Jump to content

Neonatal Nurse Questionnaire!!

NICU   (229 Views 5 Comments)
by Uzma Uzma (New Member) New Member Student

42 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Neonatal Nurse Questionaire--help me out!

I'm a junior in high school taking a Health Careers course under Pamela Crowhurst (LVN) and CTE instructor, I need to interview a Neonatal Nurse for my job exploration report. I have a short list of questions and it would help a great deal if you would answer them, I would be very grateful!

What do you think the top 3 qualities that a Neonatal Nurse must have?

What do you enjoy the most about being a Neonatal Nurse?

The least?

What is the typical salary of a Neonatal Nurse?

What hours/shift do you work?

What are your daily responsibilities and duties?

Why did you choose Neonatal Nursing?

What advice would you give to someone considering this nursing career?

Any other information on Neonatal Nursing is welcome. If you do answer these questions, please email me: umundozai@gmail.com or post it here. Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Olivia. is a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

8 Posts; 513 Profile Views

What do you think the top 3 qualities that a Neonatal Nurse must have? Patience, intelligence, and compassion for tiny humans

What do you enjoy the most about being a Neonatal Nurse? Seeing humans so close to God’s creation—before the world has affected them. Their innocence. Being a nicu nurse has made me grow in so many ways such as my patience, selflessness, and acceptance.

The least? Difficult assignments—and maintaining compassion and critical thinking even when it’s tough and you are tired and frustrated and have a baby’s screaming in your face while eating, while your other baby next door is literally fighting for their life.

What is the typical salary of a Neonatal Nurse? I make $28.80/hr and I’ve been a nicu nurse for almost 2 yrs

What hours/shift do you work? Three 12 hr shifts per week. I am 70% nights and 30% days so I rotate every few weeks.

 What are your daily responsibilities and duties? The life of the baby and their scared parents. Closely monitoring a baby on echo clinging to their lives; patiently holding an agitated baby’s endotracheal tube with one hand, and their hand with your other hand, while you wait for their versed bolus to kick in. Feeding a baby who has never eaten ever and gently guiding them to suck the bottle and not just play around. Seeing your primary grow from a sickly 0.6kg preemie, to a robust and healthy infant.

Why did you choose Neonatal Nursing? For the challenge of the ICU environment; and for the personal enjoyment of babies and their cuteness

What advice would you give to someone considering this nursing career? Study’s and pray to see if this path is right for you. It’s a beautiful, cool job...but it’s also exhausting some days and will test you. Good luck :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TiffyRN has 26 years experience as a ADN, BSN, PhD and specializes in NICU.

2,267 Posts; 15,838 Profile Views

What do you think the top 3 qualities that a Neonatal Nurse must have?

1. Flexibility: Your patient assignment could vary from extremely fragile infants who cannot breathe or maintain an adequate blood pressure to an infant who is all but ready to go home and the focus is on strengthening parents' skills to prepare for discharge home. 

2. Meticulousness: Especially with infection control as these infants' immune systems are virtually non-existent. Also, drug dosages are tiny, and there is no room for even the tiniest variations. Some IV dosages of the smaller infants are given as 0.01ml increments. 

3. Strong interpersonal skills: Some might think that since one's patients are babies, they don't need much more interaction except for gentleness and occasional cuddling. The thing is, virtually every infant comes with parents that often come with complex psycho-social needs. Even the most stable adults can be emotionally devastated with a NICU admission of their infant. Also, many NICU infants are premature or sick due to pre-existing conditions from their mothers, and some of those conditions involve social risks (substance abuse). 

What do you enjoy the most about being a Neonatal Nurse?

We do have sad outcomes but by and large, most infants do well. It is wonderful to see so many infants come from difficult beginnings get better and manage to go home with few long-term consequences. 

The least?

As implied above, not all outcomes are good. It is very sad to see an infant who you know will have a difficult future, either due to their physical condition, or due to their family situation. And of course, it is very difficult when the infants don't survive their hospitalization. 

What is the typical salary of a Neonatal Nurse?

In general, Neonatal nurses are paid the same as any other nurse in the hospital though in some hospitals, there is small premium given to all ICU nurses. In my area the range for RNs is roughly 25-50/hr. There are generally additional premiums for nurses who work night shifts or weekends, or if the nurse obtains their specialty certification. 

What hours/shift do you work?

I work weekends only on night shift, so I'm maxing out all the premiums. I'm currently part time (24hrs/week) as I've been finishing up my degree but I anticipate increasing my hours to full time, so 36 to 40 hours. 

What are your daily responsibilities and duties?

