Because newborns are unable to fully communicate how they feel, neonatal nurses are responsible for honing both their observational and critical thinking skills to best meet patients' needs. Rasmussen College is not enrolling students in your state at this time. Students share their sentimentsFrom the flexible job opportunities to the profound community impact nurses can make, this career path has the potential to reap a lifetime of rewards. You’ve been thinking about becoming a nurse for a long time now. It should be noted that some employers may prefer neonatal nurses who’ve earned a Bachelor’s degree—particularly if you’re planning to work at a large hospital. of $48K–$97K yearly. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. Anjali Stenquist | Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college. To work in a neonatal unit, you must be able to pivot between the extreme emotions that occur in this field. The truth is, it takes a special person to be involved in this type of nursing. 11.11.2019, Will Erstad | Before you can become a neonatal nurse or even a nurse practitioner, you have graduated and become a registered nurse. If you've already earned a bachelor's degree in a different field, but you're now eager to change directions and pursue something more meaningful, you can learn more about your options by visiting the post-baccalaureate nursing program page. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of NICU nursing is managing the emotions that come with it—the highs of seeing an almost impossibly tiny premature baby overcome the odds will contrast with the lows of a family knowing their newborn might not be coming home. Working as a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse or specializing in neonatal sounds appealing to you. Being a neonatal nurse tends to be a job with a lot of pressure, so you need to learn as much as possible about the candidate's personality and goals. Here are 9 specialties to consider. This valuable experience will show employers that you have the hands-on skills you need to care for infants, which makes for a smoother transition to the NICU. Neonatal nursing is a sub-specialty of nursing care for newborn infants up to 28 days after birth. Additionally they’ll need to be excellent, empathetic communicators—the nature of this work means they may have to relay bad or seemingly scary news to new parents and help them process what it means. They work within a team of medical professionals most commonly in hospital environments, although some neonatal nurses may work for in-home health services or on neonatal transport teams. This provides neonatal nurses an opportunity to identify any signs of trouble, answer questions and educate families about they can expect next. A neonatal nurse working in a NICU could expect to start the day with responsibilities that more or less resemble what you’d see with other nursing specialties—dividing patient loads, relaying important patient information, reviewing notes and checking in with all patients and their families. Get a Bachelor’s Degree or an Associate Degree in Nursing 2. The care of your patients includes: medication administration, hygiene care (cleaning up vomit, stool, urine, mucus etc. These nurses must be alert and mentally agile for the entirety of every shift. Your first step to becoming a neonatal nurse is to become a registered nurse by obtaining an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. You’re probably wondering how the work of a neonatal nurse compares to other types of nursing specialties. You might be responsible for babies with a range of health needs so being highly organised, flexible and able to prioritise effectively will be vital. They assist physicians with the delivery of the babies and also help new mothers with breastfeeding and bottle feeding their infants. Everyone can be a leader and serve the profession. You may be able to find a neonatal nursing role straight out of school, but there’s also a good chance you’ll need to first build experience if you’re looking for a NICU position. A NICU registered nurse will most likely be in a hospital environment where the stakes for the patient are likely to be higher. There is no obligation to enroll. It's true that all nursing specialties relating to childbirth can be both physically and emotionally taxing, which is why the most successful nurses not only excel on the job, but they understand the importance of prioritizing self-care. Neonatal intensive care nurses, or NICU nurses, are dedicated nursing professionals who care for the most vulnerable and fragile patients around - sick and premature newborn infants. Neonatal nursing units require experienced, adept nurses. With admission rates of infants into the country's NICUs rising, there is a mounting need for nurses like you. After gaining experience, neonatal R… But what other skills matter in a neonatal or NICU nurse? © 2020 Rasmussen College, LLC. Why do you want to be a nurse? To be a successful Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, you should have the necessary training to provide focused care to at-risk infants, a caring and compassionate nature to deal with parents and guardians, and the ability to work in a supervisory capacity. Generally speaking, nursing requires a person to be able to pivot between a number of different extremes that range from emotional challenges associated with… By selecting "Submit", I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. As your knowledge, experience and educational attainment level grows, you may be eligible for job titles such as developmental care specialist, clinical care specialist or nurse manager, according to NANN. Most neonatal nurses work in a typical hospital environment—usually in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or maternity ward. Pursue National/Specialty Certifications. … While all registered nursing jobs have a