Neonatal nurses care for newborn babies who are born premature or sick. A newborn baby can suffer from a range conditions requiring treatment.
Training and qualifications requiredYou need to a registered adult nurse, child nurse or midwife to apply for a job as a neonatal nurse. Some employers may ask for experience or knowledge of neonatal nursing issues, for example handling bereavements or related areas such as breast feeding.
Expected working hours and salary rangeMost jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Neonatal nursing jobs usually start at band 5 but there is opportunity to progress with more experience. Neonatal nurses in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and valuesYou might be responsible for babies with a range of health needs so being highly organised, flexible and able to prioritise effectively will be vital. A good nurse is also highly observant, able to assess patients and take responsibility for determining the best course of action.
ProspectsWith experience you could progress to sister or matron in neonatal nursing. Some nurses decide to move into service management, clinical academic research or teaching.
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