Newborns demand specialized nursing care that ranges from basic monitoring to life support, depending upon their health at birth. Neonatal Nurses work to provide this care usually during the first month following an infant’s birth.
Three distinct levels of care are indicated for newborns:
What type of nursing degree and education do you need to work with neonates?
An RN license is preferred and depending upon the hospital you could be required to have an Associates degree, Bachelors Degree and/or some experience in clinical nursing to work in a neonate area.
Expect entry-level RN jobs in neonatal care to be few. As you might imagine these ultra-specialized units demand RNs with advanced practice experience.
Despite the fact that undergraduate nursing students learn the skills to assess and provide basic nursing care to patients at nearly any point along the lifespan, most require significantly extra training to provide the kind of care necessary to adequately neonates.
The few degree programs open to nurses exist at the graduate level:
Besides these official degree requirements you can expect to be required to maintain a number of certifications in neonatal life support and care, such as Neonatal Resuscitation Certification.
Graduate level nursing degrees first require RNs to complete core MSN curriculum before progressing onto any area of specialization. Neonatal curriculum could include:
The National Association of Neonatal Nurses and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses are two popular professional organizations providing support and recognition to Neonatal RNs at all levels of practice.