Neonatal nurses are one of a newborns primary sources of care. A neonatal nurse can work in one of three levels of hospital nurseries.
Type of Nurseries
A Level I nursery is typically dedicated to healthy newborns, but because hospital stays have shortened for mother and child, they are becoming rare.
A Level II nursery is designed for infants requiring special or intermediate care. Often premature babies who need more time to mature or other infants who require supplemental oxygen or a special diet are placed in Level II nurseries.
Infants requiring the highest level of care are admitted to a Level III nursery that are typically called the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These nurseries are more often found in large hospitals or specialized childrens hospitals. Newborns may be admitted to intensive care units because they were born prematurely, underweight or sick.
Specific Job Duties
Neonatal nurses work directly with patients who may require the use of specialized equipment, such as incubators and ventilators. They must be able to calculate and administer proper dosages of medication, connect intravenous lines and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Neonatal nurses perform a number of tasks with patients, including providing treatment, performing tests, documenting patient history and running equipment. They may also be called upon to work with a patients family to comfort or educate them.
Graduate of an accredited RN program with an Associates or higher degree of Nursing
Current RN license or (compact license), in good standing with the State licensing board for the state of job assignment
Minimum of one (1) year NICU nurse experience and some facilities may require certain Trauma Level experience, Level III is always preferred
Valid and current BLS, NRP, through the American Heart Association and some facilities may require ACLS and PALS which is always preferred
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Health Statement/Physical (within current year)
2 Step TB, TSPOT, Quantiferon Gold (or documentation of 2 TB screenings within current year)
Immunization Records (MMR, HEP B, Tdap, Influenza and Varicella vaccinations or positive titers)