They also act as a great source of comfort and information to the parents who spend those first few days or weeks as parents in the NICU. The second fastest way to become a registered nurse or a neonatal nurse is via an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. At a minimum, this entails earning an associate degree in nursing, although the standards of practice for nursing increasingly favor a BSN. I won't go into all the options, but trust me when I recommend getting your bachelors degree. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) examination must also be passed, as well as any local steps to obtain state licensure. It is necessary to obtain an undergraduate education before becoming a neonatal registered nurse. Also, the university might place students in clinicals at Children's Hospital Colorado, a top-ranked children's hospital. This will usually involve specific training modules on different aspects of neonatal nursing. Many graduates also end up working at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a great place to earn NICU experience and one of Xavier's top clinical rotation sites. It’s also important to consider the level of compensation one can expect in the neonatal nursing field. It takes a special person to become a nurse, but that's even more true for those who go on to become Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses. Xavier may have a high private school cost, but many students secure some form of financial aid. To become a Neonatal Nurse, either an associate's degree in nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required. In addition to the option of graduate education, there are abundant resources for pursuing continuing education as an RN. To maintain a CCRN (Neonatal) certification, you have to complete 100 Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs. Overall, OSU offers relatively low tuition rates for a great education, making this a good pick for anyone looking to become a neonatal nurse. Many employers now require RNs to have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to be hired. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing may give prospective nurses more employment opportunities and increased income. Some neonatal nurses go on to become neonatal nurse practitioners, an advanced practice role. The BSN allows for direct-entry, and students begin clinicals during their first year. In most facilities, neonates who return to the hospital after discharge from birth will go to a pediatric unit if care is required. To become a licensed RN, you will have to take and pass the National Council Licensure Exam or NCLEX. handling bereavements or related areas, for example breast feeding. Neonatal nurses can work with these patients within the home and community. Because neonatal nurses work primarily with some of the most vulnerable patients, they’re required to attain strict credentials. Home and community neonatal nurses provide direct care, but their work may involve more patient parent education than the NICU nurse's work. It’s important to remember that this represents the median earnings, so depending on one’s level of experience, location, and employer, income can be higher (or lower). Aspiring NICU nurses could get placed at Seattle Children's Hospital, one of the best children's hospitals in the West. There are three paths to becoming an RN: Diploma programs offered by hospital-based schools; Associate degrees offered by community colleges; Bachelor’s degrees at a four-year colleges or universities 3. States and employers require contact hours and clinical education credits in order for nurses to stay current in the ever-evolving health sciences. It does take a specialized set of skills–beyond just medical ones–to work in the NICU. When it comes to salary ranges for nursing, a good rule of thumb is to understand how much RNs earn, and then estimate that the compensation will be slightly higher for the specialization. The neonatal population is often categorized by levels of acuity and care needs within the NICU, as some neonatal patients have much greater need for treatment and oversight than others. After passing the licensing exam for RNs, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), candidates can apply to work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), thereby entering the field of neonatal nursing. Neonatal intensive care nursing certification requires individuals to complete and pass a competency-based examination, hold RN licensure, and finish at least two years of professional experience in providing care to acutely and critically ill neonatal patients. Details can be found via the NCC’s Maintenance Requirements document. 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*. On top of the low in-state tuition rate, students can also secure financial aid and scholarships. Applicants should also look for a school that will provide them with guidance to help them pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is necessary for licensure. Approximately it takes two to three years to complete. Students enjoy clinicals at great sites, including Children's Hospital Los Angeles. A Neonatal Nurse is a Registered Nurse that works in the NICU and works under the supervision of physicians and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. As you gain more experience, you might be able to apply for jobs as a nurse consultant. Despite the university's large size, OSU's BSN program is highly competitive, particularly for Ohio residents looking to secure in-state tuition. Neonatal nurse practitioners can expect a higher level of pay commensurate with their higher education. Here are the steps you need to take: There are a couple of different routes you can take: This list is based on a number of factors including: Our selection panel is made up of 3 Registered Nurses with years of experience and multiple degrees: There are numerous registered nursing programs and our panel of nurses ranked them based on factors mentioned in the methodology. The University of Massachusetts Boston, located on the water right next to the John F. Kennedy Library and Presidential Museum, offers a prime combination of excellent location and low cost for MA residents. For all RNs, the median pay was $73,300 per year in 2019, according to BLS data, though conditions vary by area. Working as a neonatal nurse can involve practicing in a variety of different settings. Opting for an MSN degree from an accredited institution will cost you between $37,000 to $40,000. If you are seriously considering being a neonatal nurse, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. A neonatal nurse practitioner works with doctors and other nurses to provide direct care to the infants in a NICU, writing orders, creating treatment plans and overseeing outcomes, performing small procedures, and managing medication regimes. They can earn registered nurse (RN) licensure with either an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science of nursing (BSN). After gaining experience, neonatal R… Neonatal nursing is a great career path for medical professionals who want to make a difference in the lives of entire families. The second step involves passing an exam known as the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. The program uses a cohort system, so nursing students work closely with one another. NICU nurses provide comfort and education to help families get through this trying time. According to PayScale, the median neonatal registered nurse pay in the United States is $30.30 per hour or $61,352 per year for salaried employees. Strong communication skills and a calm, empathetic demeanor are key. For more on what a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is and what they do, check out our Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Career Guide. Usually found at children's hospitals, university hospitals, or destination centers. Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., is one of the nation's top research universities. Nurse consultants. Some nurses decide to move into management or clinical academic research. Work experience is the main source of specialization in neonatal care, often with the aid of continuing education credits. Advanced practice requires at least a master’s degree. First, an individual must graduate from nursing school with at least an associate degree. The Ohio State University, a top public university located in Columbus, enrolls over 68,000 students, making it the largest school on this list. A Jesuit university located in Cincinnati, Xavier University is a mid-sized school with just 4,500 undergraduate students. For this reason, many NICU’s offer overtime to nurses and require higher patient to nurse ratios. Experienced neonatal nurses can apply for positions as developmental care specialists, clinical care specialists, nurse managers, or neonatal nurse practitioners. However, some colleges and universities offer nursing programs with an emphasis on neonatal care. Registered nurses (RNs) with a particular interest in newborns may consider neonatal nursing as a career option. They also administer medications, record the newborn’s progress and recovery, change diapers, and calm babies in distress. To become a neonatal nurse, you must first be a registered nurse (RN) and/or midwife, both of which require the completion of a Bachelor of Nursing & Midwifery. It's also required to become licensed. Professors and specialists most likely will need a doctoral degree. * First, become a registered nurse. Find out more about what it takes to become a NICU nurse, and why those who choose this track, are doing society a special service. Annual In-State Tuition: $14,677 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $35,139. Annual In-State Tuition: $23,452 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $41,508. The university also happens to be private, meaning students don't get access to discounted tuition rates. The job outlook for nursing professionals of all types is expected to be strong. In order to qualify as a registered nurse (RN), candidates will have to complete an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or higher. Of course, a higher level of education may be rewarded with a higher salary or more promotional opportunities. This type of work usually takes place in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where premature or sick babies are given intensive medical care. With over 40,000 infants born with low birth weight, the need for nurses who have the skills and knowledge to care for extremely vulnerable babies is getting higher year by year.. Neonatal nurses working in a NICU may fill the role of staff nurse, nurse manager, or clinical specialist, depending on their education, experience, and interests. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, individuals must obtain at least a master’s degree. This could help students gain early NICU exposure, preparing them for their future careers. Students get clinical exposure during their first year through a skills lab, then get placed in rotations during their second year. Many programs require that you have a bachelor’s degree of some type to start NNP school, but some allow you to bridge from your associate’s degree to the graduate degree. Licensure involves passing the NCLEX and registering with the state in which the nurse practices. Neonatal nurses care for premature or sick newborn babies in the NICU, or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The CCRN Renewal Handbook breaks down CERP learning topics and activities. 4. Admission to an MSN program is based on a bachelor’s degree — RNs who hold two-year degrees must complete the BSN before applying to … Pitt strives to give nursing students an all-around education, requiring courses through the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences as students also take nursing courses. Annual In-State Tuition: $14,651 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $29,921. That is the case for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurses. While costly, nursing students do get to earn one of the best BSN degrees in the nation. Aspiring neonatal nurses can obtain this certification from national certifying bodies such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center or National Certification Corporation. Another way to advance in the career is to become a nurse practitioner by earning a master's degree. This time period depends on the severity of an infant’s condition and on his or her response to treatment. Thanks to advances in medicine, highly skilled NICU nurses, and other healthcare professionals, survival rates are improving. Located in Seattle, the University of Washington is one of the best schools in the state. NICU nurses monitor the vital signs of the more seriously ill or premature infants day and night to make sure they are breathing and developing properly. The cost of this private school is steep, but BSN students would have a hard time finding a better program. Over 98% of nurses in the program graduate and UW boasts an above-average NCEX pass rate for first-time test-takers. A day in the life of a NICU nurse is demanding and can range from basic newborn care to monitoring seriously ill patients. According to a 2013 study in JAMA Pediatrics journal, nearly one-third of infants in NICUs are understaffed. Graduates of the program end up in a variety of positions, including neonatal nursing. Step 5: Become certified by a national certification agency. BSN takes approximately four to seven years to complete. Annual In-State Tuition: $11,518 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $33,502. Prospective neonatal nurses should consider that a NICU can be a stressful work environment. A neonatal nurse might address complications of prematurity, acute infection, congenital defects, and surgery. One of the most common workplaces is a NICU, which is a separate ward within a hospital. For starters, a person will have to obtain a nursing degree from an accredited college. Anytime specialized credentials and skills are involved, it can be more challenging to keep the talent pipeline full. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), you will also need a Master of Science in Nursing (… Neonatal nurses are responsible for providing care and treatment for vulnerable babies, usually in a hospital setting. Apply for certification through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). After working as nurse for a period of time, you can now apply for certification to formally become a NICU nurse. There are three main steps to becoming a neonatal nurse. Copyright © 2020 Full Beaker, Inc | 866-302-3888 | [email protected] | Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Level III: Neonatal ICU (Where most NICU nurses will work). Neonatal nurses can benefit from continuing education. The highest paying states for NICU nurses according to ZipRecruiter are: It’s fair to say that NICU nurses–and in all areas of nursing–salary is commensurate with experience, and large cities and well-known medical institutions will pay higher salaries. CCRN® (Neonatal) is a specialty certification for nurses who provide direct care to acutely/critically ill neonatal patients. A great choice for anyone who wants to become a nurse in California, UCLA's BSN includes plenty of clinical experience and a clinically-based scholarly project at the end of students' fourth year. For NICU nurses specifically, that demand may even be slightly greater. To learn more about Neonatal and NICU nursing, take advantage of the resources provided and consider joining the following professional associations: The more advanced your degrees and/or certifications are, the more likely you are to get the position you want as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), there are approximately 40,000 low-birth-weight infants born each year in the United States. 3 Steps to Becoming a NICU Nurse Become an RN: In order to become a registered nurse, you have to graduate from a program of study that is approved by your State Nursing Board, either a bachelor’s degree or associate degree program. Training. The early exposure to working with children and UCLA's location could help graduates secure an NICU position in California. At a minimum, this entails earning an associate degree in nursing, although the standards of practice for nursing increasingly favor a BSN. The small size might make the nursing school more exclusive, but Xavier's 98% of graduates find a healthcare role within six months of graduating. These education requirements can teach nurses about the latest developments in their field and ensure that they are eligible for renewed licensure in the future. NICU units operate 24/7, so most nurses work 12-hour shifts, which include some nights and weekends. These patients need to be cared for and monitored, sometimes for weeks or months, until they are hopefully healthy and developed enough to go home. However, UH's size doesn't detract from the quality of its nursing program. In addition, registered nurse employment is expected to grow 15% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Opportunities for overtime, bonuses, and other financial perks will also vary by employer. Individuals can follow a few different educational pathways in order to become a newborn nurse. Steps to Become a Neonatal Nurse 1 Complete your undergraduate education. As mentioned above, the two major certifying organizations for NICU Nurses are the American Association of Critical Care Nursing and the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Annual In-State Tuition: $11,100 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $30,510. Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh now teaches nearly 23,500 undergraduate students. Training often takes place at the doctoral level. The education starts from getting the basic nursing degree that can be an associate degree which is of two years or a bachelor's degree that is … Neonatal nurse practitioners should also be well versed in th… While the word “neonatal” itself refers to the first few weeks of a baby’s life, neonatal nurses often care for babies long after they have surpassed that time frame, if such extended care is warranted. How To Become A Neonatal Nurse The duties that neonatal nurses perform range from being fairly easy to extremely complex. Neonatal nurses have the option of pursuing master's or doctoral level clinical education to expand their scope of practice as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs). Graduates end up finding excellent careers, and gaining clinical experience at Columbus' Nationwide Children's Hospital could help prepare students for a career in NICU nursing. Clinical sites include many of the best regional healthcare facilities, including Pitt's own UMPC Children's. Because individual nursing pathways and careers take various forms, the top 10 neonatal NICU nurse programs are ranked in no particular order. The first step to becoming a neonatal nurse is to acquire the appropriate level of education. In addition to a master’s or doctoral degree, candidates benefit from obtaining neonatal certification from the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Certification Corporation. This certification tells you and your employer that you have the knowledge you need to work in this specialty. In order to become a neonatal nurse, one must first become an RN holding either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). With its main campus located in downtown Denver, the University of Colorado Denver is the state's only public, urban research institution. Neonatal nursing is one of the most in-demand sub-specialties of the profession. This program offers courses in neonatal care, pediatric pharmacology, healthcare system basics and fetus physiology. In addition, they are on the front lines when it comes to helping scared parents through what is often a traumatic experience. This is the official examination that will grant an individual the licensure necessary to work as a registered nurse. To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, the individual must earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a focus on neonatal nursing. For the RNC-NIC, you must obtain hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) through accredited providers such as NANN. How to Become a Neonatal Nurse. Known for its great location and excellent sports, the University of California Los Angeles also has some of the top academic programs in the region, including its BSN. There are many considerations for prospective neonatal nurses to explore when choosing a nursing school. These degree programs typically require extensive hours of clinical experience. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for NICU RNs is $101,727. You need to be a registered adult nurse, child nurse or midwife to apply for a job as a neonatal nurse. Neonatal nurses can serve as experts for at-home care to follow up with any treatment plans for NICU babies after discharge. A neonatal nurse provides care for newborn babies up to 28 days after they are born. In other situations, new parents may seek out neonatal nursing care to guide them through the process of early parenthood, even with healthy neonates. 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