Neonatal nurse

Neonatal nurses care for newborn babies who are born premature or sick. A newborn baby can suffer from a range conditions requiring treatment.

Working life

Premature babies have specific problems such as respiratory difficulties or nutritional needs that can be life threatening. You’ll be a crucial part of the team that ensures that treatment is given promptly and appropriately by a team. 

Neonatal nurse with baby

You’ll also have an important role in supporting the parents of the baby at a time when they themselves are very anxious and stressed. You’ll also encourage them to take an active role in the care of the baby.

You’ll have a range of tasks that will include: 

•    preparing and checking medications
•    managing a baby’s fluids 
•    recording observations and documenting a baby’s care
•    initiating appropriate basic resuscitation in an emergency situation.

Where will I work? 

You’ll provide 24 hour care in acute hospitals. You’ll work shifts in intensive care, high dependency and special care baby units. Some nurses work in the community, providing continuing care and support for babies and their families who have been recently discharged from hospital. You'll work with a range of professionals such as paediatricians, dietitians, midwives and other children’s nurses.

Entry requirement and training to be a neonatal nurse 

You need to be 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 eg. handling bereavements or related areas, for example breast feeding. After a period of six months of relevant experience, you’ll be encouraged to undertake professional development. This will usually involve specific training modules on different aspects of neonatal nursing. These are delivered in partnership by your employer and local universities. They might be online, offering the opportunity for distance learning.

Want to learn more? 

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