neonatologist v. neonatal nurse

  1. i'm planning on going to school to be a nurse but want to know about opportunities to become a nurse practitioner and neonatologist also. would you consider it an option to go to school for my PhD in neonatology with a background in nursing, not pre-med? would it be a wise choice?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   elizabells
    Quote from kaitlin1064
    i'm planning on going to school to be a nurse but want to know about opportunities to become a nurse practitioner and neonatologist also. would you consider it an option to go to school for my PhD in neonatology with a background in nursing, not pre-med? would it be a wise choice?
    Not sure about PhD, but you can get an MSN that prepares you to sit for the neonatal NP certification exam. That's the program I'm in.
  4. by   llg
    It all depends on what type of work you want to do. That's something you didn't mention in your post.

    Do you want to do nursing research on neonatal nursing? Do you want to be a physician and treat patients and supervise residents and NNP's? Do you want to treat patients as an NNP? Do you want to be a physician extender? Do you want to do staff development? Do you want to be the manager of a NICU? Do you want to teach at a nursing school?

    Each of the above is a possible career path that a neonatal nurse might pursue. The different academic degrees prepare you for the various different paths. Figure out what type of work you want to do. That will make the choice of a degree more clear.

    I got my MSN in perinatal nursing (focusing on the neonatal side) with a minor in nursing administration and then a PhD in nursing. I've spent most of my career in CNS and/or staff development roles, but have also done a little teaching. You probably won't know which role is the best fit for you until you actually spend some time working within the health care system. Many people think they will like a certain clinical specialty and/or a specific role and then change their minds as they start to actually try things out for real. Leave your options open and give yourself some time to discover what fits you best.

    Good luck,
    llg
  5. by   elkpark
    As far as I know, there's no such thing as a "PhD in neonatology." Neonatologists are MDs (although some also have PhDs in other subjects) -- they go to medical school after completing an undergrad degree and (I believe, although I may be wrong) have to do a residency in "regular" pediatrics before doing an additional residency in neonatology. Lotsa years ...

    As llg described, there is a wide spectrum of career options related to neonatal nursing, depending on what you want to do and how much effort you're willing to put into getting further education.

    I would think that the first decision is whether you want to be a physician or a nurse. If what you really want to do is practice medicine, then start working on what you need to do to position yourself to get accepted to medical school. A background in nursing will not give you any special advantage in getting into med school (as far as I know; if I'm wrong, someone please correct me), and there are additional science courses you will need to take that will not be part of a BSN curriculum.

    If what you are really interested in is nursing, there is plenty of info here about possibilities and opportunities in neonatal nursing, as well as the nuts and bolts of getting into and surviving nursing school.

    It is also true, as llg noted, that many of us (inc. me) started nursing school quite sure we knew what area of nursing we wanted to specialize in, and, by the time we graduated, had gravitated to something completely different ...

    Best wishes on your journey!
  6. by   xoshortcutieox
    I am currently a student in highschool who inspires to
    become a neonatology nurse. We are doing a career
    planning project and need to interview somebody in
    that particular field. I've been having a hard time
    trying to find a neonatology nurse to interview, but
    if you have the time I would greatly appreciate you to
    answer the questions below and reply ASAP.
    Thanks for your time!!
    Amanda

    Your job title:

    Have you been employed in other medical positions, and
    if so what were they?:

    How long have you been at your present position?:

    Are you satisfied with your career, or would you
    change to another career if you were able?:

    What were the educational requirements?:

    Are there continuing educational requirements that you
    are required to complete?

    Are you planning to continue your formal education? If
    yes, why?

    Do you supervise others? If so, how many people do you
    supervise?

    Who do you report to?

    What is the organizational structure of the people
    above you?

    Do you give direct patient care?

    Do you work wiht other people, or do you work
    independently?

    Do you ever travel?

    What are the most positive aspects of your job?

    What are the most negative aspects of your job?

    If there was one aspect you could change about your
    present position, what would that be?

    Are there opportunities for advancement?

    Do you feel you are adequately compensated for your
    job?

