Transition to NICU

Posted
by jv503 jv503 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 2 years experience.

Hi all,

Looking for advice as I navigate the next few years of my career. I have a background exclusively in critical care nursing since I graduated nursing school. I was in an intensive training program across multiple ICUs and the ED, then worked full time for a year in the ED and transferred to the CVICU full time last year. I am committing to another year in the CVICU before I leave this facility and pursue something new. I graduated right at the beginning of the pandemic, and like most nurses, I am completely burnt out. From angry patients and families, workplace violence, and traumatic witnessing of death and suffering these last few years I just know that where I am working is not sustainable. 

All of this is to say that I have a dream of working in a Neonatal ICU. I know that every specialty has its difficult sides but working with neonatals/pediatrics was my dream before the pandemic (lack of residency opportunities when I graduated crushed this a bit). What advice would you have for me if I were to make this transition next year? Are fellowships or something similar common? What are the best and worst parts of the job? Any educational topics that are helpful to look into in the meantime?

Thank you in advance. 

ChasinAdream

ChasinAdream

Specializes in MICU/SICU. Has 5 years experience. 62 Posts

16 hours ago, jv503 said:

Hi all,

Looking for advice as I navigate the next few years of my career. I have a background exclusively in critical care nursing since I graduated nursing school. I was in an intensive training program across multiple ICUs and the ED, then worked full time for a year in the ED and transferred to the CVICU full time last year. I am committing to another year in the CVICU before I leave this facility and pursue something new. I graduated right at the beginning of the pandemic, and like most nurses, I am completely burnt out. From angry patients and families, workplace violence, and traumatic witnessing of death and suffering these last few years I just know that where I am working is not sustainable. 

All of this is to say that I have a dream of working in a Neonatal ICU. I know that every specialty has its difficult sides but working with neonatals/pediatrics was my dream before the pandemic (lack of residency opportunities when I graduated crushed this a bit). What advice would you have for me if I were to make this transition next year? Are fellowships or something similar common? What are the best and worst parts of the job? Any educational topics that are helpful to look into in the meantime?

Thank you in advance. 

Hey There,

If your true passion is NICU/PICU, I would say research NICU’s in your area and find the ones that are level 4 if you want the sick babies. You want to do this while you are motivated before you become completely burned out. I am saying this as a nurse of almost 6 years and having worked in a variety of settings. I accepted a FT Fellowship NICU position recently and I am blown away at the ability to still be a part of their fellowship while being an experienced nurse in other areas. Make the jump and you will learn hearts with the babies and peds! You might have to move to get the higher paying positions and fellowships, but do it! 😃

Leader25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 39 years experience. 1,294 Posts

The NICU is certainly not the place to recover from stress.The learning  curve is intense, your certifications and learning the human infant can have challenges based on age,weight,mat history  etc,the families are super stressed and some nasty,unreasonable,I suggest you get counseling to help you recover and then seek new opportunities.

Hi there. I am a nursing student looking into jobs. I have a similar interest in working in ED or CVICU, possibly pediatric-specific depending on the hospital. Have you found it hard to transition to a NICU environment after working with primarily adults since you've graduated?