Becoming a NICU SLP

So you want to work in the NICU.

First of all – cheers to that! You have a major goal to help some of the most fragile (but also resilient) tiny humans we can help, which is exciting and inspirational!

But how the heck do you do it? What does the journey of a non-NICU SLP look like while becoming a NICU SLP?

Khaki Brown, MS CCC-SLP, CNT is here to help!

Khaki is an SLP and NICU infant feeding specialist who dedicates part of her time supporting new SLPs in their journey towards helping medically fragile infants through her business, Khaki Feeds Babies. In this episode of the Swallow Your Pride Podcast, you’ll learn about the challenges and rewards of working in the NICU, the importance of continuing education, and the significance of building relationships within the field.

Brown shares her journey from wanting to be a teacher to becoming an SLP and provides tips for those interested in working in the NICU. This episode leans hard into the importance of self-learning, mentorship, and understanding the developmental needs of infants in the NICU.


Khaki's Journey to the NICU (00:02:27)
Learning in the Externship (00:06:00)
Tips for Getting into the NICU Setting (00:08:00)
The importance of building connections with NICU professionals (00:09:18)
Limited coursework on pediatric feeding in graduate programs (00:10:25)
The multifaceted approach to feeding in the NICU (00:14:38)
The importance of involving the entire team (00:17:58)
Partnering with parents for feeding goals (00:19:12)
Building rapport with nurses in the NICU (00:20:35)
The importance of direct care in the NICU (00:27:32)
Tips for breaking into the NICU (00:28:01)
Closing remarks and call to action (00:28:17)

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