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Life as a neonatal nurse

For new parents, having their child whisked away to the NICU immediately following birth can be scary. Whether they stay for a few days, weeks or months, the NICU is the first place some babies call home. For others, it is where they spend time after surgery or while fighting disease.

During these first days – and challenging times – neonatal nurses play a vital role in caring for these babies and comforting their families.

What is it like to work as a neonatal nurse?

In the NICU, there is no such thing as a typical day. Caring for patients with varying levels of stability and a wide range of conditions requires nurses to constantly reprioritize their tasks. And, whether working in the NICU of a public or private hospital, community hospital or large health system, patients’ conditions and needs are constantly changing.

Neonatal nurses also work long shifts (many 12+ hours in length) and are in constant motion, transitioning to care from one patient to the next. And, beyond physically demanding, neonatal nursing is also emotionally demanding – neonatal nurses are more than just patients’ caregivers, they are also important educational resources for families.

While working as a neonatal nurse is demanding, and the days, unpredictable, it is also an extremely rewarding field of study and work. Whether helping a premature baby to get stronger and learn to feed, being on hand during labor and delivery, or helping a baby with a serious condition recover from surgery or battle disease, every patient’s victory – large or small – is cause for celebration.

What skills and certifications do I need to work as a neonatal nurse?

Neonatal nurses are registered nurses with four-year Bachelors of Nursing degrees. They also hold one of more forms of neonatal nursing certification.

Beyond the education requirements, neonatal nurses must be collaborative, compassionate and adaptable. As a neonatal nurse, you will work alongside doctors, therapists, case workers and other nurses who are part of the patient’s treatment team. You will also interact regularly with families, for many of whom a NICU stay is a stressful, emotional and unfamiliar experience. And, with the ever-changing needs of each young patient, being able to adapt to changing circumstances and shifting priorities, as needed, is critically important for neonatal nurses.

As a per diem neonatal nurse or neonatal travel nurse working in New York, there is a tremendous opportunity to positively impact the lives of patients and their families. We are always looking for neonatal nurses to join our talent pool. If you’re always willing to go the extra mile to make patients comfortable, please reach out! Reach Trechell on 646-779-7960 or  Kawana on 646-779-7958

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