Search for school

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse: Education and Career Information

If you’re one of those individuals who want to see babies get healthy when they are born with congenital defects or are having trouble because they were born prematurely, you may want to consider a career as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. Nurses in the NICU have devoted their lives to the treatment and monitoring of babies who are in life-threatening positions. This is a highly specialized position that requires additional training beyond a standard licensed registered nurse.

What does a neonatal intensive care nurse do?

A neonatal intensive care nurse works with other healthcare and medical professionals to determine the right course of action in caring for newborns and infants who are at risk. These babies can be premature, or were born with ailments and defects that prevent them from leaving the medical facility. They provide support and comfort to these babies, work to educate the mothers and other family members on caring for these infants, administers treatment and medication prescribed by the physician, and is very adept in using all the technology, advanced equipment and procedures needed to successfully nurture these infants into a condition where they are able to function on their own.

These nurses can become Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Specialists (ECMO), and must be able to communicate and teach complicated care requirements to others. This is a high stress area, but is very rewarding to those who care for infants. You will find these nurses in emergency infant care centers, medical facilities and units where critical infant care is prevalent.

How much does a neonatal intensive care nurse earn?

This is a very lucrative career path and is in high demand. Job satisfaction in this area is very high. According to Payscale, these nurses can make up to $44.89 or higher per hour. This varies based on education level, location, and years of experience. As with any position, the higher the education level, opportunities become available to function as a nurse manager, director, instructor or more.

What types of skills are required to be successful as a neonatal intensive care nurse?

Because this is a highly specialized position, there are a number of skills needed to be successful in this position:

Critical Thinking: A neonatal intensive care nurse must be able to determine when the infant is in distress, and consider ways to help them become comfortable.

Active Learning: The neonatal intensive care nurse must be able to learn quickly based on the recommendation of the physician, and from what they learn from each and every patient. This will assist in ensuring they are providing the best care possible.

Good Judgment: Having good judgment is essential. The neonatal intensive care nurse must be able to determine when they need to call the physician, when the infant needs to be changed, whether or not the medicine is working, and a number of other scenarios.

Communication: The nurse must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to speak clearly to patients and other healthcare professionals, conveying important information. This communication also translates into reading and writing.

Management: Proper management is essential. They must be able to manage all of the technology, files and other information needed to properly care for the infant. They must be able to successfully manage their time and resources to make sure everything is in order.

Perceptiveness: The nurse must be perceptive enough to understand when the infant is in trouble, when parents do not understand what is going on, and how to successfully coordinate proper care.

Coordination: A neonatal intensive care nurse must be able to coordinate schedules, training and information sessions with a number of individuals, including healthcare professionals, family members and other staff. They must also be able to coordinate the schedules of their patients.

Technology: As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the use of technology has become synonymous with the medical industry. A nurse practitioner must be able to successfully retrieve records using software, and properly use any medical equipment in the facility.

Internship requirements

Program requirements vary based on the program, but there are a number of clinical training hours needed to be successful in a neonatal intensive care unit that extend beyond standard requirements for a BSN degree. There are several years of experience working with neonatal patients required prior to sitting for the specialist exam.

Education requirements

There are both educational and clinical requirements needed to be a neonatal intensive care nurse. To become a nurse in this area, the student must first complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This is a four-year course of study and requires passing the NCLEX-RN exam upon completion of the program. Taking neonatal courses while in the program as electives is highly recommended.

The BSN program has a number of prerequisite courses that take place within the first two years. These courses include chemistry, psychology, algebra, anatomy and physiology. The final two years include clinical internships and hands-on experience. The clinical experience requirements are extensive, and usually take several years of experience working with neonatal patients.

Once the clinical experience requirements have been completed, the nurse will be able to sit for the certification of neonatal nursing given through the American Association of Critical Care Nursing. The certification is only administered after successfully passing this exam, regardless of the years of experience in this area.

Although this can be a very stressful work environment, it is a very rewarding career path. Nurses that work in this area are very compassionate and care about not only the patient, but their families as well. They offer support when needed and are rarely recognized for their efforts. This position requires a high level of independence and a passion for personal achievement. This is a lucrative career path for someone who wants to make a difference in the world of nursing and infant care.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Purdue University Global

Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.

Programs:

  • BS in Business Administration
  • MS in Accounting - Audit Specialization
  • AAS in Criminal Justice
  • And more...

Argosy University Online

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.

Programs:

  • Business Administration (BS)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
  • Liberal Arts (BA)
  • And more...

Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
  • M.Div: Homiletics
  • And more...

Ashworth College

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

Programs:

  • Payroll Clerk
  • Private Investigation
  • High School
  • And more...

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance schools are distinguished institutes committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student interested in the Aviation Industry.

Programs:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer

All-State Career

Prepare for an exciting career in the trucking industry at All-State Career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Programs:

  • Class A CDL Driving Programs

Northcentral University

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

Programs:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

University of North Dakota

Whether you’re looking to advance in your current role or transition into a new one, UND’s online Master of Science in Cyber Security is a great choice. Our master’s program allows you to complete general coursework or specialize in one of three areas that can prepare you for leadership in the growing field of cyber security.

 

Choose from four tracks:

- Autonomous Systems Cyber Security

- Data Security

- Cyber Security and Behavior

- General Cyber Security

 

100% Online. Transfer credits accepted. 20 months to complete. No prior work or education experience required.

 

About University of North Dakota:

UND is ranked alongside Stanford, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) among the Top 25 Most Innovative Schools by US News and World Report. Our groundbreaking discoveries, economic impact and notable alumni are a testament to our belief that results matter. Our online master’s in cyber security program is offered through the UND College of Engineering & Mines (CEM) — one of the most well-respected engineering schools in the upper Midwest. That means when it comes to quality, you can be confident in UND.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security

California Intercontinental University

Advance your career with an online degree from California InterContinental University.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Engineering Information Technology Emphasis in Network and Systems Security (BEITNSS)
  • Bachelor of Engineering Information Technology in Project Management (BEITPM)
  • Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management and Leadership (MBAHCML)
  • And more...

Ohio University - Online

Ohio University has offered distance learning educational opportunities for more than 100 years.

Programs:

  • Master of Business Analytics
  • Master of Health Administration

Southern New Hampshire University

At SNHU, we believe everyone should have greater access to higher education. 

Programs:

  • MBA with concentration in Quantitative Analysis
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism
  • BA Communications - New Media
  • And more...

Related Post