Starting NICU in 3 weeks, no experience


I have worked in psych for 2 years and decided I needed more nursing experience. I applied everywhere, for any and all units hiring in my area and a level III NICU was the only people to call for an interview. Before I even left the parking lot after my interview and peer interview I was offered the job. I was so amazed. I have no experience other than psych, I have no kids, have no experience, other than every day kids. Didn't learn much about neonates in school. I graduated over 2 years ago so I am so glad there's a 12 week orientation where I'm hoping they teach the basics, because right now, looking through these threads and all the acroynms used and equipment, diagnosises, I don't know any of them. I am getting so excited, I only have 2 weeks left at this job before I start in the NICU, but at the same time I am freaked out and so nervous. I have been an overpaid babysitter and warden for 2 years, now I actually have someone's life in my hands, and one mistake can ruin an entire family. I truly feel NICU is my calling and will give me such happiness to be able to live my dream of truly helping people.

I guess I am just getting the jitters because I feel like I know absolutely nothing and hope I'm not the only one completely clueless. Anything general I can read on now to prepare? I just want to thank all of the NICU nurses for all your hard work and dedication and I am so excited to be a part of the elite. Hope I live up to the expectations.


68 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Acute Rehab, Med/Surg, Quality. Has 30 years experience.

I was a NICU nurse for 14 years back in the 80's and 90's. I knew nothing either. You will pick up quickly and it is really quite an exciting job. It can be sad at times but for the most part is very rewarding. You will learn a lot. I will say though, after 14 years, I had to relearn a lot when I went to a different adult position in Med/Surg. You lose a lot of your everyday knowledge. Premies do not use as many drugs as adults and it is difficult to keep up with all the new drugs for adults when you are concentrating on babies. Most people stay in the NICU field and don't have to worry about this but I got burned out and decided I wanted to move on. Good luck! You should love it...

Specializes in NICU; Acute psych; pediatric psych.

LisaBradshawRN, I'm in a similar boat! Psych for 2 years, decided I wanted more medical skills, and adore the NICU so I applied. I have an interview next Tuesday. I've been told they like hiring nurses with limited hard skills because they're able to mold you into the nurse they want you to be. Good luck!