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The following article discusses the critical role Neonatal Nursing play in the community including what they do, tasks performed, work environment, qualifications to become, area of focus, training & certification, education requirements, job outlook, salary, related job titles and salary by state data. Neonatal nurses work with newborn infants who are at risk, or who have been delivered too early.
Among the many jobs that neonatal nurses perform, delivering and transporting babies and mothers, resuscitating infants after birth, changing diapers, administering medications, and holding new babies for comfort and care are some of the top priorities. Neonatal nurses may work in a number of different locations including traditional hospital settings in maternity wards or ICU, they also work in women’s clinics, private clinics, or as home healthcare nurses.
Neonatal nurses must go through the process of becoming an advanced practical nurse by first completing the initial training for a registered nurse.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a growth rate of 31% for this profession of nurses by the year 2022. Neonatal nursing requires the NCLEX-RN examination during the beginning stages of advancement into a graduate program. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Alaska are 26% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Alabama are 1% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Arkansas are 1% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Arizona are 18% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in California are 7% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Colorado are 11% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Connecticut are 15% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Washington, DC are 25% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Delaware are 12% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Florida are 7% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Georgia are 14% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Hawaii are 38% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Iowa are 3% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Idaho are 33% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Illinois are 13% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Indiana are 4% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Kansas are 9% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Kentucky are 14% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Louisiana are 12% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Massachusetts are 20% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Maryland are 3% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Maine are 12% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Michigan are 1% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Minnesota are 13% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Missouri are 2% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Mississippi are 4% higher than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in Montana are 12% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in North Carolina are 5% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. Average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings in North Dakota are 11% lower than average Neonatal Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide.
NICU Neonatal Intensive Care) Nurses care for critically ill newborns, up to two years old.
NICU Nurses report to the nurse manager or director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the hospital. Due to the criticalness and constant need of the patient, NICU Nurses work around the clock. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses also offers a NICU Nurse certification exam. The career of a NICU Nurse is a combination of specialized technical skills and compassion. What is a Neonatal Nurse? What is the nursing salary for a Neonatal Nurse and how do you become a Neonatal Nurse? The responsibilities of neonatal nurses may include: surgical care, administering high-risk mediations, resuscitation, administering antibiotics, phototherapy, managing patients that require ventilation support, providing advanced interventions, and providing chronic care management. The minimum educational requirement to become a neonatal nurse is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The educational experience consists of lecture-based learning and extensive professional experience in a supervised setting.
Some employers will hire new nurse graduates right into a neonatal nurse position, preferring to train them fresh out of school. Although the number of years of clinical experience varies by state, 4 years of clinical experience in a hospital setting is the requirement in most states for advancement.


The State Board of Nursing and the National Certification Corporation are a few of the choices that a neonatal nurse has for certification.
A graduate must successfully pass the National Council Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) to become a neonatal nurse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses (in general) earn an average of $33.55 per hour, or $69,790 per year (as of 2014). Neonatal nurses can expect at least a $20,000 increase in salary with 20 years or more of nursing experience.
Another reason for the increase in jobs for neonatal nurses is the increase in modern day fertility treatment. There are certain areas of the country that require a higher number of qualified neonatal nurses. As far as dislikes, it can be difficult emotionally dealing with newborn deaths, seeing newborns suffer, and more. Enter your email address below and hit "Submit" to receive free email updates and nursing tips.
A neonatal nurse is a Registered Nurse (RN) that works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and assesses, monitors, and cares for medically fragile newborns. New graduate nurses and even experienced nurses may have a difficult time obtaining a job in this area.
In addition to experience, Basic Life Support (BLS), and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification are standard expectations. Even though you are not currently working as a NICU nurse, a resume with specific certifications and educational courses will demonstrate your initiative and interest in Neonatal Nursing. Disclosure: We strive to provide information on this website that is accurate, complete and timely, but we make no guarantees about the information, the selection of schools, school accreditation status, the availability of or eligibility for financial aid, employment opportunities or education or salary outcomes. This position is an advanced nursing career path, and requires additional training over and above the traditional registered nursing role.
