Print

Become a Nurse >> Browse Articles >> Specialties >> Neonatal Nursing

+12

The 411 on Neonatal Nursing

The 411 on Neonatal Nursing

Renee Berg | Monster Contributing Writer

With an increase in the number of premature babies requiring acute hospital care, new and experienced nurses are finding more career opportunities in neonatal nursing.

Neonatal nurses work in general maternity wards and in neonatal intensive-care units (NICUs). Those caring for premature and critically ill babies spend their shifts diapering and feeding the infants, checking vital signs, administering medications and tests, and teaching families how to care for their children properly.

“For parents, having a baby is one of the best times of their life,” says Lori Loan, PhD, a former NICU charge nurse. “To share that with so many people every week is really exciting. And even when you have really sick babies, there’s personal reward from taking care of them as if they were your own.”

Training and Growth Paths

Neonatal nurses are typically RNs, though some hospitals prefer to hire those who also have a BSN or an associate’s degree. In addition, some facilities require continuing-education credits. Others provide on-site classes or send nurses to workshops, such as those offered by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN).

Neonatal nurses can work in hospitals as floor nurses, transport nurses or case managers. Experienced neonatal nurses can move up to management roles or, with advanced education, become neonatal nurse practitioners.

Research is another career option, as Loan discovered when, after several years as a NICU charge nurse, she was asked to serve as project director of a National Institutes of Health study on neonates. She is now chief of the nursing research service at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, where she continues to conduct research on neonatal nursing.


+12
  • Dsc09353_max50

    metot

    almost 5 years ago

    2308 comments

    Thoughtful article:)

  • Photo_on_2010-03-13_at_21

    NurseMotz

    almost 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I am starting school in Jan. to get my BSN. I am wanting to be a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. That is my only goal. I know I have to work up to that point, but I have not found any information on what degrees I need or where to get that training. Please help If you can. Nursemotz@gmail.com is my e-mail. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  • P11299ta100643_1_max50

    VictoriaNICURN

    almost 5 years ago

    6 comments

    To Whom it may concern...NICU is a wonderful area of Nursing. I have been doing this for over 30 years...I was laid off last January and have not found work since...My only area of expertease in nursing is NICU and it is an area that is cencus dictated... In Phoenix the NICU cencus is way down even for my friends that have full-time jobs ...If you want to be a NICU nurse, Hang in there and be persistent...If you're meant to be an NICU RN, a position will be available for you....Every NICU trains new RNs coming on board so don't let that stop you if it's what you want.

  • Alaska__2008_199_max50

    LaceyLehn

    almost 5 years ago

    8 comments

    BTW. My email address is NurseLacey@ymail.com

  • Alaska__2008_199_max50

    LaceyLehn

    almost 5 years ago

    8 comments

    I really REALLY would LOVE to be a NICU nurse. That is why I got into nursing but I can't seem to get anyone to hire me as a new graduate. Any suggestions?? All these websites you go to are junk, most of the positions are no longer available. Help anyone?

  • Celeste_max50

    Newk28

    almost 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I thought this would be something I'd like very much to do but when I was practicing as a medical technologist and had to draw blood from a neonate I was terrified and could not proceed. They were so tender and so much in need of protection and love I felt like I was hurting them. Totally not the response I thought I would have. My heart would hurt everyday if I pursued this.

  • Christmas2007_010_max50

    janceyrt

    almost 5 years ago

    48 comments

    maryjo, with your history, they would love nothing more than to train you for neonate....any nurse needs a strong background of med/surg to have a good strong base of practice. Growing from that you will be able to work anywhere! I personally don't know if I could handle NICU....my son spent 5 weeks there and I really don't know if I could handle such sick little ones....they are so precious and it would be rewarding, but that is a huge responsibility...good luck to anyone who chooses that path!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 5 years ago

    Neonatal is path I strongly considering to take as a new RN. Eventually wanting to become an NNP (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner).

  • Hector_manga_avatar_max50

    Esq2bRN

    almost 5 years ago

    10 comments

    This is the specialty I intend on entering as an RN.

  • Nurse_jazz_max50

    Jazzy_Future_Nurse

    almost 5 years ago

    342 comments

    As a future nurses this is an area of nursing i am strongly considering.

  • Pictures_2008_163_max50

    maryjo1

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    This is something I would love to do but as an R.N with over 20 yrs of nursing experience in other arena's and with an associate degree to boot I am not sure if someone would be willing to hire and train me the right way. Any thoughts?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    This where I want to work, being in the NICU seems like such a great reward. I have always loved children and babies are such a delight that I would probably smile everyday on the way to work.

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.