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How do you become a NICU Nurse?

how do you become a NICU Nurse?

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Godfrey’s Answer

To become a NICU nurse . first one must have undergone a nursing training college and meet all the training requirements and exams,pass all evaluation exams and be registered by the relevant nursing boards.thereafter one can proceed for internship the one can decide to seek employment or proceed for further training on sub speciality in nursing which includes intensive care unit specialization that will make one a NICU nurse after training as a pediatric intensive unit nurse.
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Hello Amayrani! I worked in the NICU for 3.5 years and loved every minute! There's an abundance of knowledge to soak in when you're a NICU nurse.

I recently wrote an assignment about becoming a nurse so I will past it below for you to read.

To become a NICU nurse you need to just apply out of nursing school. When I was in nursing school I was told that you need 2-3 years of adult experience to be a NICU nurse but that simply is not true. If being a NICU nurse is your goal and passion go for it right out of school. Now I will say working in adults before the NICU does make you a well rounded nurse and gives you an appreciation for the NICU that you may not have otherwise.

When you're in the nursing school try and request a rotation to the NICU. Some hospitals do not allow students because of the how sick the babies are. Some hospitals will give you a small rotation when you do labor and delivery. That's how I fell in love with the NICU. I did a one day rotation to the NICU during my labor and delivery rotation. Depending on the level NICU; Level I, Level II, Level III or Level IV NICU (the level just means how sick the patients are in that particular NICU, IV is the sickest patients and I is usually just preterm babies that need to grow) they do have nursing assistants in the NICU. Usually a level I, II, or III NICU will have nursing assistants and that is a great way to get your foot in the door, and also see if you will actually like it.

Here is the article I recently wrote, I hope you find it valuable. I don't know any NICUs that hire LPNs (the article talks about RNs and LPNs), but it's possible depending on where in the country you practice. Here you go!

Want to Become a Nurse? Which Path to Nursing is Right for You?

If you are reading this article, you are considering a career in nursing. Many diverse opportunities make nursing a wonderful career choice. You can work in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, or clinic. You can even work from home in utilization review, case management, telehealth, content writing, or nursing informatics. The career goals you want to pursue, how fast you wish to achieve them, and the resources you have will help determine which path is right for you. Let’s explore some options.

Preparing in High School

As a junior in high school, you hold quite the advantage. Consider looking into a career and technical center near you that offer pre-nursing programs for juniors and seniors. Upon graduation, you can become a licensed nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse (LPN), pharmacy technician, or phlebotomist, to name a few. These programs have tuition requirements; however, there are often scholarships available. Applying for as many as you can is highly encouraged. This strategy will require research, filling out forms, and writing essays, but the benefits far outweigh the work involved. These programs will allow you to work in healthcare after high school and carry over credits into a bachelor’s program.

LPN vs. RN

If attending a technical program in high school is not a good fit for you, the next thing to consider is whether to become a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) or a registered nurse (RN).

Becoming an LPN

LPNs and LVNs differ only by geographical location. Texas and California use the term LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). LPNs take direction from RNs and are directly involved in patient care. They perform essential nursing care, such as checking vital signs, feeding, bathing, and administering certain medications and treatments.

Make sure to apply to an accredited LPN/LVN program, which you can find at many vocational or community colleges. This accreditation will ensure you can take the NCLEX-PN, the required state competency exam allowing you to obtain your state license. LPN school can take anywhere from seven months to two years to complete. On average, the cost of tuition for LPN programs is $10,000 to $15,000 nationally. Applying for scholarships helps to offset tuition. Salaries for LPNs can vary anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 per year, depending on where you live.

Becoming an RN

An RNs role focuses on patient care management. RNs oversee and delegate tasks to LPNs and other healthcare ancillary staff. They perform patient assessments, write care plans, provide teaching, and administer certain high-risk medications and treatments.

You can obtain an associates degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). An ADN program typically takes a full-time student two years to complete, offering significant clinical experience, while a BSN program takes four years to complete and is more research-based but also offers clinical experience. Completion of either program allows you to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

On average, the cost of tuition for an ADN program is anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000, and tuition for a BSN program can range from $20,000 to $100,000. Factors affecting salary include in-state and out-of-state tuition or state versus private universities. Attending a main campus versus a university branch can also affect tuition costs. Salaries for RNs can vary anywhere from $61,000 to $129,000 annually, depending on where you live.

Hands-On Experience

Many hospitals or nursing homes offer tuition reimbursement for part-time and full-time staff. Working in an ancillary staff position allows you to observe the nursing role and gain hands-on experience while receiving financial assistance for your education. Your dreams can come true with hard work, dedication, and the right strategy.


Helena College University of Montana. (n.d.). Nursing Programs. Retrieved August 13, 2023, from

Ko, N. (2023, May 3). Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) vs. Registered Nurses (RN). NurseJournal. (2023, March 31). How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). (2023, March 15). Cost of LPN Programs & Schools.

St. John, M. (2023, May 2). What Is The Cost Of Nursing School? Forbes Advisor.

Trumbull Career & Technical Center (n.d.). Industry-Recognized Credentials and Certifications. Retrieved August 13, 2023, from

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, April 25). Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, May 2022 29-2061 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, April 25). Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, May 2022: 29-1141 Registered Nurses.