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Preemie Mom turned NICU Nurse?


Specializes in none yet!.

I'm a mom to a 24 weeker, due to previa, and frank abruption. She weighed 490 grams. We spent 4 months in the NICU, and went through the whole "rollercoaster ride" thing.

Anyway, since that time, I've been thinking about going to NS to become a NICU nurse. I really want to do it, and feel like I'd be great at it, especially because I know the suffocating agony of having a child in the NICU.

Do you know of any preemie moms that became NICU nurses?

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

We have a few...and they are great. We had two that we didn't keep, they got too emotional and caught up in the moment. You have to look at how do YOU think you would be and can you handle it.

If I were to interview you, I'd ask you " if you had a 24 weeker, who had a bad outlook and the parents wanted to take the baby off support, how would you handle it?"


Specializes in L&D, Newborn Nursery, NICU. Has 5 years experience.

I work with a nurse who had a 25 weeker 14 years ago. It's amazing, but he is doing great. The one thing that she offers to our parents that I'm unable to is a knowledge of what it feels like to see your tiny baby through plexiglass hooked up to machines and lines. And the guilt that can be associated with it as well. She is great in being supportive and helpful to the families-also, she carries pics of her little boy at birth and currently which gives the families hope that their baby will do well also. She works with me in the level II area, which might be a better choice since our kids are doing well and getting bigger so it's not as intense on this side. Good luck to you!! :redpinkhe

I am a mom to two preemies (26 weeker and 29 weeker) and they were my inspiration for wanting to be a nurse. I love my job, and really can understand what parents are going through. You have to have good boundaries (don't expect every parent to experience what you did in the same way). Honestly I very rarely share my personal experience with parents. I don't want them to *compare* or expect that their preemie will have a simlar course as mine did. For instance my 680 gram 26 weeker did great, came home a month before her due date...my 29 weeker was a trainwreck and had 8 surgeries, 5 for hydrocephalus and was in the NICU for 4 months (that could really scare a parent). I'm lucky that both of my kids are doing fine today - you would never know what they went through. I think the most important thing is to keep good boundaries.

Thanks for your insight. I too was a parent of an NICU baby and I am now in nursing school with an interest in working in NICU. I appreciate your advice about keeping good boundaries...I will keep that in mind if I end up there. thanks!

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I TOTALLY agree with the other posters. I've seen it done well and I have seen it done badly. Good boundaries are essential!

The parents have enough problems without having to deal with a nurse who brings her personal baggage into the situation.

And you have to avoid making any assumptions about how the parents are feeling etc. They may not feel the same way you did -- and they may not make all the same choices that you would make.

But if you can avoid those pitfalls -- and you don't feel it too stressful to be in that role -- then I can work out just fine.

I have twin preemies born at 28 weeks and I am in nursing school because of them. They are my inspiration! I would love to work in the NICU and to ultimately become a Neonatal NP.

Good luck to you! :)


Specializes in Neonatal. Has 5 years experience.

My son was born at 31 weeks, and was in the NICU for a month, and that is when I decided to be a NICU nurse. I've been a nurse for 5 years now, and it is the best job ever! Don't get me wrong, I have bad days at work too, but mostly I think, I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this. :wink2:

I'm a former NICU mom, now a NICU nurse. My experience is the reason I'm a NICU nurse. I had a 25 week preemie due to HELLP syndrome. He was in NICU for 7 months, and died there. Then I had a 34 week preemie due to preeclampsia. She was in for 10 days and is healthy now.

I am sure my experience helped me get the job.


Specializes in NICU PEDS. Has 4 years experience.

All my kids were 35-36 weekers. My last one ended up in the NICU.Always have been in awe of the NICU.

After his experience, I decided I needed to go back to school. I am about to graduate in 2 weeks with my BSN.

Now onto the applications for NICU jobs. I think a nurse who has had a NICU baby can relate to the emotional turmoil that the parents experience.

Good luck to you.

My experience in the NICU is what made me want to be a nurse too. I still finished my BS in animal science and biology, worked in research for a few years and now I am in the process of applying to nursing school. I waited and waited, thinking I would change my mind but I keep feeling the call to go into nursing. My ideal plan is to get my MSN and be a neonatal nurse practitioner.

My oldest son was a 27 weeker due to preeclampsia and other pregnancy issues. We spent 3 months in the NICU, and despite his small size, he was remarkably healthy with few complications. He is now a relatively healthy 7 year old who is still small but smart as could be.

My NICU nurses were so supportive and compassionate and I'll never forget that.

I'm a father to twin girls delivered at 24 weeks. They stayed in NICU for 132 days and were just a tad under 600 grams.

Today at 4 1/2 yo, the girls are doing great except for some learning delays and their eyes.

The care that the NICU nurses provided are the reason why I FINALLY got off my rear end and started NS. I'm not sure if I could work in NICU, but if given the oppurtunity, I would definitely give it a shot.

Nepenthe Sea

Specializes in PICU/Pedi. Has 5 years experience.

I am the mother to 31-weekers that will turn four on New Year's Day (twin girls). They spent five weeks in NICU. Luckily, they could have been much worse off, and don't have any lingering problems today. I couldn't wait to get them out of NICU and ever since they've been out, I can't stop thinking about preemies and NICU. So I decided to become a nurse!

One of our NICU nurses has twin sons that just turned 18 and also spent time in the same unit. She was a good person to talk to. We also had another nurse there with twin boys, and she said they were okay. She was our nurse a couple of years later in peds when one of my daughters had pneumonia. I asked about her kids and she said, "Did I ever tell you about my one son?" She then explained that one of her sons was special needs and couldn't talk (they were five). She said she didn't tell me in the NICU because his problems didn't arise until he was about two. She didn't want me to worry. So, you do have to be careful what you tell the family. I was very lucky, but I know that not everybody is.

I realize I may get in there and not be able to handle it. My sister went to nursing school ten years ago and wanted to be a NICU nurse. She actually worked as a tech in the same unit my kids were in. She got to where she just couldn't handle it, and became a teacher instead. So I am keeping an open mind. Lukily there are lots of areas in nursing I am interested in.

I had a care group leader for Skills last semester who is a NP in a different unit. She said they get lots of NICU moms working there. I know a number of people in my program that are also former NICU moms that hope to work there after graduation.

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