Neonatal Nursing

What You Need to Know About Neonatal Nursing

Neonatal nurses care for newborns, both healthy and ill, until they are ready to leave the hospital. These positions are usually found in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), but there are different levels of care provided by neonatal nurses, depending on the health of the infant. Level I consists of caring for healthy newborns. Often, these babies will share a room with their mother and will not be in a nursery, and they will typically be discharged quickly. Level II provides care for premature or ill newborns who may need special therapy or additional time in the hospital before being discharged. Level III is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where Neonatal Intensive Care nurses work. They treat newborns with more serious conditions who need technology such as breathing and feeding tubes to remain stable. Level IV involves caring for the most critically ill and complex newborns. Neonatal nurses in this unit have a very small patient load and constantly monitor their patients, who require a high level of specialized attention.

Preparation Path

  • GET YOUR ASN OR BSN
  • PASS YOUR NCLEX AND BECOME AN RN 
  • BECOME CERTIFIED AS A NEONATAL RESUSCITATION PROVIDER
  • OBTAIN CCRN CERTIFICATION (RECOMMENDED)

 

 

$65,000 - $110,000

Annual Salary Range

Typical Tasks

  • Managing and carrying out a newborn’s plan of care
  • Administering medications and monitoring the newborn’s condition
  • Providing vaccinations for newborns
  • Changing diapers, feeding, bathing, and comforting babies in distress
  • Interacting with parents and answering their questions about the infant’s medical status
  • Instructing mothers about the importance of breastfeeding
  • Advising parents on how to care for the healthy infant once they are home

 

 

 

Education Requirements

ASN or BSN

Employment Settings

  • Hospitals–often the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Certification

RN, plus certification in Neonatal Resuscitation. Certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse is also recommended.