How to Become a Neonatal Nurse

If you have been considering a career as a neonatal nurse, you should have an exciting time ahead of you. Neonatal nurses get to spend their days insuring that the tiniest patients in a hospital are well taken care of. Becoming a neonatal nurse does not take long, and it could lead you to a highly rewarding career for life. The guide below shows what it takes to get through this process so you can be prepared for it in the future. Here is a guide showing how to become a neonatal nurse so you can enter your career as soon as possible.

Step 1 – Determine If Neonatal Nursing Is Right for You

Before you go through the steps below, make sure this is something you could actually see yourself doing. If it’s not, there are other nursing careers you may do well in. Here is a look at the most common job duties associated with neonatal nursing:

  • Respond to medical emergencies
  • Change diapers
  • Check vital signs
  • Administer medications
  • Feed neonatal babies
  • Watch over life monitors
  • Train parents with neonatal children

If you feel those responsibilities are in line with your career plans, follow the remainder of this guide to launch your career.

Step 2 – Get an Education in Neonatal Nursing

The first step for any nursing career is a college degree. This will give you the fundamental training you need to take care of children. Possible degree programs to consider include:

  • Associate Degree Nursing
  • Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy
  • Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Doctor of Medicine

The specific degree you choose will depend on the career you want to hold in neonatal nursing. Asses your options to determine which one is right for you.

Step 3 – Get Certified

Having a college degree may not be enough to land a job as a neonatal nurse. You might want to get a certification to further verify your skills. Common certification programs to pursue include:

  • Registered Respiratory Therapist
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Registered Nurse
  • Critical Care
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program Provider

Step 4 – Find a Job as a Neonatal Nurse

With your degree and certifications out of the way, you can start focusing on applying for a job. Look for positions in any of the following:

  • Medical Service Providers
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Acute Care Hospitals
  • Family Medicine Centers
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • General Hospitals
  • Nurse Staffing Agencies

With the right employer, you should have no trouble making great money as a neonatal nurse. Ay rates do fluctuate across the country though, so you need to make sure you are earning good money for your area. Common pay rates for neonatal nurses include:

  • California: $68,354 per year
  • Florida: $59,615 per year
  • Georgia: $54,652 per year
  • Illinois: $54,965 per year
  • New York: $60,069 per year
  • Pennsylvania: $61,023 per year
  • Texas: $59,030 per year

Follow the guide above to become a neonatal nurse, and you could be involved with a fantastic career in no time.