I want to become a nurse and really want to work with babies. I was wondering if any of you work with the babies (is it called neonatal nursing even if ur not working with ill children?), and what you do? What is your job like?
What do i need to do to become a neonatal nurse? Is there additional schooling beyond the bachelors degree, or is just the bachelors degree required?
Oh, and any other information about neonatal nursing is surely welcomed on this thread!
i know i may have forgotten some things...so please feel free to give me more information! I would really appreciate it!
You take care of babies in several specialty areas. One is, of course, the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit. Working there you would care for babies who have intense medical/surgical needs. Some are micropreemies who were delivered months before they were due and are vulnerable to all kinds of complications like brain, lung and bowel problems. Others have birth defects or other conditions that require close monitoring and various kinds of machines to keep them alive. Then there are the kiddos who are early but really only need a chance to develop well enough to breathe and eat on their own and to put on some weight. The ones in the last group are called the "feeders and growers."
You could also work a well-baby nursery or do postpartum care which includes the moms along with the babies. This is what I do, and I find it extremely rewarding. Lots of teaching. Lots of caring for the wee ones.
A well-baby nursery would allow you to focus solely on the little ones, but many hospitals use an LDRP approach where the moms labor, deliver, recover and have their postpartum stay all in the same room. The ones that I am aware of expect you to be proficient in more than one area, such as postpartum and well baby or labor & delivery and postpartum. The rare hospitals that have a specific baby nursery staff rather than postpartum or LDRP are usually quite large and often have a low turnover rate because people really like their jobs.
Finally, there is the PICU--the pediatric intensive care unit. After a newborn leaves the hospital, they generally do not go back to the NICU if they have problems. They would go to the PICU. Unfortunately, PICUs usually expect you to be able to deal with all ages, not just babies.
You might want to look into doing some job shadowing before you open or close any doors. I thought I wanted to do labor and delivery and was actually a little disappointed that I ended up in postpartum. But that was years ago, and now I have no desire to change units. I really like working with moms and babies and other family members over a couple of days. There is more time to teach and converse and assist with breastfeeding, and the families really appreciate the help.
Good luck to you as you look for the path you want to take.
Last edit by rn/writer on Dec 7, '09