A career in nursing is an attractive option for anyone who gets satisfaction from helping others. One interesting sub-specialty of the field that is a great choice for those who like working with babies is called neonatal nursing. This article takes a closer look at this intriguing career option for individuals looking to enter the nursing profession.
What It Is
Neonatal nursing involves working with babies during the earliest stages of their lives. You will often be working with infants who need some sort of special attention in a hospital setting.
The specialty has three different levels depending on the care that an infant requires. Level I is for babies who are healthy and simply need standard care during the first days of their lives. Level II is for infants who have some sort of medical condition or illness. For example, at this level you might be caring for infants who were born prematurely and need extra time to mature before they are released from the hospital. Level III is for newborns suffering from serious conditions that requires them to be treated in an intensive care unit setting.
To become a neonatal nurse you must first need a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree from an accredited nursing program. After this degree is obtained, you will need to pass an examination in order to be licensed to practice nursing in your state. Once you have your license in hand, you can apply for to graduate program in neonatal nursing. Another path is to work in a clinical neonatal setting after you have been licensed. The specific requirements in this case will depend on your employer. You can also seek to be certified in the specialty once you have worked in a clinical neonatal setting for a certain period of time.
What You Will Do
The typical neonatal nurse will have a wide range of duties during their shifts. For example, you will generally be responsible for one to four infants, each of whom will have their own unique needs. You might have to draw blood, change diapers, provide intravenous therapy and administer oxygen, depending each baby's condition. As you gain experience and obtain more advanced skills, you might be asked to assist in surgeries or deliveries.
Neonatal nursing is a rewarding choice for those looking to enter the healthcare field. It will provide a sense of emotional satisfaction that few other careers can offer. Contact a location like Kidz Medical Services for additional information on this career field.