How to Become a Neonatal Nurse

In order to become neonatal nurse certified, you will have to go through a rigorous education and training process. Becoming a neonatal nurse involves a very lengthy learning process that will require a lot of dedication on your part. Here are the basics of how to become a neonatal nurse.


In order to become a neonatal nurse, you must first become a registered nurse. This will involve you attending a certified nursing program in order to obtain a nursing degree. You will also have to get a bachelor of science in nursing in order to become a registered nurse. You will want to make sure that you find a reputable nursing program to attend for this training.

Once you have obtained your degree in nursing, you will have to become certified in a specific area that pertains to neonatal care. You can get certified in neonatal resuscitation or neonatal intensive care nursing. Both of these certifications can help you get in the door to a neonatal nursing career.


As with every other type of nurse, you will have to become certified in order to practice as a neonatal nurse. You will have to take a test that is known as the NCLEX-RN. Passing this test will certify you to become a registered nurse in the United States. Every registered nurse have to take this test and pass in order to get any type of job. If you do not pass this test, you can take the test again. How often you can take the test after failing in will depend on the rules of the state in which you live. Some states will require that you take the test within four years of graduating from an accredited nursing program. You will also have to wait a certain amount of time between tests, such as 50 days.

On-The-Job Training

Once you become a registered nurse, you will need to go through a certain amount of on-the-job training in order to become a neonatal nurse. Most hospitals will require that you work in a clinical setting for least three years. Depending on which hospital you work for, the requirement might be more than that. If you are interested in becoming a neonatal nurse from the beginning, you should check with your potential employer to see what the requirements are. Many hospitals will offer training programs for nurses that wish to pursue a career in neonatal nursing. You will be able to learn on the job from nurses that already have experience in the field.


When you begin to pursue a career in neonatal nursing, it is important that you realize that this will not happen overnight. This is not something that should be done on a whim. It will take a large amount of dedication from you as well as help from others. You should thoroughly investigate everything that is involved with neonatal nursing before choosing to pursue a career. Otherwise, you might find yourself training for a job that you do not feel completely comfortable with.