Neonatal Nurse

Neonatal nurses care for newborn infants who experience health complications after birth or infants who are born premature. These infants stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of hospitals, so they can be monitored around the clock by neonatal nurses, in order to alleviate any additional medical problems that may result from birth complications. In addition to their medical responsibilities, neonatal nurses also teach new parents how to care for their infant. If you enjoy working with children and feel that you have the caregiving skills needed to work with sickly newborns, this could be the perfect nursing specialization for you. Here is a look at the kinds of work you may do in this field, along with the salary you could experience within it.

Neonatal Nurse Job Duties

The job duties in neonatal nursing vary by level and by patient, so you will need a large range of skills to be able to work in this field. Possible responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring machines that sustain the life of premature newborns
  • Assessing oxygen levels and heart rates for neonatal babies
  • Feeding newborn babies and instructing mothers to do the same
  • Administering medications to neonatal patients
  • Assisting physicians in the NICU sector of the hospital

There are other duties you may have as a neonatal nurse, especially if you become the head of a department. As long as you have the right education backing your career, you should be able to take on all of these responsibilities successfully.

Neonatal Nurse Salary Levels

Most people only care to learn about their future careers after learning about the money they can earn. Admit it – you probably want to know what your neonatal nurse salary is going to be to decide if it will be worth your educational efforts in the future. There is nothing wrong with that. Because each neonatal nurse is unique, income will differ depending on a variety of factors, so it may be best for you to review some of the national averages at the moment to get an approximation as to what you could make. Here are a few charts to keep in mind.

Salary by Position

  • Family Nurse Practitioner: $76,975 per year
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: $80,242 per year
  • Nurse Practitioner: $63,542 per year
  • Pediatrics Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner: $54,028 per year
  • Registered Nurse: $51,093 per year
  • Emergency Room Registered Nurse: $60,212 per year
  • Respiratory Therapist: $55,000 per year

Salary by Years of Experience

  • Less than 1 year: $48,908 per year
  • 1-4 years: $50,161 per year
  • 5-9 years: $60,109 per year
  • 10-19 years: $68,344 per year
  • 20 years or more: $72,953 per year

Salary by Certification

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): $57,769 per year
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): $77,599 per year
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: $58,075 per year
  • Critical Care: $57,536 per year
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) Provider: $61,568 per year
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS): $69,189 per year
  • Pediatrics: $72,482 per year
  • Registered Nurse (RN): $59,413 per year
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT): $51,620 per year

Salary by Degree

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: $55,839 per year
  • Master of Science in Nursing: $72,625 per year
  • Associate Degree Nursing: $54,000 per year
  • Associate of Science in Nursing: $60,000 per year
  • Doctor of Medicine: $133,250 per year
  • Master of Nursing: $100,000 per year
  • Bachelor of Arts in Nursing: $55,000 per year
  • Master of Science in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: $109,926 per year

As you can see, there is a lot of money to be made in neonatal nursing. At the end of the day, your efforts in college and beyond will be well worth the financial and moral rewards you can get from this career.

How to Become a Neonatal Nurse

If the neonatal nurse job description above has convinced you that this is the right career field for you, the first step is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Followed by a Master of Science in Nursing degree. This will give you the overall education you need to work as a registered nurse, and will also help you understand neonatal care specifically. As long as you are devoted to your education, you should be able to pass the licensing exam and begin work in this field.