Neonatal Nurse Schools and Program Information
Neonatal nursing is a relatively new field in the world of nursing. These nurses very specifically care for children during their first 28 days outside the womb. They take care of both perfectly healthy babies and those needing intensive care due to premature birth or complications. They have special knowledge in areas that commonly require attention for newborns, such as specialized nutrition and respiratory difficulties.
To become a Neonatal Nurse, you will want to do research to learn the requirements at the hospitals or other medical facilities you may want to work at. Different institutions often have different requirements for neonatal nurses. You'll first need to complete a registered nursing program at an accredited college or university. Usually this requires a 2-4 year program to attain an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, or a Registered Nurse Degree from a Registered Nurse Diploma program. You will then need to pass the National Council Licenser Examination to acquire a Registered Nursing License. From there you may need one or more certifications in areas of neonatal nursing, such as neonatal resuscitation or neonatal intensive care units.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics there are excellent opportunities for registered nurses specializing in neonatal care. The field is expected continue to grow, and neonatal nurses are in high demand. The median income for registered nurses in 2008 $62,450.
Neonatal nurses most often work in the neonatal units of hospitals. They also work in the nurseries and mother/child wings of the maternity wards. Neonatal nurses sometimes work with midwives as well.
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