Neonatal Nurse

By: Trinity Louviere

Job Description

Neonatal nurse specialists focus on the care of Newborn, infants. The may care for healthy infants, provide focused care for premature or ill newborns, or work directly with seriously ill newborns in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Educational Background

You must become certified by your State Bored of Nursing or receive a national certification from an agency such as the National Certification Corporation.


Registered Nurse $66,640.00 a year/ Neonatal Nurse Practitioner $102,670.00

Work Conditions

Neonatal nurse and neonatal nurse practitioner may work in clinics, community-based settings , hospitals, or neonatal intensive care units. You will work closely with parents, neonatologist, and other nurse specialists to achieve optimal results for your tiny patients. They may also conduct research act as consultations or provide education to staff and family members. This nursing career requires a high level of diligence and teamwork.

Career Ladder

Level 1) Care for healthy infants. The demand for this level of neonate nursing is decreasing because mothers and newborn babies are now more likely to stay in the same room together after birth.

Level 2) Nurses are much more demand because premature and sick babies need constant attention.

Level 3) Nurses have the most intensive responsibilities, working in the NICU and monitoring seriously ill or premature infants around the clock. They check ventilators and incubators, make sure babies are responding well and teach parents how to care for their infants properly.

Specialist Education

A neonatal nurse must be a registered nurse with a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree.

You must be certified in Neonatal Recitation and/or Neonatal insensitive care nursing.

You may also be required to complete a minimum number of years of clinical experience in a hospital setting.

To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, you will also need a master of Science in Nursing degree. Many neonatal nursing schools offer this degree through a two-year Advanced practice Neonatal Nursing program. This type of program will prepare you for nursing licensure as a nurse practitioner and/ or clinical nurse specialist.

Employment Outlook

As with all nursing careers, the demand for neonatal nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners is expected to increase significantly over the next ten years. In several, the more training, certifications and experience a nurse has the more demand there will be for his or her skill set.


Neonatal nurses must be skilled observers of infants behaviors and must know how illnesses affect patients and their families. Attention to detail, flexibility and quick thinking are important abilities to have while working long hours and caring for tiny infants.


Opportunities for career growth await neonatal nurses who can take additional training to earn higher positions ranging from unit manager to chief nurse. Being a neonatal nurse is demanding but you will enjoy emotional fulfillment when you see an infant new born infant get well and be healthy.


A neonatal nurse struggles with the overwhelming pressure at work giving round the clock care to critically ill infants. A neonatal nurse will have ethical issues trying to make the best decisions for their patients and their families.

Related Jobs

The types of people that work with neonatal nurses are respiratory therapists, nutritionist, and physical therapists.

Career Cluster

Neonatal nurses belong in the Health Science Career Cluster.