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What steps do I need to take in order to become a neonatal nurse?

I am a freshman student who is interested in becoming a neonatal nurse. I want to know more information of how to become a neonatal nurse and what steps I need to take in the future. #neonatal #nurse #nursing #healthcare


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Dr. Frank’s Answer

A neonatal nurse must be a registered nurse (RN) with a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN). You must be certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and/or Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. You may also be required to complete a minimum number of years of clinical experience in a hospital setting.


Neonatal nursing is a nursing sub-specialty. ... As a result, the demand for neonatal nurses is robust. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports demand for registered nurses overall will jump 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, a rate higher than average.

In summary:

Steps to Becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
STEP 1: Graduate from high school. ...
STEP 2: Earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing (2-4 years). ...
STEP 3: Get experience working in a neonatal acute care clinical setting (at least 2 years).

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Jane’s Answer

Hi Liberty,
I am assuming that you are a freshman in high school. Your first goal will be to work your hardest to get your high school education. The next step is nursing school. Many hospitals are requiring a nurse to have her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree) in order to be considered for a job so when it's time to start looking for colleges/universities keep that in mind. If, when you finish nursing school, you are still interested in working in a NICU my suggestion would be to look around at all possibilities-a pediatric hospital, a community hospital with a NICU, a labor and delivery unit with a nursery to help you get started in caring for babies. Some NICUs want a new nurse to have some adult experience first-it helps you develop organizational skills.
I started out, after graduation from college, at a Pediatric hospital. That's where I gained my knowledge and comfort in caring for babies. With that knowledge I went on to be the nurse who attended deliveries on a labor and delivery floor and also took care of the newly delivered babies. Now I'm back in my role as a NICU nurse in a community hospital. I love what I do.
Good luck with all of your future plans.

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Jane’s Answer

Hi Liberty,
I am assuming that you are a freshman in high school. Your first goal will be to work your hardest to get your high school education. The next step is nursing school. Many hospitals are requiring a nurse to have her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree) in order to be considered for a job so when it's time to start looking for colleges/universities keep that in mind. If, when you finish nursing school, you are still interested in working in a NICU my suggestion would be to look around at all possibilities-a pediatric hospital, a community hospital with a NICU, a labor and delivery unit with a nursery to help you get started in caring for babies. Some NICUs want a new nurse to have some adult experience first-it helps you develop organizational skills.
I started out, after graduation from college, at a Pediatric hospital. That's where I gained my knowledge and comfort in caring for babies. With that knowledge I went on to be the nurse who attended deliveries on a labor and delivery floor and also took care of the newly delivered babies. Now I'm back in my role as a NICU nurse in a community hospital. I love what I do.
Good luck with all of your future plans.

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David’s Answer

Before students can become neonatal nurses, they must first become a registered nurse. There are three paths to becoming an RN:Diploma programs offered by hospital-based schoolsAssociate degrees offered by community collegesBachelor’s degrees at a four-year colleges or universities
NANN reports that many diploma programs are being phased out, and that bachelor’s degrees offer the greatest potential for quickly finding a job and having career mobility. This level of education also allows students to pursue a graduate degree, a necessary step in being qualified for advanced positions.

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