This means obtaining a degree in nursing either through an Associate level or a Baccalaureate level. This is a much higher than average rate of growth, and surpasses other nursing growth rates such as registered nursing, and even just the average nurse practitioner role.
After this a secondary certification exam to become a clinical nurse will be taken through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Critical newborns need precise assessments and medication calculations to grow and develop.
This position requires diligent, caring professionals who are passionate about what they do. The newborns remain in the room with their mothers and both are discharged at the same time. The newborns may receive special care from the nursing staff at this level, or the newborns may need additional time before being released.
The newborns cannot be treated in either of the other two levels because they require high technology in order to survive.
Some choose to take a different path and earn a nursing certificate or associate degree before earning the BSN. The first two years will likely consist of general education courses that are non-nursing courses. It is often required that the nurse must be certified in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing or Neonatal Resuscitation to become a neonatal nurse, and many employers will help you become certified as they provide you with on the job training.
Other employers, however, will prefer applicants to have at least 1-2 years of experience of nursing work on a med-surge floor or in a nursing-related area.
Some choose to advance their experience and income potential by becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), and they earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to earn the title of clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or a nurse practitioner (NP). Topics covered on the examination include pharmacological therapies, health maintenance, and infection control.
The BLS does not provide statistics for neonatal nurses specifically, but they will likely fall within that average.
Depending on the level of experience, education, and state in which they live, neonatal nurses can make higher nurse salaries.
Working in large hospitals can increase the salary of neonatal nurses even more because many small hospitals do not have a NICU. Fertility treatment increases the number of premature babies that need the care of neonatal nurses. Tampa, Philadelphia, Shreveport, Cleveland, and Dallas are the areas that have the greatest need for neonatal nurses. We strive for 100% accuracy, but nursing procedures and state laws are constantly changing.
In addition to caring for premature newborns, NICU nurses may care for medically complex infants up to one year of age in some facilities. A few nursing schools do offer senior semester practicums in a well baby nursery or a NICU that can give new graduates a competitive edge. If you have an excellent resume that includes multiple certifications, professional development, suggested specialty experience, and have applied to several NICU jobs in various locations, consider taking a forward approach. In some areas of the country, obtaining any nursing job is extremely competitive especially for new graduates. Neonatal nurses work with premature babies and babies who have gone full-term but who are at risk or have critical illnesses, injuries, or other life threatening problems.
After this, two years of practice must be obtained before applying for and completing a graduate level degree such as a Master of Science in nursing degree.
The median salary for a neonatal nurse is $89,960, but this rate can increase with experience and additional academics. There were also job openings from employers like The HealthCare Initiative, Onward Healthcare, RN Network, and TravelMax Nursing.
There were also job openings from employers like Kaiser Permanente, The Right Solutions, Mercy Hospital Bakersfield, and Supplemental Health Care.
There were also job openings from employers like HealthONE, Synergy Staffing Inc, AVA Search Group, LLC, and North Suburban Medical Center.
There were also job openings from employers like Johnson Memorial Medical Center, Masonicare, Manchester Memorial Hospital, and Onward Healthcare.
There were also job openings from employers like Sentara, Marvel Consultants, Inc., Centralcare, Incorporated, and Fort Washington Medical Center. There were also job openings from employers like Nemours, Christiana Care, Christiana Care Health System, and Nanticoke Health Services.


There were also job openings from employers like Florida Hospital, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Halifax Health, and Nemours. There were also job openings from employers like The Right Solutions, Grady Health System, Crisp Regional Health Services, and Rockdale Medical Center. There were also job openings from employers like Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii Pacific Health, FocusStaff, and MedPro Healthcare Staffing. There were also job openings from employers like Sanford Health, The Right Solutions, Catholic Health Initiatives, and UnityPoint Health u2013 Des Moines.
