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how to prepare to be a nicu nurse

how to prepare to be a nicu nurse

The test focuses on your knowledge of four specific areas of nursing, including: Studying for and passing your NCLEX doesn’t need to be an overwhelmingly stressful experience. Every RN in the United States is required to take (and pass) the National Council Licensing Examination for registered nurses, commonly referred to as NCLEX-RN. Performing CPR and basic life support should it become necessary. Passing this exam allows graduates to apply to the State Board of Nursing for licensure as a registered nurse. For example, lists: Regardless of any sub-specializations you decide to pursue, it’s generally advised that all neonatal nurses should be certified in: Becoming a neonatal nurse is not for the faint of heart, but if you possess the knowledge, compassion and critical thinking skills to care for critically ill infants, it can be an extremely rewarding career choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth rate of 12% through the year 2028 for registered nurses. There are many different types of nurses you can become, including other options working with children, such as becoming a pediatric nurse or labor and delivery nurse. Some employers may prefer hiring graduates from a programmatically accredited program. Because of the fragile systems and round-the-clock needs your patients in the NICU will require, most neonatal nurses can expect to work 8 to 12-hour shifts. According to NANN, you may choose to focus your attention on becoming a: After gaining experience in the NICU, most neonatal nurses choose to take one or more certification exams to validate their knowledge and advance their careers. Is becoming a neonatal nurse the right career choice for you? Just let us know when you’re ready to get started. It’s no secret that the more you know, the further you can go in almost any career, but this is especially true in the field of nursing. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). Neonatal developmental care specialist who provides direct care and assists colleagues in meeting the developmental needs of sick and preterm infants. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the New Orleans Campus has initial approval by the Louisiana State Nursing Board (17373 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810; 225-755-7500). If you get hired as a neonatal nurse at larger medical center or children’s hospital, you’ll likely work in a Level III NICU where your patients require far more sophisticated care. View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals. The level of care you’ll be responsible for administering will depend on the type of facility where you’re employed. For example, if you work in a Level II NICU in a community hospital, your infant patients will likely require help with breathing, feeding or with medications. The Institute of Medicine has recommended that by 2020, 80% of all nurses should have bachelor's degrees. To the right individuals, it can also provide a satisfying and rewarding career. Clinical experience is an integral part of Herzing’s BSN programs. Becoming a neonatal nurse is an act of compassion and empathy. Neonatal nurses typically end up working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a clinic, hospital or medical center. Working with modern, lifesaving technology and performing complex procedures. Keeping infants clean, warm and comfortable. Even though you are not currently working as a NICU nurse, a resume with specific certifications and educational courses will demonstrate your initiative and interest in Neonatal Nursing. The American Association of Critical Care Nursing offers CCRN® certification for nurses who provide direct care to acutely/critically ill neonatal patients. At Herzing, an affordable, career-focused education is within your reach. Students are advised to consult with employers of preference as to the importance of this accreditation on their hiring decision. It can be stressful and emotionally challenging at times, but the comfort and care you provide will come with the reward of knowing you’re making a difference helping new people come into the world healthy and happy. Neonatal staff nurse who provides technical care for acutely ill infants or supportive care for convalescent or mildly ill newborns. To become a neonatal nurse, you’ll need to start by earning a CCNE-accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a respected institution such as Herzing University*. Psychosocial integrity and how to cope with the stresses of being a nurse, Physiological integrity and your ability to deliver proper nursing care. As your career as a neonatal nurse begins to take shape, you’ll discover it’s a specialization that can take you in a number of different directions. Regardless of where you currently find yourself on the nursing continuum, there’s a path to follow to earn the credentials you need to pursue a career as a neonatal nurse. We’ve made our admissions process as simple as possible to help you take the next step to a brighter future. * The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Herzing University Akron, Atlanta, Brookfield, Kenosha, Madison, Online, Minneapolis and Orlando are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( That means a minimum of two years (experience required can vary by employer) working at a hospital or clinic with a NICU providing care to acutely and critically ill neonatal patients and their families. Weighing and measuring infants until they are discharged to go home. A typical day will have you providing highly specialized care for premature babies and very ill newborns. Weekends and holidays will also factor into your work schedule. Enroll in an undergraduate education. As you learn from credentialed faculty with real-world hospital and patient care experience, you’ll benefit from simulation experiences that enhance learning opportunities and prepare you for clinicals as well as your future career as a neonatal nurse. It takes confidence, commitment, and advanced nursing skills. Once you become a practicing RN, you’ll need to start building relevant specialty experience to become a neonatal nurse. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the New Orleans Campus is not accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, 404-975-5000, at this time and no representation has been made as to when or if such an accreditation will be obtained. NICU nurse education requirements vary based by employer, but these nurses must be a Registered Nurse (RN). Pay varies based on many factors such as years of experience, the type of healthcare facility, your specialty in nursing and the state in which you practice. We’ll be here with the education, training and support you need to achieve a professionally satisfying, personally rewarding career. Monitoring vital signs like respiration and body temperature. That’s good to know if you’re planning on becoming a neonatal nurse, but keep in mind the BLS also reports employers may prefer candidates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), relevant work experience and certification in their chosen area of specialization, neonatal nursing included. According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), survival rates of babies born prematurely or who become ill after birth are 10 times better today than they were 15 years ago, thanks to medical advances and the efforts of the physicians, surgeons and NICU nurses who care for them. Please click through to each program for details. Nursing vs. Healthcare Administration: What's the Difference? The field of nursing overall is growing rapidly. Additionally, read books about the specialty of Neonatal Nursing. Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification is a basic requirement for neonatal nurses. In some instances, you may be required to provide home care or follow-up visits to high-risk patients. Consequently, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) licensing exam upon successful completion of the program.

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