Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Day

It takes a special individual to become a nurse, but even more so for those who go on to become Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses. These dedicated healthcare professionals care for the most delicate patients there are, sick and premature newborn babies. Today we recognize those nurses who dedicate their lives to saving others. Meet Nurses 24/7 NICU nurse Jillian.

My name is Jillian and I’ve been a NICU nurse in New York City for 10 years now. I’m currently back on night shift, spending 12 hour shifts taking care of our preemies, babies born with cardiac or other anomalies and babies needing some help transitioning to life outside of mom. This includes everything from managing incubated babies to teaching parents how to change diapers and breast or bottle feed their nuggets when they’re developmentally able to. It’s amazing to see the changes that these kids can make over a week or a few months. It’s so joyful when they’re able to go home with their parents. Some cases are more difficult and walking families through withdrawing care on a little person that they didn’t have enough time with is never easy, but I’m thankful I can be a part of making that as peaceful of a process as possible.

I went back to school to become a nurse when I became disenchanted with my corporate job. I wanted something more rewarding, more fulfilling. I did some prerequisites and then did the accelerated BS in Nursing at Columbia University. It was super intense! My last 8 weeks of school landed me in a NICU and I found my niche as a bedside nurse.

When Nurses 24/7 reached out for a per diem opportunity at another NYC hospital, I was excited at the chance to spend time in another NICU here and learn how other hospitals do things. We’re all research and evidence-based, but processes and protocols vary from one institution to the next. Nurses 24/7 has always been kind and supportive.

Being a bedside nurse is what makes me happy and I cannot imagine doing it for any other patient population than my NICU babies.

When I need to handle stress and what I like to do in my free time are the same. I like to travel, eat and drink. My Instagram is full of pics of what I’ve cooked or eaten out. If I could only have three apps on my phone, Instagram would have to be one of them. Google and all the apps within that would be the other, if that can count as one.

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