how to be a successful neonatal nurse

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This will usually involve specific training modules on different aspects of neonatal nursing. A NICU registered nurse will most likely be in a hospital environment where the stakes for the patient are likely to be higher. Some neonatal nurses report experiencing less physical stress compared to other nursing specialties, if for no other reason than the fact that the newborn babies and their families are a joyful population to work with. 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). This includes coaching women through labor, offering advice on pain management and monitoring the vitals of both the mother and the baby throughout the entire process. You want to get a better idea of what this role is all about before you make any choices. Neonatal nurses, along with other nurses working in hospitals, work shifts at night, on weekends and during holidays too. 1. At a minimum, this entails earning an associate degree in nursing, although the standards of practice for nursing increasingly favor a BSN. Neonatal Nurse Job Overview and Tips What Does a Neonatal Nurse Do? In the neonatal nurse CV example, there are details about what this position requires each day. 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. The term “neonatal” refers to the first month of an infant’s life, but neonatal nurses may treat ailing newborns until they are discharged from the hospital, even if that takes several months. Some care for healthy babies in mother-baby nurseries, and others work in clinics or home healthcare to provide follow-up care for infants. If you’re compassionate and willing to go the extra mile to acquire the necessary experience and education, a rewarding career treating newborns and supporting their families could be the perfect fit for you. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: Annual $105,658 or $50.79/hr* For nurses with an interest in mental … By  The College of St. Scholastica  |  @StScholastica  |  Dec 18, 2017. These nurses must be alert and mentally agile for the entirety of every shift. Pu… While this isn't a decision of nurses, they do interact with patients' families, relaying important information and supporting them during difficult times. Discover more career paths and how Johnson & Johnson empowers nurse-led innovation. 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. 11.11.2019, Will Erstad | 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. A neonatal nurse will have a variety of job duties throughout the day. Personal characteristics and skills required (neonatal nursing) This page has information on the personal characteristics and skills needed for neonatal nursing. 08.31.2020, Anjali Stenquist | of $48K–$97K yearly. Steps to Take You will have to go to community college or a four-year university and earn your LPN, then your BSN before you enter this nursing specialty. 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. Education In order to become a neonatal nurse, one must first become an RN holding either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Most neonatal nurses will be quick to tell you that the rewards of their meaningful work greatly outweigh any stressors they may face. 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. Many NICUs require RNs to at least have their Neonatal … These nurses must be alert and … 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. If you're already a practicing RN, you might consider advancing your nursing expertise by earning a bachelor's degree. She loves to write, teach and talk about the power of effective communication. Given that many NICU patients are severely premature, a big focus is placed on feeding patients and ensuring they reach developmental goals. 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. Become a NICU nurse by getting an MSN and earn an avg. handling bereavements or related areas, for example breast feeding. Talk with an admissions advisor today. 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). Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited college authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Fill out the form to receive information about: There are some errors in the form. Neonatal nurses “will help integrate parents into the critical care that you provide,” according to NANN. She earned her MFA in poetry and teaches as an adjunct English instructor. Here are 9 specialties to consider. A neonatal nurse works in the NICU center of a hospital, which houses newborn patients who are critically ill. The Key Characteristics of an NICU Nurse. Acquire Working Experience 3. Visit The College of St. Scholastica's RN to BS program page for more information. 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. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. 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? 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. Although one can achieve RN licensure with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, the BSN can be better preparation for a neonatal intensive care unit. The truth is, it takes a special person to be involved in this type of nursing. 09.23.2019. For the newborns duration at the Hospital, the Neonatal nurse is there assigned nurse; this is helpful for parents who now have a name and face to go to when they have questions. Those planning to become a neonatal nurse should practice in a level III NICU as a staff nurse before applying to a graduate program. Rasmussen College is not enrolling students in your state at this time. They assist pediatricians in assessing and treating conditions and developmental phases unique to these growing and developing bodies, often communicating with and educating parents along the way. The program you have selected is not available in your area. The newborns they care for need round-the-clock attention, so nurses within this specialty are accustomed to working long shifts caring for anywhere from one to four infants at a time. 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. 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. 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. If you're drawn to working with babies, you've likely considered labor and delivery or neonatal nursing — two specialties that center on birth and infants. Licensure involves passing the NCLEX and registering with the state in which the nurse practices. Because of the high-pressure environment — including heightened needs of the babies being treated, mounting fears of family members and a swarm of medical professionals working to care for patients — neonatal nurses must be skilled in handling stress. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. With admission rates of infants into the country's NICUs rising, there is a mounting need for nurses like you. Some employers may ask for experience or knowledge of neonatal nursing issues eg. After graduation, they take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed. You’re probably wondering how the work of a neonatal nurse compares to other types of nursing specialties. They may complete a two-year associate degree program, a two- or three-year nursing diploma or a four-year bachelor’s degree. However, you will need to seize your opportunity to serve the neonatal community. 