Upon qualifying as a registered nurse, neonatal nursing applicants can seek out positions in the NICU. The best opportunities will be in large hospitals that have a full-fledged NICU department that provides both level II and level III care. As with most certifications, there are continuing education requirements in order to maintain your status. In order to become a neonatal nurse, a candidate must meet the minimum educational requirements for all nurses. The early exposure to working with children and UCLA's location could help graduates secure an NICU position in California. A private, Ivy League school located in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania might have the best all-around nursing school in the nation. Degrees for Neonatal Nurses, Steps to become Neonatal Nurse and much more. However, in most cases, when working for a hospital or medical facility, nurses receive a generous benefits package to go along with salary. You may also be required to complete a minimum number of years of clinical experience in a hospital setting. Also, all NE region residents receive a discounted tuition rate, so students in the area should consider this program. These degree programs typically require extensive hours of clinical experience. In addition to a master’s or doctoral degree, candidates benefit from obtaining neonatal certification from the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Certification Corporation. In New York City, for example, ZipRecruiter reports an average annual salary of $111,581, which is above the national average. 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. Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh now teaches nearly 23,500 undergraduate students. The Ohio State University, a top public university located in Columbus, enrolls over 68,000 students, making it the largest school on this list. The ongoing advice and guidance of a medical professional are indispensable to families who find themselves in this situation. 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 … Despite the university's large size, OSU's BSN program is highly competitive, particularly for Ohio residents looking to secure in-state tuition. I won't go into all the options, but trust me when I recommend getting your bachelors degree. Neonatal nurses are usually in high demand due to understaffing in NICUs. This may be especially true for the neonatal nurse practitioner, who has greater responsibility and oversight of NICU patients. The salary of the Neonatal Nurse ranges from between $66,640 – $98,880 annually, depending on experience, educational degree and job location. NICU nurses provide comfort and education to help families get through this trying time. After working as nurse for a period of time, you can now apply for certification to formally become a NICU nurse. There are many considerations for prospective neonatal nurses to explore when choosing a nursing school. After becoming an RN, it is necessary for aspiring neonatal nurses to have neonatal clinical experience, as well as certifications in the field. The salary of a neonatal nurse varies based on their level of education, experience, geographic location and the level of neonatal care they provide. It does take a specialized set of skills–beyond just medical ones–to work in the NICU. The cost of this private school is steep, but BSN students would have a hard time finding a better program. If there are serious medical issues, the more experienced NICU nurses in a team might focus on just one or two cases. Xavier may have a high private school cost, but many students secure some form of financial aid. Graduate level clinical nursing programs require both didactic and clinical experience in the candidate’s respective specialty. 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. This requires a master’s degree or doctoral degree, additional clinical training, and board certification. 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. They also act as a great source of comfort and information to the parents who spend those first few days or weeks as parents in the NICU. Located in Seattle, the University of Washington is one of the best schools in the state. With these opportunities in mind, prospective nurses can approach their careers with a mindset of continuous growth and expansion. Before students can become neonatal nurses, they must first become a registered nurse. They can earn registered nurse (RN) licensure with either an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science of nursing (BSN). As mentioned above, the two major certifying organizations for NICU Nurses are the American Association of Critical Care Nursing and the National Certification Corporation (NCC). The education starts from getting the basic nursing degree that can be an associate degree which is of two years or a bachelor's degree that is … Thanks to advances in medicine, highly skilled NICU nurses, and other healthcare professionals, survival rates are improving. 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. MSN or DNP programs will make you eligible for Neonatal certifications. Like other RNs, NICU nurses work under a Scope of Practice, a set of state laws that define your rights and responsibilities as a nurse, and authorize you on how to function when providing various aspects of medical care. A neonatal nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in working with newborn patients. Annual In-State Tuition: $23,452 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $41,508. CCRN® (Neonatal) is a specialty certification for nurses who provide direct care to acutely/critically ill neonatal patients. A neonatal nurse must be a registered nurse (RN)with a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN). 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). Neonatal nurses care for premature or sick newborn babies in the NICU, or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), you will also need a Master of Science in Nursing (… To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, individuals must obtain at least a master’s degree. Neonatal nurse practitioners are essentially neonatal nurses with a broader scope of practice and greater responsibility. It’s also important to consider the level of compensation one can expect in the neonatal nursing field. With its main campus located in downtown Denver, the University of Colorado Denver is the state's only public, urban research institution. Opting for an MSN degree from an accredited institution will cost you between $37,000 to $40,000. Aspiring NICU nurses could get placed at Seattle Children's Hospital, one of the best children's hospitals in the West. Aspiring neonatal nurses may want to seek out a nursing school that offers clinical practicum placements within a nursery or NICU. However, not all neonatal nurses work in hospitals. Entry-level requirements vary by location. These degrees must be earned from an accredited nursing program. Additional certifications that all NICU nurses should pursue include: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Only ACEN or CCNE accredited schools are eligible. However, some colleges and universities offer nursing programs with an emphasis on neonatal care. 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. Opportunities for overtime, bonuses, and other financial perks will also vary by employer. 