I tend to care for more stable infants so my main responsibilities are getting vitals, basic assessments (including checking feeding tubes or any wounds), and feeding the infant. This repeats every 3 hours all shift. There can be a lot more, such as blood work, giving medications, teaching parents, giving baths, or reporting abnormal findings to the doctors. Documenting all we do takes a substantial amount of time. I know you may have heard this but it really is substantial. My initial charting (usually the most time consuming) usually takes about an hour to complete on three patients. 

Why did you choose Neonatal Nursing?

I had been an adult nurse for about 9 years and I had the chance to visit a NICU and see what the nurses did. It was very appealing. I will say I had an unrealistic understanding of how much nurses interact with parents but I have learned to really love spending a lot of time working with parents. 

What advice would you give to someone considering this nursing career?

First of all, understand you will not go to a special school to prepare you to be a NICU nurse specifically. You will receive a general nursing education. If you are lucky, you might get a few visits to the NICU in your pediatric or OB semester. Be prepared to persist so that as when you graduate from nursing school you can then pursue working in the NICU. Also, depending on the area of the country you work in, a lot of NICUs are giving strong preference to nurses who have their BSN. This is more true in urban areas versus rural areas, but then most higher acuity NICUs are in urban areas. Therefore, if you want to work in a NICU that provides care to the sickest infants (level 3 or 4), you probably need to pursue a BSN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

1 Follower; 3,433 Posts; 31,640 Profile Views

What do you think the top 3 qualities that a Neonatal Nurse must have?

  1. You must care for your patients as if they are your own children. Parents are scared to leave their sick, fragile child in the hands of someone else. They can sleep easier knowing that the nurse caring for their baby cares about their baby as much as they do.
  2. Be able to detect small subtle changes in look or behavior. Babies can't tell you what is wrong, you need to use your critical thinking skills to catch the beginning of issues before they become life threatening.
  3. A minor case of OCD- Making sure that family that visits are not sick, disinfecting every surface of the room at the beginning of the shift, making sure you use proper technique when giving IV meds.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Neonatal Nurse?

Watching a 600g micro-preemie grow and 4 months later be able to carry the baby out of the hospital and lock their car seat into the car for the ride home.

Being respected by the medical staff. I had a parent say to the Neonatologist "Here comes the Boss Lady". Without hesitation the Neonatologist responded, pointing to the nurses "No, they are the bosses". That sets the tone in the parent's mind that the nurses are an important part of their baby's progress.

The least?

Having a mother that used drugs throughout the pregnancy and didn't care about how those drugs were effecting her baby. Once the baby is delivered and in the NICU, she is now Mother of the Year and makes demands about the care of her baby in the hope that she will be seen as a good mother to CPS and wont lose custody of her baby.

What is the typical salary of a Neonatal Nurse?

Same pay scale as any other nurse in the hospital

What hours/shift do you work? Sat/Sun/Mon. I am in a Weekends Only position. I am required to work 47/52 weekends (Sat/Sun) and the hospital pays me a premium per hour in addition to my base pay rate for my Saturday and Sunday shifts.

What are your daily responsibilities and duties?

Assessments every 3-4 hours, changing diapers, feeding, drawing blood for labs, administering medications, taking patients to Radiology for tests, assisting doctors with bedside procedures, educating parents, monitoring vitals for changes in condition.

Why did you choose Neonatal Nursing?

Babies are true innocents, they have done nothing to cause them to be in the NICU. I would rather change a 2 pound baby's butt than a 300 pound adult butt. Babies are tough, resilient humans that are highly tolerant of the procedures we do to them, adults are not.

What advice would you give to someone considering this nursing career?

This is not a babysitting job, we aren't holding, playing with and feeding healthy newborns all day. You may have a three patient assignment that includes a baby that is healthy enough to go home or you may have a one to one assignment that the baby is so sick that you are constantly monitoring the baby for changes in condition. 

Nursing school only teaches about healthy newborns and very little about congenital, genetic, or premature babies. All of your knowledge is gained on the job, so you need to be a quick learner.

Realize that Neonatal nursing is constantly changing and improving. There have been drastic improvements in NICU over the last 40-50 yrs and we can't imagine what the future will bring and it may include this:  https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/25/15421734/artificial-womb-fetus-biobag-uterus-lamb-sheep-birth-premie-preterm-infant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

2 Posts; 42 Profile Views

Those of you who have replied to my previous post, please email me: umundozai@gmail.com, I need to gather contact info. so my teacher, Pamela Crowhurst (LVN) can contact you and confirm that you've replied to my questionnaire. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×