Peds med/surg first?

Specialties NICU


I was wondering if a year in Peds med/surg would be beneficial in a NICU setting? In some hospitals that I've looked into, they require a year as a registered nurse before going into the NICU.


I went straight into the NICU after graduation and am glad I did. I wouldn't feel comfortable working in Peds Med Surg with my NICU experience so I don't think Peds Med Surg experience would really prepare you for the NICU. They are 2 different types of patients.

I second that. Completely two different sets of patients, and their care differs vastly. If you want NICU, just go for it.

Okay, the area that I was looking at was a pediatric med/surg area that dealt with 0 to 1 year olds.

Thanks though for your input.


Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

An area that handles the 0-1 demographic might be OK. But stay away from those grown-ups, it'll save you a lot of time having to erase adult stuff w/NICU stuff. As for a hosp that wants to have a year first, talk to the NICU NM, if that's true, they're nuts, IMHO.

Make sure wherever you go has a really good new grad program, and adequate orientation. And, you should be exempt from floating for at least a year.

Good Luck in getting the right placement--it's out there for you!!

I have been a nurse for 1.5 years and I started right in the NICU. This is my second Bachelors degree and I went to nursing school knowing I wanted NICU and only NICU. I just had to look around (not very hard) to find a hospital that took new grads. I had a twelve week orientation with a preceptor and classes.....

I would not think that your work on a med surg floor would give you much more than some additional orginizational skills before coming to the NICU. I STILL would die if they tried to float me to a med surg floor...I don't think my skills would translate even to an infant floor well...I have been floated to our Peds Cardio ICU and I was fine (kinda crazy I know). Guess I am used to vented babies not ones that cry for their mom

Good luck and don't sell yourself short if NICU is what you want!


I think resonses are based on individuals experience..yes they are totally different populations; however, I do feel that adult or pediatric experience gives you practice in basic assessment skills to perfect them before using them on such fragile babies where they really need to be perfect from day one. Also, I think working on a basic floor teaches you organization skills that you don't necessarily get in the nicu setting since you have to be extremely organized to care for 8-12 patients on a general floor...I did adults for a year before starting in the NICU and can't imagine not having done so; I think it was extemely helpful...I can't imagine starting out in the NICU as a new grad and am thankful that I didn't...just another opinion...Whatever you choose I wish you the best of luck...lisa

Specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

Lisa...I am glad that you found your year on the floor helpful, but as a person that has oriented both new and just off the floor, I'll take a new nurse anytime. Organization has nothing to do with where you depends on the person. I have had the floor nurses miss doing things because on the floor they may back chart or put off something on one patient to do something on another, where as in the NICU you need to cluster care and do one patient at a time. The floor nurses also have had aides to help with VS and such and you don't have that in NICU, you do it all. Each person is different and if it is in their comfort zone then go right to NICU. :)

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