Neonatal Nurse Job Information

Neonatal nurse is a nurse who specializes in giving healthcare to the newborns, who usually are prematurely born or have some sort of health complications. The word neonatal means newborn babies. They assist the neonatologists in treating such newborn babies from day 1 to at least 28 days. They work in three different levels:

  • Level 1 – Care for healthy newborns.
  • Level 2 – Care for premature or newborns with some sort of health complication.
  • Level 3 – Care for newborn babies requiring life support systems in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Work Environment

They work in pediatric hospitals, maternity hospitals or multi-specialty hospitals with special neonatal units. The area of working depends on the level of the neonatal nurse’s work. It may be ICU if they work in the third level. In such a case, they should have a competency to work skillfully on advanced medical equipments. Neonatal nurse jobs include:

  • Assist the gynecologist in delivering premature babies.
  • Take care of premature babies or newborn babies with respiratory problems or low weight.
  • Administer IVs or oxygen during emergencies.
  • Educate and train the parents of premature babies on how they need to be tended to.

Educational & Other skills required

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing is a must.
  • Must be a registered nurse practitioner (RN)
  • At least a year’s experience at the neonatal intensive care units of the hospitals.
  • Master’s degree in Nursing can also give a better niche in the employment race.
  • Complete the certification exams like Neonatal Resuscitation Provider, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner or Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing and become a certified professional.
  • Ability to think quickly and giving emergency treatment to such babies is essential as they are exposed to life threatening problems because of their premature birth.
  • Ability to understand the psychology and physiology of the newborn babies.
  • Should have leadership skills and knowledge of medicine administration, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, equipment operating knowledge are additional skills expected of a neonatal nurses.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skill is also required as they will be emotionally comforting the parents.

Income and Career Prospects

The average neonatal nurse salary was $83,854 in 2009. The demand for neonatal nurse is high when compared to the number of neonatal nurses available. So those who are looking for neonatal nurse jobs and posses required skills are hired quickly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the nursing career is much faster than the average of all other occupations until 2014.

Career Advancement

After gaining experience in the field for few years, neonatal nurses have an excellent opportunity to get promoted to management level or they can opt for training or teaching in the colleges providing neonatal training programs. They can also do research in advanced neonatal practices. At times, these medical service care providers also work as consultant nurses in the large specialty hospitals. So it is a great career for those with an intense love for infants.