fair amount of common ground—administering medication, charting important information and answering questions all can be expected—there are a few nuances worth noting. • Pediatric nurses work with patients from the time they are infants and through childhood until they reach young adulthood. NICUs are designed to provide care for sick and premature infants during the transitional period after birth, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). So to help you make your decision, we gathered some critical information to help you decide if neonatal nursing is the right choice for you. Nurses within this specialty must be skilled in communicating with patients' families and with other healthcare professionals. Fill out the form to receive information about: There are some errors in the form. While some hospitals hire candidates who have completed only an associate degree in nursing (ADN), most employers require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Likewise, other federal or state laws may apply too based on where you are located. The term neonatal comes from neo, "new", and natal, "pertaining to birth or origin". Personal characteristics and skills required (neonatal nursing) This page has information on the personal characteristics and skills needed for neonatal nursing. Part of the clinical rotation includes time in nurseries and may include time in the NICU, but most neonatal nurses learn their skills after graduation, by reading, attending seminars or on-the-job training. While the nurses' work depends on the specific and evolving needs of a particular shift's patients, typical day-to-day duties include monitoring vitals, providing various IV fluids and medications, administering feedings and providing general comfort and care for newborns. They must maintain a steady outpouring of compassion to work with the families of their patients during some of the most highly emotional times of their lives. If you're already a practicing RN, you might consider advancing your nursing expertise by earning a bachelor's degree. Caring for sick babies and offering support to their families can definitely be rewarding. Find out How to Begin a Professional Career as a Neonatal Nurse here. Once you become a practicing RN, you’ll need … But once you've selected nursing as your passion, you still have another important decision to make: Which sector of nursing would you like to specialize in? To be a neonatal nurse practitioner, there are fundamental legal requirements and educational training. As neonatal nurses, we want you to think about how you will give back to your profession. She earned her MFA in poetry and teaches as an adjunct English instructor. Licensure involves passing the NCLEX and registering with the state in which the nurse practices. This will usually involve specific training modules on different aspects of neonatal nursing. If you're drawn to the idea of dedicating your career to challenging work you can be proud of as you improve the lives of others, nursing can seem like a clear-cut path to embark upon.Not only has nursing been voted the most trusted profession for 15 years running, but nurses are also continually in high demand. Simply put, these nurses specialize in working with newborn babies. Neonatal nursing is a branch of healthcare that focuses on providing care for infants who were born prematurely, or are suffering from health problems such as birth defects, infections, or heart deformities. In order to become an advanced practice nurse, such as a neonatal nurse, an individual must obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. It's clear that neonatal nursing is a specialty that calls for some of the most skilled and passionate nurses out there. While nurses in most units are charged with providing routine care for mostly healthy patients, working in an intensive care unit means neonatal nurses must attentively monitor their patients' conditions around the clock. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses earned a 2018 median annual salary of $71,730.1. Despite what the job title implies, neonatal nurses should expect to work with infants’ families just as much as the infants themselves. A neonatal nurse will have a variety of job duties throughout the day. These nurses must be alert and … Neonatal nurses care for infants who are born with issues such as premature birth, birth defects, infections or cardiac issues, according to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN). Obviously these patients can’t just say how they’re feeling or what’s bothering them, so neonatal nurses will need an in-depth knowledge of common neonatal ailments and the risks unique to this patient population. Registered nurses who work in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, of a hospital share key characteristics that make them successful at caring for newborns with serious, acute or medically complex health conditions. From working well under pressure to infusing each shift with an extra helping of compassion and even knowing how to take care of one's own needs to ensure quality work is always provided, these nurses are unlike any others. 10.05.2020, Anjali Stenquist | In community college, you earn your Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN); in a four-year university, you’ll earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). They also work very closely with the families of their patients, keeping them informed on their infant's status and teaching them how to care for any special needs that they may have. The first step to becoming a neonatal nurse is earning a degree in nursing. Our mission is to provide intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work. She loves to write, teach and talk about the power of effective communication. It takes a steady presence and good self-care habits to manage this fact. 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