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). For more on what a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is and what they do, check out our Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Career Guide. The slowest way to become an RN or a neonatal nurse is via a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. For neonatal nurses working in the community or in patients' homes, a different set of skills may be necessary. 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. Advanced practice requires at least a master’s degree. This can be done by passing the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing exam. In other situations, new parents may seek out neonatal nursing care to guide them through the process of early parenthood, even with healthy neonates. For a more advanced scope of practice, a nurse can become a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP). With over 46,000 students, the University of Houston is one of the largest on this list. Home and community neonatal nurses provide direct care, but their work may involve more patient parent education than the NICU nurse's work. There are even some Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs with a specific major in neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP). The median neonatal nurse practitioner wage is $53.10 per hour or $98,559 for salaried workers. The second fastest way to become a registered nurse or a neonatal nurse is via an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Neonatal nurses care for newborn infants. The national average salary for a neonatal intensive care unit nurse is $1,733 per week, with a salary range between $600 per week and $3,300 per week.Neonatal nurses usually work full-time positions on varying shifts. 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. 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. This allows the nurse to train in the specialty as a student. To become a neonatal intensive care nurse, you first must be a registered nurse (RN) with either an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN). Neonatal nurses can work with these patients within the home and community. 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. Also, the university might place students in clinicals at Children's Hospital Colorado, a top-ranked children's hospital. A: Becoming a neonatal nurse like all other professions would require proper education before you can be in the practical field. handling bereavements or related areas, for example breast feeding. Complete a bachelor’s degree: For those wondering how to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, education is the first step—a bachelor’s or associate's degree in nursing the backbone to start the NNP journey. Neonatal nurses care for premature and often fragile neonates. On top of the low in-state tuition rate, students can also secure financial aid and scholarships. 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. After a period of six months of relevant experience, you’ll be encouraged to undertake professional development. For this reason, many NICU’s offer overtime to nurses and require higher patient to nurse ratios. Neonatal nurses can benefit from continuing education. 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. How Many Patients Does a NICU Nurse Work With? Neonatal nurses have the option of pursuing master's or doctoral level clinical education to expand their scope of practice as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs). Apply for certification through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). How To Become A Neonatal Nurse The duties that neonatal nurses perform range from being fairly easy to extremely complex. 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. BSN students earn over 900 hours of clinical experience through rotations and labs, and those interested in neonatal nursing could gain experience at Texas Children's Hospital. However, if you become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, your salary could reach upwards of $105,220 per year. In addition, registered nurse employment is expected to grow 15% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because neonatal nurses work primarily with some of the most vulnerable patients, they’re required to attain strict credentials. Registered nurses (RNs) with a particular interest in newborns may consider neonatal nursing as a career option. One of the most common workplaces is a NICU, which is a separate ward within a hospital. Critical care neonatal nursing certification via the American Association of Critical Care Nursing. There are three levels of neonatal nurses, with the higher level nurses carrying out more difficult responsibilities. 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. Developmental care is a potential area for career advancement. For the RNC-NIC, you must obtain hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) through accredited providers such as NANN. At a minimum, this entails earning an associate degree in nursing, although the standards of practice for nursing increasingly favor a BSN. 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. While costly, nursing students do get to earn one of the best BSN degrees in the nation. Neonatal nurse practitioners should also be well versed in th… 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. Level IV: This is the most intense level of newborn care for babies born with serious birth defects. * First, become a registered nurse. Making a nursing career an excellent choice. Pitt strives to give nursing students an all-around education, requiring courses through the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences as students also take nursing courses. BSN takes approximately four to seven years to complete. States and employers require contact hours and clinical education credits in order for nurses to stay current in the ever-evolving health sciences. Neonatal nursing is one of the most in-demand sub-specialties of the profession. What is a Neonatal Nurse? Nursing students complete the first two years of the BSN in Houston, followed by two years at the Katy instructional site. These are country-wide medians, though income for nurses is greatly dependent on state, institution and community. 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*. Nurse consultants. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for NICU RNs is $101,727. 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. A day in the life of a NICU nurse is demanding and can range from basic newborn care to monitoring seriously ill patients. To become a licensed RN, you will have to take and pass the National Council Licensure Exam or NCLEX. However, students enrolled in the BSN will attend courses at CU Denver's nearby campus in Aurora. With experience you could progress to sister or matron within neonatal nursing. Overall, OSU offers relatively low tuition rates for a great education, making this a good pick for anyone looking to become a neonatal nurse. 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. 