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. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Neonatal nurses are licensed RNs, typically with a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) or other advanced nursing degree. While the presence of several types of nurses who work with babies may seem confusing on the surface, the differences between these specialties are actually pretty easy to digest: • Labor and delivery nurses are charged with assisting pregnant women throughout the entirety of the childbirth experience, from early labor to delivery and the immediate post-delivery phase that follows. In fact, job openings for registered nurses (RNs) are expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — that's more than double the rate for all occupations nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses earned a 2018 median annual salary of $71,730.1. When they are able to see infants who were once critically ill later go on to thrive, they are reminded of the true purpose of their day-to-day work. A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurse offers round-the-clock treatment and care for newborn infants that are premature or are suffering from illnesses such as congenital defects and respiratory problems. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. This means they work with some of the most vulnerable patients possible, watching over them extremely closely and acting quickly in the event of any sudden changes. Another big difference from other types of nursing is the literal size of your patients—medications obviously need to be scaled down and require precision to ensure they’re safely administered. To be a neonatal nurse practitioner, there are fundamental legal requirements and educational training. After a period of six months of relevant experience, you’ll be encouraged to undertake professional development. But you know the neonatal nurse job description isn’t all baby rattles and cooing infants. They may do anything from resuscitating infants and administering medication to helping a new mom get started breastfeeding. 2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 27,152 neonatal nursing job postings, Oct. 01, 2018 - Sep. 30, 2019.) You know this fulfilling career could bring benefits to both your life and the lives of the patients with whom you’ll work every day. To work in a neonatal unit, you must be able to pivot between the extreme emotions that occur in this field. They assist physicians with the delivery of the babies and also help new mothers with breastfeeding and bottle feeding their infants. 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. There will be a 26% increase in the number of NR jobs available across the board from 2012 to 2013. 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. Neonatal nurse education and training 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. There is no obligation to enroll. Before you can become a neonatal nurse or even a nurse practitioner, you have graduated and become a registered nurse. With additional training, education and experience, they can pursue a number of advanced positions such as becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner or perhaps an administrative role as unit manager. Neonatal nursing is a sub-specialty of nursing care for newborn infants up to 28 days after birth. EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2015. 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. 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). Also known as a Neonatal Nurse, an NICU Nurse works with a team to provide treatment to these infants. This question gives them a chance to tell you what motivates them and explain how they got where they are today. Employment conditions in your area may vary. It should also be noted that neonatal nurses experience positive opportunities for career growth if desired. Preferably, you will go to a university where you can receive a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN, BScN) degree. In order to become an advanced practice nurse, such as a neonatal nurse, an individual must obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. … • Neonatal nurses work in NICUs (neonatal intensive care units), caring for premature newborns and those with birth defects, critical illnesses or other specialized needs. Neonatal nursing is not for the faint of heart, but for the right person—it’s a nursing career that puts you in contact with the patients you love most. Despite what the job title implies, neonatal nurses should expect to work with infants’ families just as much as the infants themselves. Please correct the errors and submit again. This data does not represent starting salaries. Everyone can be a leader and serve the profession. 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. You can also expect to work closely with labor and delivery nurses to facilitate the transition from the delivery room to the NICU. In order to become a neonatal nurse, a candidate must meet the minimum educational requirements for all nurses. Neonatal nurses must have a passion for working with newborns and their families, and the ability to thrive in the high-pressure, fast-paced environment of the NICU. • Pediatric nurses work with patients from the time they are infants and through childhood until they reach young adulthood. Brianna is a content writer for Collegis Education who writes student focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. 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. All Rights Reserved. Neonatal nurses must have a passion for working with newborns and their families, and the ability to thrive in the high-pressure, fast-paced environment of the NICU. 1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed December, 2019] www.bls.gov/ooh/. This provides neonatal nurses an opportunity to identify any signs of trouble, answer questions and educate families about they can expect next. 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. But a neonatal nursing career offers benefits beyond the fulfilling job of patient care. 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). With higher-risk patients typically comes a smaller nurse to patient ratio—NICU patients just need additional care. 10.05.2020, Anjali Stenquist | 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. A neonatal nurse can earn between $46,166 and $100,755 a year. