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Possible transfer to NICU

Specializes in NICU, previously Mother baby.

Hello all! I was wondering if I could get some advice from some of you NICU nurses. I have been working in Mother Baby for almost 3 years (first job out of nursing school). I have floated to our level III NICU many times to work with the feeders and growers, and I really enjoy it. I did watch some procedures be performed on a micropremie recently to make sure I was ok seeing/taking care of those 23-26 weekers, and I think that made me even more excited to work in the NICU.

My question is if any of you have worked in Mother Baby or even L&D previously and what was the transition like going to NICU? How was it different/similar? To any/all of you, what are your favorite/least favorite things about working in the NICU? Do you think you'll always work here?

Thanks a lot!

By the way, I really enjoy working in Mother Baby, I'm just ready for something a little more challenging.

I work in a level 3 nicu. I never worked mother/baby before, but worked in medical telemetry. I really like the nicu. Some days I miss the craziness of the med floor, but most days, I'm happy to feed babies! What I like - The babies are sweet. I love the feeder/growers. I'm starting to love working with the more acute babies, but at first they made me nervous. We get some really tiny babies - they still make me a bit nervous. What I hate - starting IV's in babies. I'm not good at it yet. I get the flash, but often blow the vein. I was pretty good on the adult floor, and many of our patients had crap for veins, so I know I have the potential, it's just very frustrating to be good at something and then feel like you have to start over. I'm better at art sticks, which is funny because we didn't do them on the adult floor! There are times when nicu can be very routine - the same care 4 times each shift. But overall, I love the fact that the patients we are caring for have their whole lives ahead of them and most turn out to be completely typical kids. The adult world is very chronic and that could be very frustrating for me......such as the copd patient who is back for the 10th time because they refuse to quit smoking. Good luck with your decision. I think I'd like mom/baby too because I love all the teaching and working with the families.

I am so jealous! I would absolutely LOVE the opportunity to work in NICU.....it's my dream job. Unfortunately, we have only two NICU facilities in my area and there are hardly ever any positions available. If I do happen to catch one I'm informed I need experience in NICU. Or it's "all about who you know." I've heard this alot, too. I would like mother/baby as well. If you have the chance to do it what have you got to lose? All knowledge is worth having. Good luck:)


Specializes in NICU, previously Mother baby.

Just an update for those of you who replied/read this post. I had my interview today, and it went fantastic! It was very relaxed, and I answered the normal behavioral interview questions. They were already asking me when my current boss would let me come work in the NICU! I found out shortly after the interview I got the job! I'm so excited for this new opportunity!


Specializes in NICU.

Congrats!! :)


Specializes in Adult ICU/PICU/NICU.

I came to NICU very late in my career, after many years in adult ICU followed by reinventing myself as a PICU nurse. Like you, I floated to the NICU when the PICU didn't need me and I mostly took care of three feeder/growers or two stable vents. I enjoyed it so much that I was put on their call in list and picked up a few shifts a month there.

The good:Physically, its easy on your body. Turning the 60 y/o mordibly obese type II DM in the MICU became too difficult for me to do on a regular basis as I got older. Adult ICU nursing is very hard, physically. One does not consider it when they are 20s, 30s, 40s. By the time one is in their 50s and 60s, its a different story! The small size of the premies was ideal for my aging body. I also enjoyed working with the families, often very young and kids themselves. Sometimes they learn to grow up when they have a medically fragile child, other times not. You do a lot of teaching, which I came to love, although discharge teaching of the more complex chronics was well beyond what I was ever comfortable doing. That requires a real neonatal nurse, not a moonlighting PICU nurse.

The bad: I wouldn't want to have worked in the NICU full time because I would miss the variety that I saw in the PICU or adult ICU. I like babies, but I also like teenagers and was pretty good with open hearts and burns in my day. Working in the NICU is extremely specialized so that you get to be really good with premies and all the problems with newborns in general, but not much else. Our Level III NICU did not take post op hearts...they went to the PICU. I also had some ethical problems with the very tiny micropremies. I rarely took care of the 23-24 weekers. Again,they were better off with a real NICU nurse, not me. I did, however, take care of many ex micropremies as chronics in the NICU,PICU and my current job as a substitute assistant school nurse working with special needs children. There were definately quality of life issues in many of these cases. We had great technology to save these babies, but it seems the technology did not keep up to help with their quality of life. Perhaps that will come with your generation of nursing and you will see and help these changes come to fruition!

Best to you in your new career in neonatal nursing--you'll do great!

Mrs H.

Your response was very helpfully to me I am currently contemplating making the decision from tele to NICU thanks for sharing


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