Neonatal Nursing

Neonatal nursing is a nursing specialization that deals with the care of at-risk newborn infants. This advanced practice area requires documented nursing experience and a master's degree in neonatal nursing. Read on to learn more about the field of neonatal nursing.

Inside Neonatal Nursing

Neonatal nurses take care of premature and full-term newborns who are high-risk and have critical medical problems. These caring individuals also work with the families of these newborns as they undergo treatment. Neonatal nurses work in hospitals, women's and children's clinics and other health care facilities. They may assist in delivering and transporting patients, resuscitating newborns and teaching family members how to care for their high-risk infant. has a wealth of information about neonatal nursing and nursing in general. Here, you can learn more about training options and career details.

Education and Licensing Information

Neonatal nurses are advanced practice nurses, requiring not only a bachelor's degree in nursing and the Registered Nurse (RN) designation, but also two years as a practicing nurse before entering most graduate programs. All advanced practice positions require a master's degree.

Many universities carry the nursing master's degree program with a focus on Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. These programs include classes in subjects like the foundations of neonatal care, research methods, neonatal health assessment, pediatric pharmacology and transitions to advanced nursing practice. There's also a practical component in most programs, allowing the student to work in nurseries and other facilities. Some programs also have a thesis option.

All states require nurses to be licensed. Upon completion of a nursing program, graduates must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to begin practicing legally. Eligibility varies by state nursing board. Check the links below for more information on educational options and licensing requirements.

Career Information

A career in neonatal nursing can be stressful, but it has its benefits for those passionate about the work. The articles below from offer guidance on entering this specialty nursing field.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advanced practice registered nurses overall can expect rapid growth in job prospects, with a much faster than average growth rate of 31% expected from 2012-2022 ( Nurse practitioners, including neonatal nurse practitioners, earned a median annual salary of $89,960 as of May 2012, per the BLS.

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