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What are the steps to becoming a neonatal nurse ?

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Sana’s Answer

A neonatal nurse is a Registered Nurse (RN) that works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and assesses, monitors, and cares for medically fragile newborns. In addition to caring for premature newborns, NICU nurses may care for medically complex infants up to one year of age in some facilities. Like other critical care areas of nursing, this area is highly specialized, fast paced, and stressful. This specialty is notoriously difficult to break into, but there are ways to become a prepared and competitive NICU job candidate.

1. Firstly, you are going to want to get your BSN, or Bachelor's of Science of Nursing.
- There are many ways to go about that. You can enroll straight from high school into a BSN program at a college, university, or nursing school.
- I went a different route. I took my pre-requisite nursing classes (general education courses necessary to become a nurse) at a community college to save money. Then I went to a nursing school to get my RN diploma. After that, I enrolled in a university to get my BSN. Doing it this way allowed me to work as a nurse while I obtained my BSN, which made paying for school much easier.

2. You are going to want to get your certifications in:
- Basic Life Support (BLS) *you will have this already from nursing school*
- Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program(NRP)
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
- S.T.A.B.L.E. Program

3. And finally, apply to your desired department:
- Pediatric Nursing
- Pediatric Intensive Care Nursing
- Labor and Delivery Nursing

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Stephanie’s Answer

There is also the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), which is an organization that offers training and continuing education credits to Neonatal. Contacting that organization would be a great way to get access to nurses already in the field and to make connections for your career. Check with local hospitals regarding a contact for this professional organization.

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Richard’s Answer

Start by getting your nursing degree at a 4-year university. During clinical rotations you will find which type of nursing suits your personality and skills. After you obtain your degree you will apply for a job at hospital neonatal intensive care units.