neonatal nurse

By | March 15, 2022

neonatal nurse

neonatal nurse

neonatal nurse

neonatal nurse

  • Neonatal nursing is one of the most demanding—and rewarding—professions in the rapidly expanding healthcare area. In the initial days or weeks following birth, this nursing specialty focuses on the care of newborn infants with health concerns.
  • Neonatal nurses are educated to care for babies who have physical defects, infections, heart irregularities, and other issues that may need admission to the neonatal critical care unit (NICU).

Neonatal nurse – Job description

  • A neonatal nurse works with newborn newborns and their parents, assisting them with child care. They assist new parents in holding, bathing, and feeding their babies, and they frequently serve as a link between the parent and the infant’s specialists.
  • Neonatal nurses work mostly in hospitals and clinics, but they can also work in the community, providing at-home follow-up care for high-risk babies and their families after they leave the hospital.
  • “The job involves a lot of observation to determine if the behavior is normal or not normal,” says Beth Morgan, a neonatal-certified registered nurse with 15 years of experience in the NICU. “They watch carefully for circulation issues and blood oxygenation and check vital signs frequently. They also learn to give (the babies) a lot of contact with the mothers right away.”
  • Many babies are prematurely born or suffer from various ailments. The NICU is the only place where this type of very unwell infant may receive round-the-clock care. “NICU nurses” refers to neonatal nurses who serve as part of the NICU team.
  • Working as a neonatal nurse, whether in the NICU or elsewhere, necessitates a keen sense of intuition and sensitivity to tiny changes in newborns’ behavior. Joan Rikli, president of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) and director of NICU and pediatric services at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says that “some infants are too little to even cry, so you have to understand subtle signs of potential problems.”


  • Although it is commonly considered that neonatal nurses and NICU nurses have nearly identical jobs, this is not necessarily the case. Nurses who work with critically unwell infants are known as “neonatal nurses.” The term “NICU nurses” refers to neonatal nurses who work in the neonatal intensive care unit. To put it another way, all neonatal nurses work in the NICU, but not all neonatal nurses work in the NICU.
  • Level II care babies are those born prematurely or with particular birth abnormalities that require ongoing monitoring. Level III care is required for infants with the most serious health difficulties, such as those delivered at fewer than 32 weeks gestation or those born with critical conditions.

What Steps Do I Need to Take to Become a Neonatal Nurse?

  • You can work as a neonatal nurse at two different levels. A registered nurse’s license is required to work as a neonatal nurse (RN).
  • You must be credentialed as a nurse practitioner (NP) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS), both of which are advanced practice registered nurses, to work as a neonatal nurse practitioner, a more advanced role with additional professional duties (APRNs).

What kind of education, licenses, and certifications do I require

  • A two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is required to work as a neonatal nurse, while a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is becoming more prevalent. You must also be a registered nurse. If they work in the NICU, neonatal nurses must additionally be certified in neonatal resuscitation and receive specific NICU credentials. A certain number of years of clinical experience in a hospital setting may also be required.
  • Before seeking a postgraduate degree, you’ll need at least two years of clinical experience in a neonatal critical care unit to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. NNPs currently require a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, but the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties announced in 2018 that all entry-level nurse practitioner education will be moved to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree by 2025. In the state where you want to practice, you must additionally obtain state certification as a neonatal nurse practitioner.

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