What Does a NICU Nurse Do?

Neonatal nursing can be described as specialty in the nursing field that focuses on the care of premature and ill newborn babies. They care for infants that can be born early, or have illnesses, diseases, or issues that require intensive care, and are normally found in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit.

Many healthcare institutions, that include hospitals, have different standards for employing neonatal nurses. Many, if not all, require that a neonatal nurse must first be a registered nurse (RN), therefore possessing a registered nurse license.

Just after being employed into the neonatal intensive care unit, nurses will have to go through an internship that could last a varying length of time, averaging out at around ninety days, to be able to adjust the nurse to specific neonatal nursing. Particular neonatal nursing accreditations also need to be obtained, within a specific amount of time from the date of employment.

A registered nurse specializing in neonatal nursing can expect his or her jobs to include the care for premature babies, sick newborn babies, going to high-risk deliveries, as well as assisting in minor and major surgical procedures. They also are supporters to the fathers and mothers of the infant, helping them deal and get used to having a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit/NICU. This will likely incorporate emotional support, breastfeeding a baby help, and training on the care of neonatal newborn babies during and after the hospital stay.

Staff work quite closely with their fellow nurses, as well as other staff that also includes: neonatologists, neonatal healthcare professionals, pediatricians, and various other maternal hospital workers. Additional staff might include respiratory therapists, speech and physical therapists, and even social workers.

This particular nursing field is in popular demand, and neonatal staff are needed across the nation. Since this kind of nursing is so specific, most adult and pediatric nurses are unable to work in the neonatal intensive care unit/NICU. As a result, neonatal nurses are extremely sought-after, and may earn extremely competitive pay. Also, a NICU RN who travels may earn even more money, as pay rates for traveling RNs can be quite high.

NICU nurses have to finish a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing, or a two-year associate's education. Neonatal nurses may be required to keep up with certain education and certification requirements to continue working in the NICU. Luckily, there are many resources available in this profession, including many provided by the hospitals or medical facilities themselves.

Job opportunities are never scarce, though night shift employment is more readily available than day shift opportunities. If you are interested in taking care of sick and premature babies, then this career path is definitely for you. This job requires critical thinking, quick assessment skills, and the ability to work with babies and their families alike. You are as much of a nurse to the infants in your care as you are an advocate for the parents of the child with whom they are entrusting into your care.