5 Things to know about a Neonatal Care Nurse

1. Neonatal nursing is the provision of nursing care for newborn babies up to 28 days after birth. There are four different levels of neonatal nursing. Level I ensures care for healthy newborns. They typically share a room with their mother. Level II provides special care to premature or ailing newborn babies. Nursing staff provides the special therapy if needed.

Level III is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where newborns are provided with breathing and feeding tubes 90% of the NICU staff are nurses. Level IV treats most critical and complex newborns with the help of neonatolists and surgeons.

2. Neonatal Nurses can work either within the community or in specialist neonatal units. Specializations for this field may vary in three levels–Level I, Level II, and Level III. Level IV is mostly for highly skilled medical professionals such as neonatolists and surgeons.

3. Neonatal Nurses take care of premature babies having specific health concerns such as cardiovascular and respiratory problems. As these are life-threatening for an infant, their responsibilities increase manifold.

4. Another key function of a Neonatal Nurse is to console the parents in times of stress and anxiety. They encourage parents and family members during the critical care and motivate them to gain strength and take care of the infants.

5. The Neonatal Nurses are trained professionals. They go through three paths before becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) – Diploma programs, Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree. In addition, they get a license, as all states in the U.S. require all RNs to be licensed. In most cases, they are required to gain experience working with children or infants prior to being hired. Certification is another optional step, but most nurses undertake this to boost their career and profile.

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