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Leah R.





Would it be better to be a neonatal nurse or a registered nurse?


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Hi Leah,

In order to be a neonatal nurse you must be a registered nurse. As a neonatal nurse I work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but can also work in the Newborn Nursery as I have a lot of knowledge and experience with babies. I am qualified to attend baby deliveries as the nurse who cares for the baby after delivery. I graduated from a 4 year BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program. I recently completed my MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing). There are so many opportunities in nursing!

Best of luck to you in the future!

Last updated May 24 '16 at 01:30 AM

Hi Leah,

Neonatal and maternal nurses are registered nurses who have additional training.


To work in maternal and neonatal nursing, you must be a registered nurse (RN), so you'll typically need to have at least a diploma or associate's degree, although the BLS reports that job prospects may be better for RNs with at least a bachelor's degree. In most cases, additional certification is required to work in specialized areas, such as neonatal intensive care units.

It's common to earn your nursing license by completing an associate's or bachelor's degree program in nursing and passing the state nursing license. Then, you can earn a master's or doctoral degree as a neonatal nurse practitioner or as a family nurse practitioner with an emphasis in neonatal nursing.

In a neonatal nurse practitioner master's or doctoral degree program, you'll learn about the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy, the nutritional needs of pregnant women and the development and physiology of a fetus. You'll study the process of monitoring a woman during labor, the drugs used and how they affect the fetus and the woman during the birthing process. You may also learn to prepare the family for their new family member.

Some courses involve completing simulated births, so you know how to react during emergencies and can stabilize the mother and save the infant. You'll also complete clinical practicums under the supervision of licensed neonatal nurses and doctors.

Required Skills

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses (RNs) should be compassionate, detail-oriented and able to cope well with the suffering of other people (www.bls.gov). They also need to be able to assess patients' conditions. You may find this job difficult because you're likely to work with sick babies, and can get attached to them, particularly if the infants are in intensive care for a lengthy time.


Upon graduation from a master's or doctoral degree program in neonatal nursing, you're eligible to take the certification exam, according to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (www.nannp.org). To take the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing or the Maternal Newborn certification exams, you must have at least 2,000 hours working in the neonatal specialty.

Read more in: http://learn.org/directory/category/Health_Professions_and_Medical_Services/Nursing_Services/Maternal_and_Neonatal_Nursing.html

Best of luck for you!!!

Last updated May 23 '16 at 03:38 PM
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