What a great question! I worked for a year as a pediatric nurse and then moved to work in the NICU. I like to care for babies who need more help with equipment, lines, drips... I think this is why I liked NICU initially-- But, after working in the NICU for the past 29 years- I think the best part is working with the family and helping them to care for their new baby- I love to teach the new family and help relieve their stress. I think it is very rewarding to see a baby who is just a pound or so at birth, to grow and thrive- We have an NICU reunion every year and get to see these NICU "graduates" as they grow. We don't recognize the children, because they change so fast, but we often recognize the mom and dad! It's so encouraging to see the results of your work. Many of our babies are here weeks or months at a time and we really get to establish a relationship with the families. That is the most rewarding part to me.
I did enjoy the time with the families as a pediatric nurse, but their stay was shorter and so we didn't get as close as you do with a family who has a premature infant.
I wish you the best of luck Eryn! I hope you find a place where you can really enjoy your work, because when you love your job it's so much easier to provide high quality care.