Tasha hope this helps:
What do you think the top 3 traits a neonatal nurse must have to excel?
1.Organization/Time Management Skills/Prioritizing
2.Assessment Skills pertaining to neonates/premies with great attention to the smallest details R/T the patient and equipment(better w experience)
3. Compassion and desire to be working in the area = better care, and better teaching and support for parents.
What do you enjoy most about being a neonatal nurse?
Patient care, seeing the tiniest of babies or the babies with the most complications go home healthy, and knowing you did your part to make that happen. As far as the nursing aspect of it, it is one of the areas that gives the RN a lot of autonomy in care.
Honestly, what I like the least about it is what most RNs probably like least about their jobs - being understaffed often or having to prioritize care instead of doing everything you would like to do for your patient.
What is the typical salary of neonatal nurses?
Can't answer that for everyone. I was a new grad coming in, in NYC, and started approx $37/hr.
What hours do you work?
Night shift 7:30pm - 8am (Day shift works 7:30 am - 8pm), 13 shifts a month (3 days a week x3, and 4 days a week x1 in a monthly schedule)
What are your daily responsibilities and duties?
Basically, entire care for patients. In the stepdown area, you could have up to 4 (sometimes 5 if short staffed) growing-feeding infants which basically you need to feed and change and do vitals on every three hours along with giving any meds, phototherapy, IVs, possibly Nasal Cannula. It is a lot of work because by the time you finish the 9 oclock feeding on all the babies (if you have no help) it is time to start with the first one again. In the critical area, amt of patients depends on acuity ranges from 1 to 1 or up to 3. Managing IVs, medications, drawing/interpreting labs, blood transfusions, TPN/Lipids, central lines, OGT/NGT/PO feeding (continuous or intermittent), VS every hour usually, Respiratory management along with RRT - cpap, bipap, IMV, Vents, Nasal cannula, Ossilators, Nitric Oxide administration, suctioning, CPT, etc. Pre-op, post -op care and development care as appropriate. The list can go on and on.
Why did you choose nursing as a career?
Nursing really chose me. I went to school and got a BA in Human relations, going into social work, which I never found my real niche in. I took a job in the social service dept at a hospital and was exposed to nursing as a career option truly for the first time. I was encouraged by the RNs to go back to school for nursing, and I explored the possibility. At the same time the guy I was dating was the son of a nurse, there was no escaping the possibility. I saw what the nurses did and truly thought that they were everyday heroes and thought I could do what they did, and so I went back to school. I always wanted to help people, never wanted to settle for a mundane career. Plus the opportunity and flexibility of the field made it even more appealing.
What advice would you give someone considering this nursing job as a career?
If you are the type of person who dedicates themselves 100% to their work and love to be challenged and rewarded (in other ways then monetary) then Just do it. Nursing school will not be an easy road, especially with many other responsibilites, but the day you graduate and the day you find out you passed the NCLEX and are finally an RN will be something you will never forget, you will be so proud of yourself and so will everyone else. The work is hard and frustrating at times but there will always be something that makes it worth it. The salary, opportunity and flexibility of nursing is truly remarkable and there are not many other fields that offer all of that.