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. Over 98% of nurses in the program graduate and UW boasts an above-average NCEX pass rate for first-time test-takers. As with any nursing career, the neonatal nurse experiences emergencies and must perform life-saving measures. A typical neonatal nurse’s day might be spent administering medication,feeding neonates, and educating new mothers. Details can be found via the NCC’s Maintenance Requirements document. They are referred to as advanced-practice nurses, and many of their responsibilities overlap with those of physicians. You must be certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and/or Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. The university also happens to be private, meaning students don't get access to discounted tuition rates. Licensed RNs with 24 months of specialty experience (2,000 hours) can sit for this exam. Anytime specialized credentials and skills are involved, it can be more challenging to keep the talent pipeline full. 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. The program uses a cohort system, so nursing students work closely with one another. In fact the survival rate is now 10 times better than it was 15 years ago. If possible, take neonatal nursing electives. Some nurses decide to move into management or clinical academic research. NICU nurses monitor the vital signs of the more seriously ill or premature infants day and night to make sure they are breathing and developing properly. After gaining experience, neonatal R… NANN: Represents the community of neonatal nurses and influences standards of practice through advocacy, education, networking, collaboration, and leadership. A valid nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Before you become a NICU nurse, you have to become a registered nurse, and gain some experience. Nursing programs prepare graduates to work as registered nurses. Their primary patients are sick and/or premature babies, or babies dealing with various forms of birth defects. 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. * Second, get a job as a nurse, hopefully in an acute care setting. In order to become a neonatal nurse, you first have to go to nursing school. Training. 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. This is a very popular area of nursing. This certification requires applicants to have a current RN license and at least 24 months of experience in the field. Here are the steps you need to take: There are a couple of different routes you can take: This list is based on a number of factors including: Our selection panel is made up of 3 Registered Nurses with years of experience and multiple degrees: There are numerous registered nursing programs and our panel of nurses ranked them based on factors mentioned in the methodology. Hospitals hiring for neonatal intensive care appointments will give priority to RNs who have obtained their BSN over those with only an ADN. 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.. It's also required to become licensed. In addition, they are on the front lines when it comes to helping scared parents through what is often a traumatic experience. Licensure involves passing the NCLEX and registering with the state in which the nurse practices. Neonatal nurse jobs can also lead to further career opportunities. Neonatal nurse practitioners can expect a higher level of pay commensurate with their higher education. Some neonates may require nursing care that doesn’t warrant a hospital stay. This program offers courses in neonatal care, pediatric pharmacology, healthcare system basics and fetus physiology. Working as a neonatal nurse can involve practicing in a variety of different settings. 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. First, an individual must graduate from nursing school with at least an associate degree. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing may give prospective nurses more employment opportunities and increased income. NICU units operate 24/7, so most nurses work 12-hour shifts, which include some nights and weekends. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, the individual must earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a focus on neonatal nursing. Generally speaking, working in a NICU is considered level three nursing care (level one is care for healthy infants, and level two is for less serious neonatal cases). The BSN allows for direct-entry, and students begin clinicals during their first year. Training often takes place at the doctoral level. Annual In-State Tuition: $14,651 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $29,921. Licensure involves passing the NCLEX and registering with the state in which the nurse practices. 3 Steps to Becoming a NICU Nurse Become an RN: In order to become a registered nurse, you have to graduate from a program of study that is approved by your State Nursing Board, either a bachelor’s degree or associate degree program. 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. For example, nurses in urban areas tend to have a higher salary than rural nurses. Usually found at children's hospitals, university hospitals, or destination centers. 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. The job outlook for nursing professionals of all types is expected to be strong. Positive rapport, patience, and interpersonal communication skills will be indispensable for neonatal nurses in a non-hospital setting. There are many types of nursing specialties, some of which deal with a particular type of patient. Roles in these facilities represent some of the most sought-after positions in the field. 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. Strong communication skills and a calm, empathetic demeanor are key. You can find your state’s Nurse Practice Act via the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The training to become a Neonatal Nurse requires you to be a Registered Nurse. This certification tells you and your employer that you have the knowledge you need to work in this specialty. This time period depends on the severity of an infant’s condition and on his or her response to treatment. If the nursing student establishes a good rapport with an employer during clinical training, this may foster options for employment upon graduation. For many NICU nurses, an affinity for this unique patient population mitigates much of the work-related stress. Annual In-State Tuition: $14,677 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $35,139. 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 These dedicated professionals care for the most fragile patients there are -- sick and premature newborns. Consultant nurse roles are also among the highest paid nurses in the NHS. 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. Work experience is the main source of specialization in neonatal care, often with the aid of continuing education credits. The second step involves passing an exam known as the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. 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. 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. For NICU nurses specifically, that demand may even be slightly greater. 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. In most facilities, neonates who return to the hospital after discharge from birth will go to a pediatric unit if care is required. 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