how to become a neonatal nurse

Other nursing professionals may opt for neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) credentials, which require completion of a master of science in Nursing (MSN) program. Licensure involves passing the NCLEX and registering with the state in which the nurse practices. Applicants should also look for a school that will provide them with guidance to help them pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is necessary for licensure. With over 46,000 students, the University of Houston is one of the largest on this list. This could help students gain early NICU exposure, preparing them for their future careers. Students enjoy clinicals at great sites, including Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Despite the university's large size, OSU's BSN program is highly competitive, particularly for Ohio residents looking to secure in-state tuition. Graduates could end up finding a position at UMPC Children's or other great spots in the area. For aspiring nurses who love the idea of working with infants to improve their health and get them home, NICU nursing is not only a high-demand specialization, but also a fulfilling career choice. In order to become a neonatal nurse, one must first become an RN holding either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). These are country-wide medians, though income for nurses is greatly dependent on state, institution and community. At a minimum, this entails earning an associate degree in nursing, although the standards of practice for nursing increasingly favor a BSN. Because neonatal nurses work primarily with some of the most vulnerable patients, they’re required to attain strict credentials. With experience you could progress to sister or matron within neonatal nursing. In addition to the option of graduate education, there are abundant resources for pursuing continuing education as an RN. There are three paths to becoming an RN: Diploma programs offered by hospital-based schools; Associate degrees offered by community colleges; Bachelor’s degrees at a four-year colleges or universities How To Become A Neonatal Nurse The duties that neonatal nurses perform range from being fairly easy to extremely complex. The training to become a Neonatal Nurse requires you to be a Registered Nurse. The early exposure to working with children and UCLA's location could help graduates secure an NICU position in California. I won't go into all the options, but trust me when I recommend getting your bachelors degree. It takes a special person to become a nurse, but that's even more true for those who go on to become Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses. A Neonatal Nurse is a Registered Nurse that works in the NICU and works under the supervision of physicians and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. If you are seriously considering being a neonatal nurse, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) examination must also be passed, as well as any local steps to obtain state licensure. The salary of the Neonatal Nurse ranges from between $66,640 – $98,880 annually, depending on experience, educational degree and job location. However, if you become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, your salary could reach upwards of $105,220 per year. However, not all neonatal nurses work in hospitals. The second fastest way to become a registered nurse or a neonatal nurse is via an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. 4. The slowest way to become an RN or a neonatal nurse is via a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. There is, however, no special education for neonatal nursing. The median neonatal nurse practitioner wage is $53.10 per hour or $98,559 for salaried workers. As reported in The Atlantic, about one million registered nurses (RNs) working today (about a third of the workforce) are over the age of 50. Working as a neonatal nurse can involve practicing in a variety of different settings. Developmental care is a potential area for career advancement. Level IV: This is the most intense level of newborn care for babies born with serious birth defects. Located in Seattle, the University of Washington is one of the best schools in the state. After passing the licensing exam for RNs, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), candidates can apply to work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), thereby entering the field of neonatal nursing. Some employers may ask for experience or knowledge of neonatal nursing issues eg. Opportunities for overtime, bonuses, and other financial perks will also vary by employer. RNC Certification for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing (RNC-NIC) via the National Certification Corporation (NCC). In order to get into a graduate nursing program (which you will need for your training in a neonatal specialty), many programs will require at least a 3.3 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) as well as a grade of B or better in all science and nursing courses. Xavier may have a high private school cost, but many students secure some form of financial aid. To become a neonatal nurse, you must first be a registered nurse (RN) and/or midwife, both of which require the completion of a Bachelor of Nursing & Midwifery. Roles in these facilities represent some of the most sought-after positions in the field. Many employers now require RNs to have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to be hired. Although there are required foundational clinical practicum with all patient populations, many nursing schools allow students to request specialization for a portion of their training. The Ohio State University, a top public university located in Columbus, enrolls over 68,000 students, making it the largest school on this list. Before you become a NICU nurse, you have to become a registered nurse, and gain some experience. Annual In-State Tuition: $13,239 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $42,993. Licensed RNs with 24 months of specialty experience (2,000 hours) can sit for this exam. Entry-level requirements vary by location. A great choice for anyone who wants to become a nurse in California, UCLA's BSN includes plenty of clinical experience and a clinically-based scholarly project at the end of students' fourth year. That is the case for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurses. Annual In-State Tuition: $14,651 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $29,921. The University of Massachusetts Boston, located on the water right next to the John F. Kennedy Library and Presidential Museum, offers a prime combination of excellent location and low cost for MA residents. At a minimum, this entails earning an associate degree in nursing, although the standards of practice for nursing increasingly favor a BSN. Annual In-State Tuition: $11,518 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $33,502. MSN or DNP programs will make you eligible for Neonatal certifications. Where available, these programs are the best way for candidates to prepare for a career in the field. