Neonatal Nurses: We save angels.
The term “newborn” is specific to the first 28 days of life, while a neonatal nurse is someone who specialize with their care management and treatment plan.
Parents and families long pray for these angels to come out healthy, who aren’t? But every infant weren’t born well and good – some are inflicted with challenges. As a result, the need for Neonatal Nursing have emerged.
Neonatal Nurses are classified according to the neonate’s condition. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued 3 levels of neonatal care. Perhaps, this is disseminated in order to develop a standardized service.
The levels of care indicate the availability of appropriate equipment, technology and healthcare personnel. These resources are necessary to properly manage varying neonate’s condition.
Levels of Care Facility
- Level I usually caters to a healthy, low-risk newborn, in need of only basic interventions.
- Level II is a specialty care facility where the baby may be stable or moderately-ill. They may be born premature or in need of treatment for a minor illness, oxygen therapy or specialized feedings.
- Level III/IV facility is an intensive care facility that provide more specialized medical care. Further, these infants necessitates advanced equipment such as incubators, life-support andd ventilators, or even surgery.
Watch how Neonatal Nurses take care of ill infants at Texas Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Neonatal nurses carry-out complex functions. Chiefly, their general obligation is to take care of infants needing various care levels, from well to severely-ill.
Further, neonatal nurses care and emphatize with the neonates’ parents and significant others as well.
A handful of a neonatal nurse’s responsibilities include:
- comprehensive assessment and taking of vital signs
- keep records of interventions and observations
- maintain comfort and safety
- collaborate with other members of the care team
- build rapport with parents and families
- provide nourishment through specialized feedings
- administer medications and intravenous therapy
- ensure functionality of equipment and other specialized machines
- refer as appropriate
REQUIREMENTS: EDUCATION, LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION
To enumerate, the first step to becoming neonatal nurse starts with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
Further, one should pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to acquire a professional license.
It is especially relevant that an RN should obtain qualified work experience. Aspiring neonatal nurses should be certified as a Registered Nurse, Certified in Neonatal Intensive Care (RNC-NIC). Correspondingly, an examination and a minimum of 2,000 hours of relevant experience is needed to be able to apply for a certification.
Finally, any RN should consider advancing their career by obtaining a post-graduate recognition of achievement. These include trainings, certifications or a Master’s and Doctorate degree.
SALARY AND CAREER OUTLOOK
According to the PayScale Human Capital, neonatal nurses earn a median annual salary of $59,991.
Yet, the lowest 10% earns as low as $47,603 while the highest 10% for up to $95,840. It is most noteworthy that neonatal nurses with more advanced education are included in the group of highest earners.
On the other hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the job demand for neonatal nurses will increase. The growth can go as high as 15% from year 2016 to 2026.
It seems that the field grows a lot faster than any other occupation.
Neonatal nurses work in different levels of neonatal care facility as described. In particular, these facilities may be in a hospital, care centres or pediatric units.
Significantly, the nursing field starts on investing to ambulatory intensive care units where they bring the ICU to the in-need neonate.