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The significance of Neonatal Nursing
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Publish-date-icon September 29, 2012
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Research has repeatedly demonstrated the significance of prenatal and neonatal infant care within the growth and development of healthy babies. In fact, neonatal care is so essential that the nursing industry has responded with a specialized nursing focus that concerns itself with the medical care presented to newborns. Neonatal nursing professionals use newborns which are born early or with serious illnesses, assisting to stabilize the new infants and ensure that their lives get off towards the healthiest start possible.

Work in neonatal nursing poses a unique group of challenges, as neonatal specialists operate in conjunction with neonatologists, parents, along with a host of other medical personnel use a team-oriented healthcare framework for their patients. Neonatal nurses can be found in hospitals, clinical environments (including community care centers), and neonatal intensive care facilities. You can even find neonatal specialists who work in the area of scientific research, or who serve as educators or consultants.

From the three principal roles played by neonatal nursing professionals, only two remain in popular. The first, level one care, entails taking care of healthy newborns. This kind of nursing is rapidly declining over the United States as more healthy babies now stay in the area with their mother almost from the moment they are born. Levels two and three involve caring for babies born prematurely or with serious illnesses, and work inside a neonatal intensive care unit that concentrates on caring for the sickest of newborns. Of the three, the intensive care work is probably the most complex, as neonatal nurses dealing with these seriously ill children must not only continually monitor the various equipment accustomed to stabilize these infants, but must help to instruct the parents around the best ways to take care of their sick child.


Rn's with bachelor's degrees in nursing science, and who're certified in neonatal care, functions as neonatal nurses. A higher level of neonatal nursing care is the neonatal nursing practitioner, which requires a master's degree in nursing science to organize the nurse to acquire a license as a Nurse Practitioner. Based upon their state where the nurse lives, other state-sanctioned requirements may apply as well. Due to the increased levels of education necessary for it, the median annual salary for this branch of nursing can reach up to eighty thousand dollars. In certain countries, the salary can range as high as six figures.


Using more than forty thousand premature and underweight babies being born every year within this country, the need for skilled neonatal nursing professionals has never been greater. Taking care of these infants entails literally months of intense focus, which in turn requires many competent, qualified neonatal specialists. The good news is that groups of neonatal doctors and nurses dealing with the best medical equipment on the market have managed during the last handful of decades to improve infant survivability rates tenfold. If that trend is to continue, however, the growing demand for new neonatal nursing professionals will have to be addressed.

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