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for NICU RNs is $101,727. As a graduate you may then have the opportunity to be placed within a neonatal ICU (NISU) or specialised nursery unit.It is not essential for a neonatal nurse to possess a postgraduate qualification in the neonatal area, but it is often preferred by many employers. 2. It’s important to remember that this represents the median earnings, so depending on one’s level of experience, location, and employer, income can be higher (or lower). At a minimum, you need to meet these requirements: 1. Nursing programs prepare graduates to work as registered nurses. Over 98% of nurses in the program graduate and UW boasts an above-average NCEX pass rate for first-time test-takers. It is necessary to obtain an undergraduate education before becoming a neonatal registered nurse. While costly, nursing students do get to earn one of the best BSN degrees in the nation. NANN: Represents the community of neonatal nurses and influences standards of practice through advocacy, education, networking, collaboration, and leadership. Usually found at children's hospitals, university hospitals, or destination centers. Neonatal nurses can work with these patients within the home and community. Depending on the status of the patients and how many babies are born in a given period of time, NICU nurses usually work with just a few infants at a time. With its main campus located in downtown Denver, the University of Colorado Denver is the state's only public, urban research institution. In addition, because the patients are so tiny and even the smallest error can be life-threatening, a precise attention to detail cannot be understated. The program uses a cohort system, so nursing students work closely with one another. Registered nurses (RNs) with a particular interest in newborns may consider neonatal nursing as a career option. Step 5: Become certified by a national certification agency. To become a licensed RN, you will have to take and pass the National Council Licensure Exam or NCLEX. This will usually involve specific training modules on different aspects of neonatal nursing. Experienced neonatal nurses can apply for positions as developmental care specialists, clinical care specialists, nurse managers, or neonatal nurse practitioners. Apply for certification through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). According to PayScale, the median neonatal registered nurse pay in the United States is $30.30 per hour or $61,352 per year for salaried employees. States and employers require contact hours and clinical education credits in order for nurses to stay current in the ever-evolving health sciences. This will allow them to gain the necessary training to have a career in neonatal nursing. While the word “neonatal” itself refers to the first few weeks of a baby’s life, neonatal nurses often care for babies long after they have surpassed that time frame, if such extended care is warranted. A neonatal nurse provides care for newborn babies up to 28 days after they are born. For the RNC-NIC, you must obtain hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) through accredited providers such as NANN. Those planning on becoming NICU nurses could benefit from the great clinical locations, including the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first-ever hospital devoted entirely to children. A Jesuit university located in Cincinnati, Xavier University is a mid-sized school with just 4,500 undergraduate students. This time period depends on the severity of an infant’s condition and on his or her response to treatment. Anytime specialized credentials and skills are involved, it can be more challenging to keep the talent pipeline full. * Second, get a job as a nurse, hopefully in an acute care setting. Many graduates also end up working at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a great place to earn NICU experience and one of Xavier's top clinical rotation sites. To become a neonatal nurse, you’ll need to start by earning a CCNE-accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a respected institution such as Herzing University*. The salary of a neonatal nurse varies based on their level of education, experience, geographic location and the level of neonatal care they provide. These dedicated professionals care for the most fragile patients there are -- sick and premature newborns. A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurses and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners are similar roles, but the difference is in the education requirements and scope of practice. To become a Neonatal Nurse, either an associate's degree in nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required. After becoming an RN, it is necessary for aspiring neonatal nurses to have neonatal clinical experience, as well as certifications in the field. Some neonatal nurses go on to become neonatal nurse practitioners, an advanced practice role. If possible, take neonatal nursing electives. Find out more about what it takes to become a NICU nurse, and why those who choose this track, are doing society a special service. To maintain a CCRN (Neonatal) certification, you have to complete 100 Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs. After gaining experience, neonatal R… As you gain more experience, you might be able to apply for jobs as a nurse consultant. A neonatal nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in working with newborn patients. Admission to an MSN program is based on a bachelor’s degree — RNs who hold two-year degrees must complete the BSN before applying to … These degree programs typically require extensive hours of clinical experience. Details can be found via the NCC’s Maintenance Requirements document. Approximately it takes two to three years to complete. Upon completion, you have to pass the NCLEX-RN. Consultant nurse roles are also among the highest paid nurses in the NHS. This requires a master’s degree or doctoral degree, additional clinical training, and board certification. Aspiring neonatal nurses may want to seek out a nursing school that offers clinical practicum placements within a nursery or NICU. Upon graduating with a master’s or doctoral degree, candidates must obtain licensure to work as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs). Students can choose from various BSN routes, though most students choose the traditional BSN, a two-year program that accepts students who completed two years of prerequisite courses. It can be fast-paced, stressful, and emotional, especially when working with family members. NICU nurses play perhaps one of the most important roles in our health care system in that they are there when life begins, and are often instrumental in helping high-risk newborns survive and thrive. Home and community neonatal nurses provide direct care, but their work may involve more patient parent education than the NICU nurse's work. Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., is one of the nation's top research universities. A typical neonatal nurse’s day might be spent administering medication,feeding neonates, and educating new mothers. Neonatal nurses can benefit from continuing education. For more on what a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is and what they do, check out our Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Career Guide. However, UH's size doesn't detract from the quality of its nursing program. A neonatal nurse might address complications of prematurity, acute infection, congenital defects, and surgery. A graduate program is required to achieve a higher level of responsibility as a neonatal nurse practitioner. Students who enroll in the BSN learn important nursing skills with an emphasis placed on cultural awareness and community involvement. Hospitals hiring for neonatal intensive care appointments will give priority to RNs who have obtained their BSN over those with only an ADN. The cost of this private school is steep, but BSN students would have a hard time finding a better program. Graduates end up finding excellent careers, and gaining clinical experience at Columbus' Nationwide Children's Hospital could help prepare students for a career in NICU nursing. To learn more about Neonatal and NICU nursing, take advantage of the resources provided and consider joining the following professional associations: The more advanced your degrees and/or certifications are, the more likely you are to get the position you want as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. Overall, OSU offers relatively low tuition rates for a great education, making this a good pick for anyone looking to become a neonatal nurse. For NICU nurses specifically, that demand may even be slightly greater. As they begin retiring over the next decade, new RNs will be in demand to fill those roles; in fact, there is expected to be 1.2 million vacancies between 2014 and 2022. The neonatal population is often categorized by levels of acuity and care needs within the NICU, as some neonatal patients have much greater need for treatment and oversight than others. Some nurses decide to move into management or clinical academic research. If the nursing student establishes a good rapport with an employer during clinical training, this may foster options for employment upon graduation. Annual In-State Tuition: $11,100 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $30,510. Again, it depends on the university or institution you choose. As such, the BLS projects that the employment of registered nurses should grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028. These education requirements can teach nurses about the latest developments in their field and ensure that they are eligible for renewed licensure in the future. Neonatal nurse practitioners are essentially neonatal nurses with a broader scope of practice and greater responsibility. These degrees must be earned from an accredited nursing program. NICU nurses provide comfort and education to help families get through this trying time. This allows the nurse to train in the specialty as a student. Neonatal nursing is a branch of healthcare that focuses on providing care for infants who are born prematurely or are suffering from health problems such as birth defects, infections, or heart deformities. For starters, a person will have to obtain a nursing degree from an accredited college. There are three main steps to becoming a neonatal nurse. Work experience is the main source of specialization in neonatal care, often with the aid of continuing education credits. It's also required to become licensed. In order to become a neonatal nurse, a candidate must meet the minimum educational requirements for all nurses. For example, nurses in urban areas tend to have a higher salary than rural nurses. This type of work usually takes place in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where premature or sick babies are given intensive medical care. Neonatal Nurse Practitioners have completed either a Master's or Doctorate level of education and become certified. Longer NICU stays may be due to very and extreme premature birth (less than 32 and 28 weeks of gestation, respectively), sepsis, profound birth defects, and cardiac issues. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://nann.org/professional-development/what-is-neonatal-nursing, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm, https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/being-a-neonatal-nurse/, https://ldi.upenn.edu/brief/improving-lives-fragile-newborns-what-does-nursing-have-offer, https://www.nccwebsite.org/certification-exams/details/5/neonatal-intensive-care-nursing, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/studies/nursing/articles/how-to-become-a-neonatal-nurse, https://floridasnursing.gov/nursing-faqs/mandatory-continuing-education-requirement/, https://www.nursing.pitt.edu/degree-programs/certificates/neonatal-nurse-practitioner-certificate-nnp, https://www.ameritech.edu/blog/become-registered-nurse-steps/, https://www.ncsbn.org/before-the-exam.htm. Training often takes place at the doctoral level. The CCRN Renewal Handbook breaks down CERP learning topics and activities. According to a 2013 study in JAMA Pediatrics journal, nearly one-third of infants in NICUs are understaffed. In order to become a neonatal nurse, you first have to go to nursing school. Contributing factors to the demand for neonatal nurses are advances in life-saving medical technology for neonates and the increased use of fertility treatments, which may contribute to neonatal health complications. You must be certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and/or Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. The highest paying states for NICU nurses according to ZipRecruiter are: It’s fair to say that NICU nurses–and in all areas of nursing–salary is commensurate with experience, and large cities and well-known medical institutions will pay higher salaries. