NICU Nurse Resources!
Updated: Nov 24
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU TRANSITION INTO OR
DURING YOUR NICU NURSING CAREER
This is a long awaited post. After 8 years of NICU nursing there are certainly a few NICU resources up my sleeve...and I want to bring them here to you!
LE'T START FROM THE BEGINNING
A neonatal nurse is a Registered Nurse (RN) that works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and assesses, monitors, and cares for medically fragile newborns. In some cases, NICU nurses may care for medically complex infants up to 1 year of age. Like other critical care areas of nursing, this area is highly specialized, fast paced, and yes, stressful. Not to mention, this specialty is notoriously difficult to break into, but there are ways to become a prepared and competitive NICU job candidate.
Neonatal nursing is a subspecialty of nursing that works with newborn infants born with a variety of problems ranging from prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations, and surgical problems. Neonatal nursing generally encompasses care for those infants who experience problems shortly after birth, but it also encompasses care for infants who experience long-term problems related to their prematurity or illness after birth.
Because of significant medical advances and the efforts of physicians and nurses who provide for very vulnerable babies, survival rates are 10 times better now than they were 15 years ago.
When I started my nursing career 8 years ago, there were few online resources available. Embarking on my social media journey I noticed a generation of you upcoming NICU nurses looking for the things I wanted when becoming a NICU nurse.
Here is the #RealTea I did not study prior to starting my NICU Residency Program. There were limited resources available online 8 years ago, and therefore, I feel I learned "on the job." To this day, this is how I learn effectively! BY DOING. I am not a book person. I resisted writing this blog post just for that reason.
However, everyone learns differently & many of you are readers! Therefore, I wanted to provide you with some of the resources used or recommended by many NICU Residency / Versant / New Grad NICU Nurse programs. In addition, I have added the National Certification (RNC-NIC) & NNP (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner) resources as well.
IF YOU ARE PURSING A CAREER IN NEONATAL (NICU) NURSING...HERE ARE A FEW TIPS
CURRENT NURSING SCHOOL STUDENT TIPS FOR NICU:
1. Nursing school practicum in NICU, PICU or CVICU (if possible) 2. Network with current nurses, ASK questions!!! 3. Research NICU New Grad Nurse programs
(Children's Hospitals & Level III or IV NICUs) Look far & wide. Do not limit yourself by location. I moved for my schooling & first NICU job!)
NICU EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE
TIPS & TRICKS
9th is the latest edition of the gold standard classic book for NICU nursing. (The new ninth edition features a wealth of expanded content on delivery-room care; new evidence-based care "bundles"; palliative care in the NICU; inter-professional collaborative care of parents with depression, grief, and complicated grief; and new pain assessment tools.)
After 3 years of bedside nursing, I applied for my RNC-NIC. This is the national certification link I used to register.
This is the RNC-NIC 3 day course I took in preparation to take my exam. I learned a lot and passed the test on the first round. I also opted for the "pencil" test as opposed to the online exam & took the test on the last day of the course. I highly recommend taking the test as soon as possible after the course as it is fresh in your head.
EXPERIENCED NURSES SEEKING NICU JOBS:
1) Look for Fellowship or "Transitional Nurse" positions often at teaching hospitals.
2) Apply with certifications & some professional development, suggested specialty experiences above, & apply to several NICU jobs in various locations.
3) Forward approach: Call hiring managers, nurse recruiters & NICU unit managers.
4) If they are unavailable to talk, leave them a message that highlights your name, number, and qualifications. Also, let them know why you would like to work in their NICU.
5) Lastly, don’t give up hope if it takes a long time to find a NICU job!
If you are seeking a more "In Depth Conversation"
head over to my Podcast!
REVEALS all things NICU Nurse 101!
Another great resource for you BELOW. I was featured on The Morning Rounds and talked all things NICU Nursing. Dynamics, my personal journey, NICU Nurse Tips & Tricks!
Tori Meskin BSN RNC-NIC has been a clinician since 2012, works in acute care/inpatient NICU & Pediatric settings in southern California. She is a blogger, podcaster, NICU & Pediatric Critical Care RN, MSN student, a Barco Uniforms Ambassador, and Brave beginnings affiliate. Find her at www.tipsfromtori.com or firstname.lastname@example.org