Future outlook for neonatal nursing

  1. Hi, I'm a high school student and I'm really interested in becoming a neonatal nurse. For english, I have to do a paper on this job. I need information on what is hoped to happen in the future for neonatology, how much education is required for this job, and what are some benfits of this job. I really need answers, so if you have any suggestions or know any answers, please email me. Thanks a lot!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Dream2BAneoNurs
    From me to you...im in high school right now too...My all time dream is to be a neonatologist and you have to have 14 years of school (or more)...
    High school...4 years
    College degree...usually 4 years
    Medical school...4 years
    Pediatric internship and residency...3 years
    Neonatology fellowship...3 years

    So i got along way to go and things will get even better with the NICU by then! Maybe they'll find more cures for more things and have even better medical machines than we do now!! But if its helpfull at all...i got most of my info from www.Neonatology.org Its a really good site! Has alot of good info! And good resources!!

    But anyways..well im glad im not the only one that cares about our kids these days!! Good choice!! Talk to you later..you can email me anytime at imalitlprinces4u@aol.com, i could probly anwser alot of questions you have!

    Love Always,
    Heidi
  4. by   llg
    I am a little curious, dream2beAneonurse, your name suggests that you want to be a nurse. However, you seem to really want to be a neonatologist (physician) by the career path you are looking at.

    Which do you really want? Do you want to be a nurse or physician? They are very different.

    llg
  5. by   Gompers
    Cheryl - let me try and answer some of your questions.

    For schooling, you need to go to either a 2 or 4 year college to get your nursing degree, and then pass the state boards. This is to get a general nursing degree, and there is very little coverage of neonatology during this time. At the end of your nursing program, you might get the chance to choose a specialty to spend time in, like a short internship. If this is possible, jump on it so that you get some NICU experience before graduation. Otherwise, many NICUs hire new grads, and you get all your necessary education during orientation. It's not necessary to spend a year or two doing general adult or pediatric nursing because NICU is a different kind of medicine, but some people find it helpful to work in a normal newborn nursery first.

    The future of neonatology is wide open. Over the past 10 years, the age of viability has dropped down to 23 weeks gestation, and 400 grams in weight. Because of this, there have been increased complications related to such extreme prematurity, so much research is being done right now to develop new treatments. Between the age of viability being lowered and popular infertility treatments producing more multiple births, this field will continue to thrive. Much research is also being done into new treatment options for full-term babies that are critically ill, from either surgical, infectious, cardiac, or respiratory conditions. It's very exciting, the kinds of things they're coming up with to help these babies survive!

    The benefits of nursing are many, and the biggest thing is that right now there is a shortage. You will always be able to find work as a nurse, wherever you go. There are so many different types of nursing, and so many kinds of jobs, that you will never be bored. Even if you stay in the same place forever, it is quite possible to learn something new everyday. Other benefits include very flexible scheduling - you can work full or part time, any time of the day. It really helps with things like child-care. And of course hospitals offer lots of sick and vacation time, and some are even paying off student loans for new grads.

    Overall, I have to say that NICU nurses seem to have a higher job satisfaction than other types of nurses. We might not like hospital politics, but usually our actual jobs are reasonable. We typically still have safe nurse to patient ratios, and from what I've seen, most units are very teamwork oriented. Many NICUs have very low nurse turnover rates, so you'd be working with very experienced coworkers who have seen neonatology grow and change over the years. And working with babies and their families has its own benefits. It's an amazing feeling.


