sicu to nicu?

Specialties NICU


Has anyone transfered from another unit to nicu? I want to take care of children but stay in the critical care setting. Does anyone have any advice that would be of help? Thank you. sinurse:)


150 Posts

Welcome sinurse,

Happy to hear about your interest in NICU. Your background of SICU will be very helpful, but just keep in mind that the NICU will be a lot different. It will help that you have a lot of basic concepts down and I'm sure your skill level is high and you are used to working in a high stress environment. I did precept a nurse that came from the Neuro ICU, but she didn't last because it was just not what she thought it would be. Just remember that babies and kids are not "little adults"

Maybe you could shadow a NICU nurse around for a day. You also may want to look into the Pediatric ICU. They handle kids of all ages. Anywhere from newborn to 18yrs of age.

Good luck!!!


208 Posts

If it turns out that NICU is not your desire, a PICU might be what you are looking for. NICU is mainly neonates who are either sick or premature and care is focused mainly in those areas. On the other hand, a PICU would deal with children of many different ages and needing care for illnesses and injuries other than those related to the time and needs associated with being born. PICUs often have small babies, many of whom were NICU graduates, along with toddlers, school age children and some young teenagers. These patients often have been in surgery for physical injuries or to correct congenital or other physical problems. The main point I'm trying to make is that the PICU patients would be children but would have more of a variety of reasons for hospitalization and would be of a larger range of ages.

I've worked with nurses in the NICU who came from CCU and SICU. Half of them stayed as NICU nurses and the other half moved on after giving it a year or so to be sure. The one thing I remember them all saying is something to the effect of, "Wow, the amounts of medications administered is incredibly miniscule here in the NICU!!".

I hope someone with real SICU experience will be able to answer your post. I personally adore working with the NICU babies... helping them grow and/or get well and make their way home for the first time. Working with their parents and families is a huge part of caring for the babies, so we must be able to have the patience to deal with roller-coaster emotions of families as well as be willing to help teach caregiving to them and to answer the same questions over and over again with the same care and enthusiasm as if it were the first time we were answering that question.

I encourage you to give it a try! I did and found it to be my true love!


27 Posts

Actually, i'm one of the nurses who transfered from SICU to NICU/SCN.

I acknowledge the view of Tiki as this is the feeling i'm going through at the moment. However, i have no regret.

Although i was told that i would be fast-track from SCN to NICU, but i did start from the beginning, looking after relative well baby in the first few months. There are so many difference between neonates and adults, things like gavage feeding, bottle feedling, breastfeeding (btw, i'm male nurse as well), A & Bs (aponea and bradycardia) and so forth...

However, i love the job, it is so happy to see baby come out of the incubator and growing up, i feel great in helping parents during their difficult period ... and of course, i can also give these little premie a cuddle as well sometimes, certainly, you can't do cuddle in adult ICU!!!

of course, sometimes, i still miss the excitement in adutl ICU, especially coming from a major trauma and cardiac surgery centre in my city, however, you can't get perfect in this world, but i still get excitment and chegllnes in NICU sometimes

I did CCU. Just go in and pretend you're a new grad because it is a whole different animal! ;)

NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

We have 2 gals from SICU...we had to laugh at them because our codes are so different....the first few they were at they were like...what about lidocaine, defib, atropine, etc....we looked at them like HUH? LOL~

They said that it is a hard transition, but their experience in SICU was great because they have that critical care thought.... :)

Right! ACLS is so much harder than NRP!

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