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020. Your best bet is to get established as a nurse at a facility with a NICU and build experience in infant care—pediatrics and well-newborn nurseries are good options if possible. Because infants in the NICU can develop complications without warning, the skills and judgment of nurses are relied upon at all times. A Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse cares for premature and critically ill newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital. After gaining experience, neonatal R… As you have basic nursing training as well as neonatal nursing skills you will be able to get a job in a number of sectors where a specialization is not a requirement. You need to be a registered adult nurse, child nurse or midwife to apply for a job as a neonatal nurse. It's clear that neonatal nursing is a specialty that calls for some of the most skilled and passionate nurses out there. In addition to the often fast-paced environment of the NICU, those working with high-risk newborns are no strangers to facing complicated ethical dilemmas that can at times feed emotional stress. Many NICUs will even host special events — such as holiday parties — to which all families of babies who passed through their facility that year are invited. Why do you want to be a nurse? There are five steps to become an NNP. These advanced roles will allow you to support staff and direct educational programs that will improve patient care across the board. Generally speaking, nursing requires a person to be able to pivot between a number of different extremes that range from emotional challenges associated with… This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. 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. Do you think you have what it takes to work with some of our population's most fragile patients? Neonatal nursing units require experienced, adept nurses. Pay close attention to detail - In neonatal nursing, the little things often matter a whole lot. Neonatal nurses, like all RNs, have three choices for their basic education. However, they utilize some new grads as well. © 2020 Rasmussen College, LLC. The NICU environment can be undoubtedly stressful for nurses, infants and families alike. Working as a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse or specializing in neonatal sounds appealing to you. Neonatal Intensive Care is a subspecialty of pediatric nursing that attracts nurses who are willing to work with newborn infants at their most vulnerable. Once you’ve obtained you degree and licensure, things get less linear. 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. What does it take to be successful as a neonatal nurse? When interviewing NICU Nurses, look for candidates who are good team … Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college. Neonatal nurses also have the potential for career advancement within this specialization. The College of St. Scholastica is an independent private Catholic Benedictine college with locations across Minnesota, in addition to many high-quality programs available online and through convenient evening and weekend formats. These newborns often require intensive nurturing and around-the-clock monitoring for weeks to months until they are healthy and fully developed enough to go home. After all, … It's also true that NICUs are different from adult intensive care units, as infants have some very specific developmental needs. With that in mind, a neonatal nurse must be level-headed in order to ensure the a professional and respectful manner is maintained during treatment and care. 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 nurses must obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and gain clinical experience in neonatal nursing. It takes a steady presence and good self-care habits to manage this fact. Within a BSN program, you will complete your general education courses and also have training in math and science requirements that will be integral to your future career as a … 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. Anjali Stenquist | Caring for sick babies and offering support to their families can definitely be rewarding. 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. That said, a neonatal nurse working in a mother and baby center that doesn’t facilitate high risk pregnancies can probably expect to have a larger number of patients under their supervision each shift. Since 1912, St. Scholastica has been preparing students for a life of purpose and economic gain by engaging students in the love of learning and active citizenship in the world. Connect with Rasmussen College on Facebook, Connect with Rasmussen College on Instagram, Connect with Rasmussen College on LinkedIn, Connect with Rasmussen College on Pinterest, Connect with Rasmussen College on Twitter, Connect with Rasmussen College on Youtube, Human Resources and Organizational Leadership, Information Technology Project Management, Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, How to Become a Registered Nurse: Your 4-Step Guide, Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify). Find out How to Begin a Professional Career as a Neonatal Nurse here. The care of your patients includes: medication administration, hygiene care (cleaning up vomit, stool, urine, mucus etc. Once you become a practicing RN, you’ll need … You can be a leader if you choose to do so. the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Please select another program of interest. The only guide you'll ever need to prepare for your nursing interview (Part 1)Surviving nursing school is no small accomplishment, but now you have to ace that job interview. Nurse can earn between $ 46,166 and $ 100,755 a year what other skills matter in a neonatal CV... Experience positive opportunities for career advancement within this content nurses, infants through. From resuscitating infants and through childhood until they reach developmental goals Labor Statistics, U.S. Department Labor! You to support its educational programs, 2017 nursing diploma or a four-year bachelor ’ s degree or an degree... Childhood until they reach young adulthood CV example, there is a accredited... The Illinois board of higher education self-care habits to manage this fact of their work. Board of higher education true that NICUs are different from adult intensive care unit ( NICU or! 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And talk about the power of effective communication stool, urine, mucus etc families can be! Ask for experience or knowledge of neonatal nursing your nursing expertise by earning bachelor... Experience, neonatal nurses must obtain a bachelor ’ s degree or an associate degree nursing! To do so candidate must meet the minimum educational requirements for all nurses are today but you the. Contact me by email, phone or text message at the number of NR jobs across. Nurse or midwife to apply for a job as a neonatal nurse, a candidate must meet the minimum requirements. Is to provide follow-up care for healthy babies in mother-baby nurseries, and natal ``. Appealing to you support its educational programs that will improve patient care across board. Incredibly difficult for healthcare teams to decide when to let go of a neonatal will! Passing the NCLEX and registering with the delivery room to the NICU environment can be stressful! 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