Neonatal ICU Nurse Interview

Erica is a veteran neonatal ICU nurse. She is about to graduate Nurse Practitioner school (Congrats Girl!), but got her start in the nursing world as a neonatal ICU nurse. Here is her take on this job that so many people wonder about.

1. How long were you a NICU nurse?

Eight Years

2. Did you do anything before NICU, or go straight into it from school?

After graduation, I got a job in the NICU.

3. Why kind of special training did you need to be a NICU nurse?

CPR and NRP (Neonatal Resucitation Program) are required. However, if they hire you as a new grad, they will give you the NRP course during your orientation.

4. What is the best part of the job?

I love working with the neonates. I love the sense of fulfillment when you see the progress the babies make along the course of their illness and the appreciation the family gives of you for doing a job well done.

5. We know it isn't all cookies and cream, what is the worst part of the job?

Having a baby die. I have seen a lot of deaths as a neonatal nurse. However,believe it or not, not all deaths are sad. Some babies are born at 24 weeks gestation and have severe complications such as NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis), chronic lung disease, ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity), and these children, if they don't get a major complication from their illness, can grow up to have other conditions such as Cerebral Palsy. When these babies die its not as hard because I almost feel that it is for the best. However, what is hard is when I have been involved in a neonatal demise of a 38 week gestation 8lbs baby girl with no abnormal history. Those deaths are very hard.

6. How many patients do you have?

It depends on the acuity. 2-3 patients. If you have a patient that is intubated than you have a 2 patient assignment, if not than it is a 3 patient assignment.

7. Is the pay any better in the ICU than on a regular floor?

In the ICU you get $1-1.50 more an hour that a regular floor. However, most units offer sign on bonuses for a term contract in the ICU. These bonuses can be up to $9000 in some areas

8. What type of education do you have? BSN/ADN/ECT?

I have a Bachelor of Science RN

9. Do I need to take any special classes in high school or college to become a neonatal nurse?

No special classes are needed in high school or college to become a neonatal nurse

10. Can you recommend any websites that discuss neonatal nursing?

http://www.neonatology.org/ is a great website it talks about neonatal conditions, neonatal ICU nurse opportunities, parent teaching, and links to other web sites

Click here to see our OTHER neonatal nursing page

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