Working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit requires a special kind of person. The lives of tiny babies fighting for life are in the hands of the NICU nurses, and these nurses also become the support team for the parents of the babies.
Kathy, a NICU nurse, has a BSN degree and has been a nurse for over seventeen years. Kathy knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was a girl. “Originally, I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery nurse and then become a Certified Nurse Midwife. I ended up starting in pediatrics with the intention of switching to Labor and Delivery but I never did. After twelve years of general pediatrics, I’ve spent the past five years working in the NICU, which I love and will most likely retire from.”
When asked why she loves nursing, Kathy gushes. “I love that I use my brain and my hands in my work; it's intellectually as well as physically challenging. I enjoy being someone parents can rely on in a time of crisis. I'm right there at the bedside helping new families transition from having a critically ill newborn to being able to bring baby home, and that's pretty neat.”
Ren, a RN with a BSN, chose nursing because it went so well with her first academic love, psychology. “I found nursing would provide more job opportunities and flexibility than being a therapist would,” she says. “I was planning on being a psychiatric nurse, but then in nursing school I realized I loved women’s health.”
Ren began working in a NICU two and a half years ago. “It’s where I can be the most help,” she says. “And I chose nursing because it’s a helping profession.” Ren feels that nursing is hard work and not for the fainthearted. “Nursing school can be tough,” she says. “But it’s worth it if you really want a career that will allow you to be a blessing to others.”
Beside, Ren laughs. “I get to cuddle babies at work. Need I say more?”