What Is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

What is a neonatal nurse practitioner? It is a doctor, a nurse, or some sort of hybrid of the two? A neonatal nurse practitioner is a nurse that specializes in the care of infants and newborns. Neonatal nurses are responsible for monitoring premature children and babies born with medical conditions until the infants can be released to their parents to go home. This is a complex and often overwhelming field of nursing to go into, but it is also one of the most rewarding specialties to pursue. If you have been thinking about becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner in the future, the information below should answer any questions you have about the career. You can use that to determine whether or not you are a good fit for this profession.

What Do Neonatal Nurse Practitioners Do?

Neonatal nurses have varying responsibilities based on the kinds of patients they work with and the amount of care those patients require. Nurses at level I of the field care for children without any medical problems, so all they have to do is feed and change the babies until they can go under the care of the parents. Nurses at level II work with premature and sick babies that need regular monitoring and care. At level III though, neonatal nurses are in charge of watching over intensive care patients with extreme medical problems. This is the most demanding level of neonatal care, but it is also the one that pays the most money in the end. You will probably come across all of these neonatal nurse jobs at some point in your career.

What Does It Take to Become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

In order to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, you will need to complete a master’s degree in nursing. That degree program lasts for approximately two years, on top of the four years you will spend to earn a bachelor of science in nursing. After getting a nursing degree, you will have to go through several certification exams to verify that you know how to work in this field. As long as you pass the exams, you will be able to work in a hospital or clinic in need of neonatal nurses.

You may have to spend some time working as a registered nurse before becoming a neonatal nurse, so keep that in mind when planning out your career. You might have to wait a little longer than you want to before you can enter this career.

How Much Money Do Neonatal Nurses Make?

Since neonatal nursing is a pretty specialized field of nursing, professionals within this career sector often make substantially more than other nurses. With that in mind, it is nearly impossible to say what your neonatal nurse salary will be in the future. Some neonatal nurses make more than others based on their experience in the field or the kind of degree they hold. Others make more money simply because there is a higher demand for nurses in their area. Let’s take a look at some of the different salary levels you may experience as a neonatal nurse.

Salary by Industry

  • Nurse Staffing: $51,282 per year
  • Medical Services: $57,808 per year
  • Hospital: $53,094 per year
  • Healthcare: $59,659 per year
  • Health Care Services: $63,389 per year
  • Family Medicine: $70,000 per year
  • Acute Care Hospital: $64,515 per year

Salary by Years of Experience

  • 1-4 years: $50,161 per year
  • 5-9 years: $60,109 per year
  • 10-19 years: $68,344 per year
  • 20+ years: $72,953 per year

Salary by Location

  • Texas: $55,295 per year
  • Pennsylvania: $65,244 per year
  • Ohio: $51,395 per year
  • New York: $62,853 per year
  • Illinois: $58,725 per year
  • Florida: $59,074 per year
  • California: $68,701 per year

There is a great deal of fluctuation in neonatal nurse salaries throughout the country, so you just have to make a positive effort to earn as much as you can in your career. Now that you know what a neonatal nurse practitioner is, you can determine if you want to be one in the future. If so, you might want to get started on your education right away so you can enter this career as soon as possible.