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Schooling to become a Neo natal nurse?


hello, i am junior in high school and last year i decided i want to go to school to become a neo natal nurse. what education do you need to become one? do you have to have a certain amount of experience at a hospital before working with babies? is there any specific class you must take? i have done allot of research but i am still unsure about some things. any information you could give me would be appreciated. thanks :)

NeoNurseTX, RN

Specializes in NICU Level III.

Go to nursing school where you get a general nursing background, take the NCLEX exam (which makes you a RN), then (or before nursing school graduation) look into internships in a NICU. There is no special class for NICU nursing and no hospital experience is required to even go to nursing school. I'd never even changed a diaper before nursing school!

In addition to what NeoNurseTX said, I would just add that some NICUs will hire new graduates without other nursing experience, some won't -- that just depends on the individual hospital. Once you are licensed as an RN, it is your choice whether you take another nursing position, get some general nursing experience, and work toward getting an NICU position, or decide to "hold out" for only an NICU position. If you are willing to relocate anywhere you can get an NICU job, that may be a workable option for you -- if you are committed to a particular geographic area/location, you may have some hard choices to make (or, in an area where the hospitals don't hire new graduates into specialty areas like NICU, that may not be an option at all).

In general, the more committed or locked into one particular specialty you are, the more trouble you may have finding jobs (compared to someone who is willing to consider a wider range of options).

Also, many, many of us have had the experience of starting nursing school sure that we knew we wanted to specialize in a particular clinical specialty only to change our minds several times during school, as we rotated through experiences in lots of different clinical areas, and find, by the time we graduated, that we were most interested in some entirely different area/specialty. I encourage you to "keep an open mind" in nursing school. Most people aren't even aware of the v. wide range of careers paths and possibilities available in nursing until they've actually been in the field for a while. There may be something else "out there" that would interest you much more that you haven't even heard of yet. :)

Best wishes!