There were also job openings from employers like Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Maxim Healthcare Services, Cross Country TravCorps, and NurseChoice. There were also job openings from employers like Favorite Healthcare Staffing, Cross Country TravCorps, Presence Health, and University of Chicago Medicine. There were also job openings from employers like Community Regional Medical, Porter, Memorial Hospital of South Bend, and Parkview Health. There were also job openings from employers like Overland Park Regional Medical Center, RN Network, Cross Country TravCorps, and FocusStaff. There were also job openings from employers like Catholic Health Initiatives, Norton Healthcare, Supplemental Health Care, and Community Regional Medical. There were also job openings from employers like Parallon Workforce Solutions, Ochsner Health System, Touro Infirmary, and Marvel Consultants Inc.
There were also job openings from employers like Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cross Country TravCorps, Pediatria Healthcare for Kids, and CoreMedical Group. There were also job openings from employers like Frederick Memorial Healthcare System, Saint Agnes Hospital, Centralcare, Incorporated, and Cross Country TravCorps. There were also job openings from employers like Southern Maine Medical Center, Staffing Plus Inc., Lincoln County Healthcare, and MaineHealth System. There were also job openings from employers like Sparrow Health System – Physician, University of Michigan, University of Michigan Health System, and Medical Staffing Network. There were also job openings from employers like Centerpoint Medical Center, SSM Home Care and Hospice, Research Medical Center, and Mercy. There were also job openings from employers like Central Mississippi Medical Center, River Region Health System, The Right Solutions, and CoreMedical Group. There were also job openings from employers like Cone Health, Carolinas HealthCare System, Mission Health, and Frye Regional Medical Center. These questions are very common question many nursing students have about the neonatal nursing field. However, in practice, neonatal nurses can work with newborns for months or even a year or two. These nurse provides care for healthy newborns, premature newborn babies, or work with extremely ill newborn babies in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They are involved with intricate surgical repairs like congenital cardiac issues and acquired malformations.
A potential neonatal nurse must check the eligibility requirements of the prospective state nursing board. These areas are likely to offer the highest salaries due to the great need for professionals.
As a neonatal nurse, you’ll be able to care for newborns and nurse them back to health. In addition, families can sometimes be very difficult to deal with, as they are often experience grief, fear, and financial difficulty from the resulting medical care.
By accessing any content, you agree never to hold us liable for damages, harm, or misinformation. Like other critical care areas of nursing, this area is highly specialized, fast paced, and stressful. Nursing students should also know that many nursing instructors will advise students to work as a medical surgical nurse before specializing in any area.
They work not only with the infants, but with the families of the infants to comfort and educate on what to expect with their baby as he or she undergoes treatment. During this time the NCLEX-RN license examination must be completed with a passing grade in order to work in the U.S. Certification for this career path can also be achieved through the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Certification Corporation, which requires nurses to have an additional 2 years of practice on top of their RN license. Maintaining professional boundaries and good self-care are essential for managing grief in the work environment.
The educational courses that go toward the nursing degree may consist of Statistics, Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology.
Nurses can also increase their wage by working night shift, weekends, or overtime, depending on the employer’s policy. Parents, doctors, and newborns depend of the expertise and of neonatal nurses to make a difference in the lives of many. It can be a great blessing observing how your skills in nursing have directly impacted the life of an infant. In addition, neonatal nurses love being advocates for the family and counseling them and offering comfort and encouragement.
This specialty is notoriously difficult to break into, but there are ways to become a prepared and competitive NICU job candidate.
While a few basic skills learned from medical surgical nursing are applicable to the NICU population, this is one of the rare areas that is so highly specialized that NICU job candidates may not be judged by their lack of medical surgical experience. If they are unavailable to talk, leave them a message that highlights your name, number, and qualifications. These nurses can be found in many different settings, and perform many tasks within this field of nursing.
Alarms, constant vigilance, and the weak state of the newborn may lead to a stressful work environment. Also, let them know that you have submitted an application, and why you would like to work in their NICU. This can be a highly stressful job, emotionally and mentally, and requires a strong mind and a kind heart. Additional licensing may be necessary in some states depending on state laws and requirements. Once a graduate degree has been earned including programs, such as neonatal health assessment, transitions to advanced nursing, and pediatric pharmacology, these nurses will work with other practical nurses in neonatal care facilities and complete a thesis, and practical hands-on experience to prepare them for their career.



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