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Neonatal nursing is an area that deals with healthcare for newborns up to the 28th day after birth (Crawford & Hickson, 2002). Neonatal nurses who treat sick infants, especially those put under intensive care, are known as NICU nurses. These nurses need extensive training. I wish to work as a registered nurse, and for this reason, this paper will explore the education requirements, certification, employment opportunities, and other aspects of neonatal nursing.
A neonatal nurse observes an infant’s well-being. He or she creates a healthcare plan for infants to control potential illnesses, performs necessary functions, and makes best use of their knowledge, reinforces healthcare policies, and gains access to the public resources (Boxwell, 2010). A neonatal nurse guarantees that he or she achieves healing goals.
Another service provided by a neonatal nurse is planning. He or she works as an administrator to organize a variety of facets of child care (Kenner & Lott, 2004). Finally, neonatal nurses implement healthcare goals. They manage the workplace and teach about medication. They also provide health education and health support, and thus, are of great help to both infants and their parents.
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The law does not require any kind of certification for particular specialties of neonatal nurses.
Education and Certification
Educational Requirements for the Occupation
There are normally three ways of attaining the title of a neonatal nurse. A person can become a neonatal nurse by finishing a bachelor-degree or associate-degree course in the field of nursing (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2013). Less often, people become professional neonatal nurses by getting a diploma in nursing. Those who finish these courses are normally entitled to entry-level jobs.
Education Institutions Offering the Program
Education institutions offering neonatal nursing courses in Florida include nursing schools that offer practical nurse training, such as Mercy Hospital, Miami Dade County Public School, and St. Petersburg College among others. These and other institutions offer associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2013). Online programs arealso available.
Length of Time and Approximate Cost of Education
The period for becoming a neonatal nurse depends on the individual's education choice, alacrity in their learning and extra state certification. Two- and four-year organizations offer degrees that assist students start a career in neonatal nursing (Polit & Beck, 2008). Annual tuition is $39,012 and $43,146 for instate and out-of-state students respectively. Other annual costs include $1,566 and $9,390 for books and accommodation respectively.
Students also receive license from the relevant licensing body (Kenner & Lott, 2004). There are three different neonatal nurse certifications. The first is an associate degree in nursing that recognizes technical expertise. The second certification is the first and second bachelor degrees. Both degrees recognize expertise in research. The last is master of nursing.
Job Availability (what and where)
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There are at least a dozen basic areas of employment. Also, nursing has a quartet of higher practice medical and clinical lines of work. All of them look for students who have graduated a nursing school and obtained a relevant certificate of practice. Some advanced career positions are neonatal nurse specialist and neonatal nurse practitioner (Boxwell, 2010).
Growth Trends in the Field
Because of the ongoing nursing deficiency in the United States of America, neonatal nurses are in enormous demand. The neonatal nurses are almost assured of employment, which will possibly grow by around 20% in the next decade (Polit & Beck, 2008). This rate is much higher than the average growth of other occupations. It is also worth noting that registered nursing is among the best six careers in the USA.
Neonatal nurses get on average $64,690 annually, though their salary is dependent on educational level, know-how, city and the category of health facility. Experienced neonatal nurses who have attained higher education get an annual salary of $80,000. The low-income earners, who include entry-level nurses, get an annual salary of $44,970 (Polit & Beck, 2008).
A considerablle number of neonatal nurses start their careers working with ordinary infants. Once he or she improves their skills, a neonatal nurse may proceed to the other, more difficult level of care, which is an intensive care unit. Infants in an intensive care unit may require respirator administration, unique nourishment tubes, intravenous treatment and other multifaceted care (Boxwell, 2010). A nurse can move into management positions, become a clinic specialist, or a nursing practitioner.
Professional neonatal organizations include National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Academy of Neonatal Nursing (ANN), and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) (Blackburn, 2007). NANN started operating in 1984. Five neonatal nurses started the organization, and currently, it has a membership of 3790. AWHONN is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to support the health of women and their infants.
Professional Journals with Address and Cost
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Professional neonatal journals include Journal of Neonatal Nursing ($15), Advances in Neonatal Care ($64), Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing (free), and the Journal of Neonatal Nursing ($99) (Polit & Beck, 2008).
Continuing Education Available and Expected in the Profession
There is a possibility of continuing education for neonatal nurses, which depends on the particular state. It is the duty of the state nursing board to determine the number of hours that nurses ought to spend in every two to three years so as to keep their licenses valid (Crawford & Hickson, 2002). After obtaining neonatal nursing know-how, nurses can get a graduate degree focusing on neonatal care. They can continue studying for a master degree and doctorate in a more specialized field.
I see myself “fitting” into this profession because I like children and I am adept at providing childcare. I have discovered that neonatal nursing requires highly experienced healthcare providers. I have also learnt about education and professional development necessities that are needed to work as an NICU nurse. What I found meaningful to me is that NICU is a new area of medicine, and this means that I will be in demand if I attain the highest level of studies in the future.
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