Do you have what it takes to become a neonatal nurse? Let’s walk look through some important steps and facts then we can ask ourselves that question again. The first step one needs to take before becoming a neonatal nurse you must look into what colleges are right for you and which programs they offer. Choose a school with an accredited nursing program and earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN); this will is very important as you will have to work your way up in nursing. Next step you have to take is ask yourself is working with babies the right job for me? It will not allows be easy and you will have to learn some skills that books won’t be able to teach you.
A bachelor’s degree builds on an associate level of coursework, which allows a more in-depth form of classes and a better focus on advanced skills and knowledge, according to learnhowtobecome.org. Not all colleges have nursing programs and not all programs except everyone. According to learn.org, you will take classes in pediatric nursing care (LO) this will help lead you in the right direction towards neonatal nursing. When you enter into a nursing program you should graduate with the knowledge, the experience, facts, and realization necessary to pass the licensing exam. Some colleges have a higher exam rate than others, so look out for this when choosing the school.
You have to then work towards becoming a registered nurse. This is where you get a license in the state that you are going to work in, (not live in). The NCLEX-RN (The National Council Licensure Examination) exam must be passed in order for one to become a registered nurse. After you have become a registered nurse you can now work as a neonatal nurse. Most neonatal nurses work in hospitals in the neonatal intensive care unit NICU; however, some do work in clinics and other health care areas this depends on what area they choose. After this, you can earn your master’s degree while you are working as a neonatal nurse and move up in levels of nursing’s and pay. If you choose not to go for a higher degree right, away you can still choose to do it later on during your career; sometimes this will not affect pay. There are online colleges that offer master degree programs. Online programs make it easier for some people because they can still work while they continue to achieve a higher degree.
The salary of a neonatal nurse will depend on a few factors, such as the experience, the place of employment, years on the job, past employment areas, and types of degree(s). A neonatal nurse sometimes will order documents, record results of tests and reports for doctors and other staff in the workplace. They can prescribe medications and make recommendations for other beneficial forms of care. Neonatal nurses require a Certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) in specialty area based on RN licensure and state authority for advanced practice and most require years of experience Certification and/or licensing in the position’s specialty is the main requirement (swz.salary.com). According to Swz.salary.com Neonatal nurse salary is $117,863, as of January 2018, with a range between $108,335 -$127,433.
This salary ranges from the factors stated previously; a lot goes into the pay of a registered nurse and a neonatal nurse. Some states are higher in demand for neonatal nurses than other states. This is something that a person going into this field, or any field of study should look at. By knowing which areas have a high demand, not only can a person look forward to having income, but a long-term career. The top three states and their percentages for neonatal nursing are Virginia at 47 %, Kentucky at 35%, and Utah at 32% (learn.org). According to learn.org the three top states with the highest salary for neonatal nursing is one California at $157,000, two Hawaii at $107,000 and three Massachusetts at $94,000. As with any careers, these numbers will change according to many factors to do with the profession.
What is a neonatal nurse? a neonatal nurse is a secondary of nursing, its focal point is on given care to newborn babies and families when the newborn’s health circumstances require more support than normal term newborns or otherwise healthy newborns. Neonatal nurses work with newborns that have a range of problems. Some problems that the infants have are birth defects, premature birth, surgical problems, drug-related problems, and birth defects to name a few. Most infants will spend the first month or two in the NICU depending on the reason that they are there. The neonatal nurse will spend this time caring for the infant until they are discharged home. In some rare cases, the infants can be cared for up until the age of 24 months, during this time the neonatal nurses will still care for the babies even though it is no longer concerned an infant because it can still have the same problems. According to Nann.org neonatal period is known as the first month of life, neonatal nurses can care for most infants from the birth until babies are discharged from the hospital to their families.
Neonatal nurses will provide the same care to babies that other nurses do to full term healthy babies. Yes, sometimes the babies will be healthy and the even full term they will just need a little help when they get on the outside. Not all cases are as serious as the next one, but a neonatal nurse will always need to be prepared. The neonatal nurses will be there when the babies are being delivered. They will weigh them, measure them, monitor them and even give them their first bathes. Mothers will get help with their babies from the neonatal nurses from breastfeeding, tube feeding, bottle feeding, skin to skin, newborn care and so much more. Those are some of the joys that come along with the dream career; however, with the good comes the bad.
Some of the babies born today are faced with some of the worse problems and challenges, those will be the hardest days for a neonatal nurse. Days like these will test your strength in areas that books will never teach you. Some babies are born addicted to drugs and or alcohol they need treatment, love, and care right away, others have HIV (cfcn). This job takes a team effect and the nurses to me need to be the glue that holds each piece of that puzzle.
The most popular place that a neonatal nurse works is in the NICU. They are also known as Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses. Their primary focus is to care for premature and seriously ill newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of any hospital (johnsonjohnson). These babies are born in need of urgent medical attention. You may have watched a show or movie before and seen nurse rush off with a bay that was just born after a car wreck, or a type of accident, these would have been neonatal nurses. In the NICU they will connect the infant up to many monitors and machines to had them breathe and access the problems and get the infant on their way to getting better if possible.
Skills of a neonatal nurse may include but are not limited to the following examples,
1. You have to have good time management because a baby’s life could be on the line you need to manage time to keep up with medication
2. Critical thinking and split-second decision making is where you have to solve the problem while thinking about it, for example, you have to treat the baby while which treatment for the baby is going through your head like brainstorming, during this time others would be brain storming as well.
3. You have to have great written and spoken communication, because you have to be able to communicate with families. This so they can understand you and you have to write things down to where all staff involved with the care of an infant knows what is going on, and you have to communicate so nothing goes wrong.
4. Empathy is when you have to hide your emotions and feelings outside of the job, but you also got to understand the feeling and emotions of others even if you have never been in their shoes. For an example, you have never had a baby addicted to drugs but as a neonatal nurse, you have to have empathy for the family and help them through this time. Another example would be a young mother giving birth to a baby who has to spend a long time in the NICU with a birth defect showing the mother the baby is just as special as all the others.
You have to be dedicated to this career; it is not like any other nursing job. You will be working with infants most premature. Infants can’t talk to you and tell you how they feel and sometimes that can be very difficult. You will need to be very patient and understanding with the babies; their parents and the families, many people and emotions are involved in this line of work. There will come times you will need to be to hide your emotions because your job may be very sad and heartbreaking, but you will also have very fun exciting moments that will overcome the bad ones.
I think the best part of neonatal nursing is you get to be apart so someone new to the world. Neonatal nurses get to help new babies be healthy and help them get ready to go home. You get to give families the best gift anybody could ask for, that they will love for a lifetime. So do you think you have what it takes to become a neonatal nurse, now that we have walked through some of the basics steps and facts? I don’t know who wouldn’t want this job it seems so amazing. I can’t wait to have the career of a lifetime as a neonatal nurse!