Neonatal Nurse Requirements

Neonatal nurse requirements are not as extensive as most people assume them to be. You will have to go through a college degree to become a neonatal nurse, but you would have to do that with any nursing career. If you have been thinking about entering this profession in the near future, you may be able to do so in a few short years. All you need is a little bit of training and a true passion for working with newborns. Here is a guide to becoming a neonatal nurse that you can use to plan out your career.

1 – Get a Degree

If you want to become a registered nurse in neonatal care, you will need to get an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing. If you want to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, you will need to continue your education in grad school. Thus your neonatal nurse requirements will largely depend on where you plan to go in your career. Here are some of the degrees you may pass through along the way:

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

The classes involved with those degrees will vary from one school to the next, but the learning you get out of them should be the same no matter what. As a whole, you will need to know about the medical needs for neonatal patients so you can address them in your work. Here is a list of common courses associated with neonatal nursing:

  • Advanced Practicum in Parent and Child Nursing
  • Common Psychosocial and Biophysical Conditions in Perinatal Period
  • Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Neonatal Nursing
  • Implications of Human Embryology and Genetics for Clinical Practice
  • Introduction to Health Informatics & Systems Thinking
  • Management of Neonatal Problems
  • Managing Clinical Effectiveness within Care Systems
  • Neonatal Drug Therapy
  • Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Special Topics
  • Physiologic Adaptations in Women and Children
  • Physiology and Pathophysiology across the Lifespan
  • Professional Identity and Leadership Process in Nursing

If you feel confident in your ability to get through classes like that, you should do just fine as a neonatal nurse.

2 – Get a Certification

Technically, you do not need a certification to become a neonatal nurse. You just need a degree. With that in mind, you will have a better time getting a job if you have some sort of credentials to verify your abilities. The better certified you are, the easier it will be to find work. Here are some certification programs you may go through as a neonatal nurse:

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

You will have to pass an exam for any certification you want, but you should know what you are doing because of your degree. You just have to devote yourself to becoming a neonatal nurse and do whatever it takes to make that happen.

3 – Get a Job

Your degree and certification will make up the bulk of your neonatal nurse requirements. You may also need to spend some time as a registered nurse to develop job experience, but that should be the only other requirement you have to fulfill. Once you get through all of that, you could find work in any of the following:

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

You should make a pretty good living as a neonatal nurse, especially if you stick with this career for a long time. Check out the salary stats below to see that for yourself:

  • Less than 1 year of experience: $48,915 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $50,309 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $59,544 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $70,241 per year
  • 20 years of experience or more: $71,661 per year

Now that you know what the neonatal nurse requirements are, all you have to do is fulfill them. Take some time to find a good school to go to, and you will be on your way to a great career in no time.