes: 4,305