If you are interested in neonatal nursing, you are aiming for a very noble profession that is both demanding and rewarding at the same time. In a way, you are the voice of the very tiniest patients in the hospitals and it is up to you to provide them with the best level of care possible.
Stationary Versus Travel Nursing
There are many options open in the field of neonatal nursing. One of them is to work at the same hospital at all times. This is preferred if you like to have some stability and you really want to have set hours. You will be working in a clinic for infants at either the basic level or the critical level.
On the other hand, you may want more flexible hours and to be exposed to many different types of jobs in the field of neonatal nursing. In this case, working as a travel nurse or per diem nurse with an agency may be the option of choice. You will generally get compensated more for your time in this category.
If you choose to be a staff nurse, you will be providing very technical care for the most acutely ill infants but also providing care for just the newborns who are not as ill. Basically, you will be doing it all. There are many jobs in staff nursing when you are in neonatal nursing.
You can be doing anything from helping a mother to breastfeed her infant to doing long term care for infants in more extreme conditions such as those on ventilators or those that are getting a number of IV medications. You may even be assisting with the deliveries of premature infants.
If you choose to go into clinical nurse specialization you will be at an advanced level of practice. You will be the one responsible for providing the educational programs that are a support to the existing nursing staff as well as the ancillary staff. This will help them all to provide care based on the latest findings and developments in neonatal nursing care.
You may also be involved in specialized care directly with patients right at the bedside. Otherwise, you will be providing support to the various staff members who are all learning the latest skills.
Should you choose to become a nurse manager, you will be the one to provide a degree of leadership for the nursing staff and the administration of the department. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the work environment is up to par and all resources needed for the highest level of patient care are available.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
This is the most advanced level of neonatal nursing practice. You will be working directly along with the physicians as well as the nursing staff in order to offer the most comprehensive level of critical care for all of the infants in the unit. Taking on this role is a matter of additional schooling that will be in either a doctoral or master’s program.