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Is it a crazy idea to be a NICU nurse as a new grad?

August 18th, 2022

I went straight into NICU. They had a fellowship for new grads. Loved it! The only reason I left was because I became an NP. Definitely recommend for a new grad. You learn from the start how to be meticulous. There is no room for error or neglect. Starting in the NiCU made me the nurse that I am today!

September 8th, 2022

It’s easier to go straight to NICU. It’s a hard unit to get into after. They will train you and they have great programs for new grads. I went right into NICU and have been there for 10 years

October 3rd, 2022

Why is that crazy? There are NICU internships for new grads. The idea that going into med-surg floor nursing after graduation to do your time, will somehow help you, your patients or your career is an outdated idea. I went straight into surgery, the ICU, and never spent a day on a med-surg floor. I've an NP now, and can tell you without a doubt that med surg floor nursing is for a"type" juat like surgical nursing, and every other specialty. Never listen to old nurses who tell you what you have to do. YOU decide who you are, what you want, and how you want it. Network, be willing to learn, be willing to take an internship, and get to know the physicians and nurses in the NICU. Get a mentor, and never listen to anyone who says you can't do something.

August 18th, 2022

No it’s not! Friends I’ve graduated with went right into NICU or L&D because they knew that’s absolutely what they wanted to do and they loved it! You’ll be taught everything and be on orientation for a few months, you will learn so much.

September 4th, 2022

A lot of people will say follow your heart and if NICU is what you want then go for it. While I can see some wisdom in that because who doesn't like to do what they think they'd love to do, I think it's much more important to invest in the foundation of your career as a whole for the first 1-2 years. Given the instability in the profession right now, and the practice of floating nurses because of staffing issues, I think you would be much smarter to start say in either pediatrics or Labor and Delivery. Get a strong foundation in practice, understand the protocols, and gain some context for what you were taught in school (as reality and school don't always mesh well). Investing time like this can help you learn things that you can use for the rest of your career that you have not even thought of. Priority setting is just one thing that will be super valuable. Also, gaining hands-on experience with how kids deal with illness physically, emotionally, and mentally is invaluable experience from a pediatrics point of view. Having experience in L&D can give you insight into the types of births that would require a NICU stay and also be invaluable. It's much easier to go from a patient load of say 4-5 to 1-2, then be forced to develop skills that will help you adapt to a much larger assignment should you ever have to float.

The purpose of investing in the foundation is to help you become the strongest clinician possible and keep your experience more marketable for the future too. I was fortunate to have gone to a nursing program with a Co-operative education program, and then with the Army which had us start on another unit and then orient to our home units. Getting a broader view that allows you to gain hands-on experience to be able to put context to what you've learned is in my opinion, the best investment in your career you could make. What if you go to the NICU and a year later you decide it's just not for you? Having this other experience helps you to have more options. The other thing to consider too is, that you are a novice only once. You can be new to another place, but you will not likely ever again be seen as a total novice again. This will change the way you are oriented to another area, and you will not likely be able to have as much time as a brand new nurse would.

I have been a nurse for 31 years. I have been an Educator, Manager, and Clinician. I have looked at any job I've ever gotten with the idea of "What can I learn? What can I contribute?" Not every job has been as well-paying as the last. I have sought to build my toolbox over time, and it has served me well throughout my career. It has also helped me to pivot when needed too. I encourage you to do the same. There really is so much opportunity in this profession, don't pigeonhole yourself.

November 7th, 2022

The idea that you have to start out on med surg to gain experience as a nurse before specializing is inaccurate and incredibly outdated. Having gone from a neurosurgery ICU to NICU, you have to completely retrain your brain. The experience I had with adult patients was not entirely helpful. Most NICUs like to hire new grads so they can train you before you develop bad habits. If NICU is your passion, I say go for it and don’t look back. The NICU is one of the hardest, most rewarding places to work.

September 28th, 2022

No, I started in the NICU as a new grad. It made me the nurse I am today. I only recently left because I’m in school and needed better work life balance. Go for it! I loved it!

August 19th, 2022

I went to the NICU as a graduate nurse before I even passed the Nclex. Great experience. They mentor you and train you before you get bad habits. If you have the opportunity, go for it!!! You will learn so much!!!

August 18th, 2022

Don’t rush your life or career. The more experience you have the more you will be noticed when applying for positions. NICU nursing is a highly skilled area. Get some basic nursing first- med surg is a great place to start. Then perhaps move on to a more specialized area such as an ICU. Then you will be sought after for your dream of being a NICU nurse.

September 8th, 2022

I believe a new nurse should start off on a med/surg tele unit for at least 6 months. You can build a foundational skill set that you can take anywhere, making you more marketable.
You will be an asset to the organization that hires you.

October 3rd, 2022

If that is where your passions are, jump in with both feet.

September 9th, 2022

No, I went straight to a level 3 NICU out of school as a graduate nurse. I retired from the very same unit 39 1/2 years later. As with any unit (job) you will experience the ups and downs. You will learn so much and yours will soar. Go for where your passions leads you!

January 30th, 2023

no as long as you have a great preceptor to teach
you and be patient with you. you will have to learn all drug conventions

January 25th, 2023

no because babies do need caregiving and mediation remedy

January 3rd, 2023

If you have the passion, and motivation and you love babies that would be sufficient. You will learn skills as you go along. You have all the resources you need , your colleagues, managers, and Doctors.

December 14th, 2022

Precepting new grads in the NICU for 20 years and watching the journey from novice nurse to expert neonatal critical nurse is amazing. I was a new grad and went straight to NICU 30 years ago as a male nurse. First off there is the fact of getting an interview and being accepted. Neonatal nursing leadership throughout the years has vacillated from loving new grads and avoiding them for a season. The upside in hiring new grads is that they are moldable and can easily be indoctrinated into the organizational culture, policies, and practices. The success rate for longevity is quite high. The likelihood of new grads staying as NEO nurse and making it as a career is around 70%. The downside of hiring a new grad and training them which takes 8 months in the facility I work at is that usually after 2-3 years nurses move on and can easily be hired in another facility’s NICU. The downside, however, is not the nurse's problem it's the organization's implied risk and that's the trend.

I always advice student nurses who rotate through the NICU and find it as their preferred field in nursing to look for and apply for new grad programs which a lot of NICUs in the southern California provide.

September 5th, 2022

I did just that 33 years ago and don’t regret it for a second. I’ve learned so much and continue learning. Follow your passion and don’t let nobody stop you

August 23rd, 2022

No. As long as you have a good orientation stint and have the initiative to help others, you will be a great asset to a greatly needed position to save the lives of others. Go and work hard. God speed.

November 6th, 2022

I would suggest you start out as a medical surgical nursing. medical surgical nursing is the same as an anatomy and Physiology to to MICU

September 3rd, 2022

Need to experience nurse