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PICU, NICU, or Peds ER as New Grad?

Nurses   (440 Views | 5 Replies)
by pedsrntobe pedsrntobe (New) New Nurse

pedsrntobe has 1 years experience .

23 Profile Views; 1 Post

Hi everyone!

I'll be graduating with my BSN in May (woo!) and I'm currently in the final stage of the interview process for a residency program with the NICU, PICU, and peds ER. I have ICU experience and love kids, but I have never worked with children in the hospital setting.

When I applied for the residency program, I was hoping I would be able to shadow the units to get a better feel for what I preferred, but with strict visitor policies d/t COVID, I am afraid that isn't an option. As of right now, I am attracted to the PICU for its diversity and the chance to learn something new every day as a new grad, but a part of me has always been interested in NICU nursing.

I would love to hear from any NICU/PICU/peds ER nurses to hear about why you love what you do, and any additional advice you may have about choosing one of the three departments as a new graduate nurse!

Edited by pedsrntobe

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,447 Posts; 33,509 Profile Views

13 hours ago, pedsrntobe said:

Hi everyone!

I'll be graduating with my BSN in May (woo!) and I'm currently in the final stage of the interview process for a residency program with the NICU, PICU, and peds ER. I have ICU experience and love kids, but I have never worked with children in the hospital setting.

When I applied for the residency program, I was hoping I would be able to shadow the units to get a better feel for what I preferred, but with strict visitor policies d/t COVID, I am afraid that isn't an option. As of right now, I am attracted to the PICU for its diversity and the chance to learn something new every day as a new grad, but a part of me has always been interested in NICU nursing.

I would love to hear from any NICU/PICU/peds ER nurses to hear about why you love what you do, and any additional advice you may have about choosing one of the three departments as a new graduate nurse!

Not to be a downer, but do you have an actual offer yet? And will you have a choice if you do get an offer?

You might be interested in browsing under the "Specialties" tab for discussions specific to those specialties. I stay far away from babies and children, or I'd try to tell you something helpful.

Good luck with the final stages of your interview(s).

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

356 Posts; 3,763 Profile Views

Having done a residency that included General ER, ICU and OR and then worked for years in multiple ER's and OR's it's my opinion that by far the most important factor is the culture of the particular units. By that I mean do they have preceptors that really enjoy mentoring New Grads or is it an unpopular task they are forced into. Is the Unit as a whole friendly to new nurses or are there issues like constant high turnover or really unhappy staff, both of these issues are red flags.

Your idea of shadowing on each unit was a good one, not being able to do that right now is bad luck. As a New Grad I can promise you it will be a massive learning curve on any of those units. As you already have ICU experience that would probably be a little easier for you (easier NOT easy). I would focus on trying to find out as much as you can about the units without shadowing. Did any of your friends do clinicals there? Would HR set you up with the name/ contact details of a few of the nurses currently doing their New Grad program there so you can talk to them. Several of the hospitals I worked at actually had us RNs come to their New Grad Open Houses so we could talk to prospective New Grads and answer their questions.

I read a lot of posts on here about "Dream Unit" trust me when I say the best unit will always be the one with a decent manager, decent staffing and a minimum number of staff who seem to enjoy making other people's work day miserable.

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507 Posts; 2,320 Profile Views

Having worked NICU the majority of my career I'm voting work there!  But as kp2016 says the culture is the most important thing.  But also you need to realize working NICU/PICU is different from the ER because I'm going to guess more babies/kids die in those units than in the ER.  And many times you'll have taken care of them for days and weeks, and in the NICU (I know for sure) months. Are you ready to do that?  Are you ready to guide parents through that process? Are you ready to admit a baby who keeps going downhill over 2 months and have your unit call you at home when you're sick to tell you that "your" baby died?  I interviewed for a NICU my first job and the recruiter and I both agreed I probably wasn't ready for that, Level 2 was perfect though.  Kids die in the ER too but you won't have developed a relationship so it's entirely different.  Something else to think about...

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quittaRN has 13 years experience and specializes in NICU,PICU, PCICU, and Peds ER.

57 Posts; 3,814 Profile Views

I think if you like ICU then the PICU would float your boat. I think you would like it. Lots of action, very busy and very, very sad. So if you can handle the sadness then your good to go. The NICU can be sad too but not nearly as sad as peds er or PICU,  you just have to decide what you can handle. I have worked all 3 and I love it. Kids are so resilient.  Good luck!

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5 Posts; 40 Profile Views

Are you in NYC if so where are these residencies I am interested in PICU

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