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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Jobs

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

A neonatal intensive care unit, also known as an intensive care nursery, specializes in the care of ill or premature newborn infants. Neonatal refers to the first 28 days of life. The neonatal intensive care unit has advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals to give special care for the tiniest patients.

It takes a special person to become a NICU nurse. These dedicated professionals provide care for the most fragile patients there are: sick and premature newborns. In addition, they are on the front lines when it comes to helping scared parents through what is often a traumatic experience.

The intensive care unit is a 24-hour facility, so most nurses work 12-hour shifts, which often includes some nights and weekends. Large private and public hospitals have NICUs, while smaller facilities or medical centers may not have a full department or any at all.

Due to the unique needs of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients, neonatal nurses sometimes have more downtime than do typical bedside nurses. However, because sleep and rest are so important to growth in a newborn population, NICU nurses provide hands-on care to patients every few hours and monitor in between.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is being a NICU nurse hard?
Yes, it can be hard work. NICU nurses are responsible for the care of premature and critically ill newborns. They must be able to handle frequent medical procedures, monitor patients' vital signs, and manage complex medical equipment. They must also be able to provide emotional support to parents whose babies are in danger.

NICU nurses must have a high level of education and training, and they must be able to work under pressure. The job can be physically and emotionally demanding, but it is also very rewarding. NICU nurses make a real difference in the lives of their patients and their families.

How many years does it take to become a neonatal intensive care nurse?
There are many different pathways to becoming a neonatal intensive care nurse. Some people may choose to get their associate's degree in nursing and then specialty certification in neonatal critical care. Others may choose a bachelor's degree in nursing with a focus on neonatology, or even get their master's degree in nursing with a focus on neonatal critical care.

No matter what route you choose, it will likely take about three years of full-time study to become a certified nurse practitioner in the field of neonatology. Of course, this timeline can vary depending on your individual situation and level of experience. But, overall, it typically takes about three years.

How much do neonatal nurses make?
Neonatal Intensive care Unit nurses make a median salary of $70,000 per year. However, depending on the level of experience and education, salaries can range from $50,000 to $90,000. There are also opportunities for overtime pay and shift differentials.

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