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, the individual must earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a focus on neonatal nursing. Critical care neonatal nursing certification via the American Association of Critical Care Nursing. There are many considerations for prospective neonatal nurses to explore when choosing a nursing school. According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, more than 40,000 underweight or unhealthy babies are born each year (www.nann.org).Neonatal nurses attend to all of these babies' healthcare issues, including birth defects, infections and surgical issues. Regardless of where you currently find yourself on the nursing continuum, there’s a path to follow to earn the credentials you need to pursue a career as a neonatal nurse. You need to be a registered adult nurse, child nurse or midwife to apply for a job as a neonatal nurse. Making a nursing career an excellent choice. Advanced practice requires at least a master’s degree. There are many types of nursing specialties, some of which deal with a particular type of patient. However, students enrolled in the BSN will attend courses at CU Denver's nearby campus in Aurora. Of course, a higher level of education may be rewarded with a higher salary or more promotional opportunities. In order to become a neonatal nurse, a candidate must meet the minimum educational requirements for all nurses. According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), there are approximately 40,000 low-birth-weight infants born each year in the United States. Degrees for Neonatal Nurses, Steps to become Neonatal Nurse and much more. Neonatal nurses care for newborn infants. Positive rapport, patience, and interpersonal communication skills will be indispensable for neonatal nurses in a non-hospital setting. With over 40,000 infants born with low birth weight, the need for nurses who have the skills and knowledge to care for extremely vulnerable babies is getting higher year by year.. Neonatal intensive care nursing certification requires individuals to complete and pass a competency-based examination, hold RN licensure, and finish at least two years of professional experience in providing care to acutely and critically ill neonatal patients. Graduate level clinical nursing programs require both didactic and clinical experience in the candidate’s respective specialty. A private, Ivy League school located in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania might have the best all-around nursing school in the nation. You can find your state’s Nurse Practice Act via the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The small size might make the nursing school more exclusive, but Xavier's 98% of graduates find a healthcare role within six months of graduating. Annual In-State Tuition: $11,745 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $39,114. Neonatal nursing is one of the most in-demand sub-specialties of the profession. Before working in this field, it is important for any aspiring neonatal nurse to considering the precarious condition of this patient population. Perhaps best known for its research degrees, UW still boasts an excellent BSN program that sees students complete over 1,000 clinical hours at sites across the region. handling bereavements or related areas, for example breast feeding. By the end of the program, students will have earned over 850 clinical hours at excellent sites in the area, including Children's National Hospital. All registered professional nurses undergo general nursing education, the dictates of which are determined by accrediting authorities for all nursing curriculum. Most large private and public hospitals have a NICU, while smaller facilities or medical centers may not have a full department or any at all. A neonatal nurse is a Registered Nurse that works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and assesses, monitors, and cares for medically fragile newborns.In addition to caring for premature newborns, NICU nurses may care for medically complex infants up to one year of age in some facilities. Copyright © 2020 Full Beaker, Inc | 866-302-3888 | [email protected] | Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Level III: Neonatal ICU (Where most NICU nurses will work). This can either be through classes at your university or a special nursing program after you finish your degree. After that, they can enroll for an MSN degree or a DNP program with a specialty in Neonatal Nursing. Also, all NE region residents receive a discounted tuition rate, so students in the area should consider this program. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, individuals must obtain at least a master’s degree. Graduates of the program end up in a variety of positions, including neonatal nursing. Strong communication skills and a calm, empathetic demeanor are key. Thanks to advances in medicine, highly skilled NICU nurses, and other healthcare professionals, survival rates are improving. Nursing students complete the first two years of the BSN in Houston, followed by two years at the Katy instructional site. Neonatal nurse jobs can also lead to further career opportunities. Individuals can follow a few different educational pathways in order to become a newborn nurse. Known for its great location and excellent sports, the University of California Los Angeles also has some of the top academic programs in the region, including its BSN. When it comes to salary ranges for nursing, a good rule of thumb is to understand how much RNs earn, and then estimate that the compensation will be slightly higher for the specialization. There are even some Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs with a specific major in neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP). In addition to hands-on patient care, monitoring, and feeding of the babies, NICU nurses also work intimately with moms and dads, who are going through this emotional experience with their newborn. Neonatal nurses need proper licensure. The best opportunities will be in large hospitals that have a full-fledged NICU department that provides both level II and level III care. There are three levels of neonatal nurses, with the higher level nurses carrying out more difficult responsibilities. For this reason, many NICU’s offer overtime to nurses and require higher patient to nurse ratios. Some neonates may require nursing care that doesn’t warrant a hospital stay. With these opportunities in mind, prospective nurses can approach their careers with a mindset of continuous growth and expansion. As with any nursing career, the neonatal nurse experiences emergencies and must perform life-saving measures. 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