Moving from NICU to PICU nursing

  1. I work on a combined NICU/PICU - it has only just incorporated a PICU and most of the staff do not like working in the PICU side of things.
    I am almost finished my NICU qualification and am being encourgaed by my manager to do the PICU course next year (I only have to do 2 units to become qualified and it is free!).

    I do not enjoy working in Paeds ward - it is too much pandemonium for me.

    How different is PICU from PAEDS nursing?
    Will it be easier to pick up now i am ok with ventilation etc?
    I have been an adult ICU RN - is it similar ?

    Any tips of points of interest welcomed
  2. Visit Olivereindeer profile page

    About Olivereindeer

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 22; Likes: 15
    RN Neonatal/Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
    Specialty: 19 year(s) of experience in OT, Palliative, ICU, NICU, Wound Care,


  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I think you'll find PICU to be more like NICU than the paeds floor. Usually by the time PICU patients are capable of creating pandemonium, they're not PICU patients any more. Another thing about PICU compared to NICU is that there is a much wider variety of problems that bring kids to PICU and everyday will be different from the one before. You'll find a lot of crossover from both adult ICU and NICU when you work in PICU and it'll be a huge advantage to you having both types of experience. You might find it to be the best of both worlds.
  4. by   PICNICRN
    I have worked PICU and NICU for quite sometime now and I can tell you that they are VERY different while similar if that makes any sense. You know all of the equipment(vents/pumps/circuits, ect) and you know how to calculate drips and meds by weight so that will not change. You know how to deal with the families- none of this will change. The biggest differences that I find is that in the NICU, you deal with a lot of the same patient population(although they present differently sometimes) for example NEC, RDS, gastroscesis, sepsis, ect. In the PICU, you never know what you will get! I feel like I literally learn something new everyday, like I am always looking up some med or procedure I've never heard of!
    Don't worry about PICU being like peds.... it's not! I too, do not enjoy the general peds unit! Like JFRN says, by the time they are wild and crazy- they are outta here!
    Brush up on your systems and assessments, and really pay attention to your PALS! Good luck! I hope you enjoy life in the PICU!