I have enjoyed lurking on this board quite a bit and have learned a lot from various discussions here...thank you for that.
I've recently decided that I want to pursue a second career in nursing (I'm 43) and specifically want to work in the NICU.
Many years ago my oldest son was born at 32 weeks and was in the NICU for 4 weeks after my (now ex) wife was on bedrest in the hospital for 4 weeks.
The nursing staff made a huge impact on me and I've always admired the hard work and compassion they showed not only to the babies but also to the families who were experiencing intense crises periods of their life. I also have several family members in other parts of the country who work in NICUs so I'm somewhat familiar with the work environment and stresses associated with the specialty.
When the opportunity arose recently to make a career change the choice felt obvious.
I feel really drawn to being able to serve people in that way specifically and I think it's something that I could excel at.
I am just now in the planning stages of making this move but I'm very determined and am wondering what folks might suggest I do specifically to make myself a more desirable candidate to end up in the NICU.
I have a BA and am planning on applying to a few ABSN programs in my area but my current cumulative GPA (from 20 years ago) isn't great so I might not get accepted and would therefore apply to a couple ASN programs and then transfer to an RN to BSN afterwords.
I was thinking about starting with a CNA 1 and 2 first so I can get some practical experience and potentially volunteer (or maybe even find a job) in NICU, Postpartum, or L&D (I'm not sure how volunteering works exactly).
Then I'd start in on my prereqs while hopefully getting some experience along the way.
I'm in the fortunate position that I won't have to work very much during my course of study so I really want to focus on what will prepare me specifically for NICU work...whatever that may be.
I would really appreciate any advice on any specific courses, certifications, or other things I could be doing to give myself an advantage by the time I become an RN/BSN....especially anything specific to being an 'older' male trying to get into the specialty.
I do have a few connections at one of the hospitals in my area that I plan on nurturing, even if only for advice.
Thanks for your help and suggestions.