Becoming a neonatal nurse in UK

  1. Hey folks! :spin:

    I'm a third year adult nursing student, and more than anything else in the world I want to be a neonatal nurse. i a little bit of experience in it and just fell in love with it.

    i'm finding it really hard to find sources of help on what I should do when I qualify, seems all the courses for neonatal nurses require that you're a child nurse or that you're employed in the area already.

    anyone out there who could maybe give me some guidance or wise words? maybe theres some neonatal nurses who could tell me how they made their way into the career.

    Many thanks!!
    Jo
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   RGN1
    I think you'll need to talk to your uni - the trouble with todays nursing courses is that they narrow you down too early. When we trained we decided on speciality once we'd qualified (& had 6 months post reg experience often too).

    You would need to be child trained I think - & I don't know if it would be too late for you. It may be possible if you stay on & add in relevant modules - or qulaify then do relevant modules part time while you work, I don't know. However, one thing I'm sure of is that this is a question you need to be asking your uni sooner rather than later.
  4. by   lisamct
    Im one week into my neonatal/SCBU placement at the moment (Im a 3rd year student midwife)
    All the staff in our unit are either paediatric nurses or midwives (although ths use of midwives in SCBU is being phased out across the country) I dont think you can work in neonatal areas without having one or both of these qualifications.
    Might be worth considering converting to child branch once your qualified if it still really interests you, a lot of uni's do provide branch-to-branch conversion courses although they're not widely advertised so its worth asking.
  5. by   Sun*shine
    thanks guys - thats some good advice. i'm thrid year at the moment and since my university doesn't offer the child degree its not an option for me to swap branches. which is a shame because I'd have certainly done it sooner if it was.

    I've heard that some wards do employ adult nurses..but i'm not confident that anyone would want to employ little old me as an adult nurse who has just stepped out of uni, when there are experiened child nurses and midwives out there.

    I like the idea of maybe being able to stay on and add relevant modules, I'm certainly going to ask my university about that. Otherwise I could look into a way to convert my qualification to a child one. I'll literally do anything to become a neonatal nurse!!

  6. by   munkypants
    hiya,
    im a neonatal nurse, and dont know if its the same down south, but in scotland part of the reason neonates can afford to be so choosy in those they employ is cos there is very little staff movement. usually once ur in, u stay. midwives are being phased out, so i would advise that u do an 18 month (usually this is the time frame) conversion to paeds.
    you then have to show a real interest in neonates, request placements in ur local unit, through the hospitals themselves if the uni u pick allows this. that way u stand more of a chance in getting a job when u finish, enthusiasm is the key!
    my unit does employ general nurses, but usually only after several years adult icu experience, and we only have two of these nurses out of a staff of about 60.......
    i also did another course when i started work, additional neonatal modules on top of my degree, which enabled me to work in intensive, as opposed to only with the feeders and growers.....
    anyhow, hope this was helpful and best of luck!

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