    Do you feel the other benefits (vacation, insurance,
    pension, etc.) are favorable?
  7. by   sunnysideup09
    Hi xoshortcutieox! I'll take a stab at answering your questions:

    1. I have only worked at a level 3 NICU.
    2. I went straight into NICU 5 yrs ago as a new grad.
    3. I have high ambitions for myself. I want to teach at the collegiate level, do research on neonates, and maybe work as a NNP.
    4. I had a 2 yr A.D.N. when I started and just completed my BSN. You can have a diploma in nursing (done if you've been in nursing a while), ADN, BSN, MSN.
    5. I have CEUs for my clinical ladder, but my state does not require CEU for licensure.
    6. I am planning to continue my education since I believe I am very good at educating others and I love to learn everyday.
    7. I am the charge nurse frequently in our unit. The charge nurse is responsible for 6-7 nurses.
    8. I report to our NICU manager.
    9. Nursing is not an independent job. I work collaboratively with other disciplines daily.
    10. My job requires me to travel by the helicopter when I am the flight nurse on duty.
    11. The most positive aspect for me is making a difference in a family's life. It is a very rewarding job.
    12. The negative aspects is the nursing shortage and poor nursing/patient ratios.
    13. I think the benefits could be better. Our health insurance is horrible. So is our tuition reimbursement ($2000/yr). Doesn't last long.


    Hope this helps.

    Christine, RNC, BSN

    Quote from xoshortcutieox
    I am currently a student in highschool who inspires to
    become a neonatology nurse. We are doing a career
    planning project and need to interview somebody in
    that particular field. I've been having a hard time
    trying to find a neonatology nurse to interview, but
    if you have the time I would greatly appreciate you to
    answer the questions below and reply ASAP.
    Thanks for your time!!
    Amanda

    Your job title:

    Have you been employed in other medical positions, and
    if so what were they?:

    How long have you been at your present position?:

    Are you satisfied with your career, or would you
    change to another career if you were able?:

    What were the educational requirements?:

    Are there continuing educational requirements that you
    are required to complete?

    Are you planning to continue your formal education? If
    yes, why?

    Do you supervise others? If so, how many people do you
    supervise?

    Who do you report to?

    What is the organizational structure of the people
    above you?

    Do you give direct patient care?

    Do you work wiht other people, or do you work
    independently?

    Do you ever travel?

    What are the most positive aspects of your job?

    What are the most negative aspects of your job?

    If there was one aspect you could change about your
    present position, what would that be?

    Are there opportunities for advancement?

    Do you feel you are adequately compensated for your
    job?

    Do you feel the other benefits (vacation, insurance,
    pension, etc.) are favorable?
  8. by   xoshortcutieox
    Quote from nicumom75
    Hi xoshortcutieox! I'll take a stab at answering your questions:

    1. I have only worked at a level 3 NICU.
    2. I went straight into NICU 5 yrs ago as a new grad.
    3. I have high ambitions for myself. I want to teach at the collegiate level, do research on neonates, and maybe work as a NNP.
    4. I had a 2 yr A.D.N. when I started and just completed my BSN. You can have a diploma in nursing (done if you've been in nursing a while), ADN, BSN, MSN.
    5. I have CEUs for my clinical ladder, but my state does not require CEU for licensure.
    6. I am planning to continue my education since I believe I am very good at educating others and I love to learn everyday.
    7. I am the charge nurse frequently in our unit. The charge nurse is responsible for 6-7 nurses.
    8. I report to our NICU manager.
    9. Nursing is not an independent job. I work collaboratively with other disciplines daily.
    10. My job requires me to travel by the helicopter when I am the flight nurse on duty.
    11. The most positive aspect for me is making a difference in a family's life. It is a very rewarding job.
    12. The negative aspects is the nursing shortage and poor nursing/patient ratios.
    13. I think the benefits could be better. Our health insurance is horrible. So is our tuition reimbursement ($2000/yr). Doesn't last long.


    Hope this helps.

    Christine, RNC, BSN
    Thanks!! it helped alot for my project =]

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