    Dream2BAneoNurs - yes, there is a HUGE difference between being a NICU nurse and a neonatologist, or even a neonatal nurse practitioner. Basically, if you're a doctor or NNP, your job is to plan babies' medical treatment and make decisions about their futures, do procedures, attend deliveries, consult with other specialists, cover the entire unit population, etc. If you're a NICU nurse, you are actually the one at the bedside working with the babies and their families. You are the one doing all the hands-on caring for the babies. It goes way beyond giving medications and doing procedures - you are the one responsible for the well-being of these kids. It's an amazing responsibility. Overall, if you want to be the one in charge, making decisions, "curing" babies, doing major procedures, giving orders...that's a doc or NNP. But if you want to be the one actually spending time with the babies and their families, caring for them physically and emotionally - that's a nurse.
    Last edit by Gompers on Feb 4, '04
  6. by   prmenrs
    Great reply, Gompers! Thank you!
  7. by   Dream2BAneoNurs
    :d i originally wanted to be a neonatal nurse, but lately ive been looking into the different positions in neonatology, and i havent made up my mind yet but im most likely going to stick with being the nurse! i'd like to spend more time with the babies! it kinda seems a bit to much for me to be the big doc! thanks for the info though! its great that we can talk to you guys about this stuff, its nice to have you around when we have questions! i look forward to having this site around while im in school!! thanks!


    love always, heidi
  8. by   christina18
    hi to the great nurses of the NICU! I recently did my senior project and intershiped at the hospital near me and I learned that I was sure I wanted to be an NICU nurse. I'm having some trouble with knowing the best school to go to! Would anyone have any suggestions? I was wondering if anyone knew if Ivy tech was a good school to go to. Is there any online course for an LPN anyone could give me because I'm wanting to get an LPN job before I jump into the nursery and I have heard that you can be an LPN nurse and work in the NICU is it true?
    Thanks so much to the heros of the little people
    christina
  9. by   NICUbabyRN
    Quote from christina18
    and I have heard that you can be an LPN nurse and work in the NICU is it true?
    I think it depends on the hospital in which you work in and the state. In the hospital I workin the answer is no. Only an RN can do assessments and there are constant assessments that need to be made with a NICU baby.

    The LPN programs around me run about 13 months. An ADN in 24 months. Food for thought.
  10. by   BabiNuRsE
    hello everyone.i have a few questions..i am recently going to be homeschooled, after i graduate, i would like to work with the healthy babies in the newborn nursery,in a hospital.i live in new york. i believe a nicu nurse works with the sick premature babies. but whats the name of the nurse that works with the healthy babies in the nursery, are they called the same(nicu)?? i also would like to know the process of becoming a nursery nurse, from highschool,college etc...if anyone could give me information on this,i would apprieciate it very much.
    -thank you all in advance
  11. by   prmenrs
    Most hospitals keep healthy babies with their mothers, not in a central nursery.

    In any event, you will need to go a nursing school (ADN or BSN) to work as a nurse in either NICU or post-partum, which is where mothers and babies stay after delivery.
  12. by   Bitneyco
    Im doing a report for health science and i need to know about neonatal nursing, im in highschool so i trying to get what i need to know pretty quick so if you have anything you can tell me about neonatal nursing id be happy to listen so please email me asap
  13. by   UTVOL3
    Quote from Gompers
    If you're a NICU nurse, you are actually the one at the bedside working with the babies and their families. You are the one doing all the hands-on caring for the babies. It goes way beyond giving medications and doing procedures - you are the one responsible for the well-being of these kids. It's an amazing responsibility. Overall, if you want to be the one in charge, making decisions, "curing" babies, doing major procedures, giving orders...that's a doc or NNP. But if you want to be the one actually spending time with the babies and their families, caring for them physically and emotionally - that's a nurse.
    Well said!
  14. by   UTVOL3
    Quote from christina18
    hi to the great nurses of the NICU! I recently did my senior project and intershiped at the hospital near me and I learned that I was sure I wanted to be an NICU nurse. I'm having some trouble with knowing the best school to go to! Would anyone have any suggestions? I was wondering if anyone knew if Ivy tech was a good school to go to. Is there any online course for an LPN anyone could give me because I'm wanting to get an LPN job before I jump into the nursery and I have heard that you can be an LPN nurse and work in the NICU is it true?
    Thanks so much to the heros of the little people
    christina
    At the last hospital I worked (TN) we had a few LPNs. They were responsible for their own patient assignment but an RN had to do the assessment once per shift, and review the plan of care. There were also certain patients they were not allowed to take and certain things they couldn't do with IVs. Complicated, but it usually worked out.

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