If, working with babies is your passion and ardent desire, you must complete your advance level specialized education and training to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) because, as a NNP you are required to provide cares to neonates. By neonatal, we mean new born babies till they are 28 days old. The reason being this is the most crucial phase in the life of new born babies and they require constant monitoring and specialized cares from NNPs till babies start functioning on their own.
In the present time, the demand of NNPs are rising steadily in the United States of America, due to rising numbers of underweight born babies who are below one pound, multiple births, premature babies who are born before time where their different organs such as lungs, tissues and external organs are yet to be fully developed and neonates who are critically ill and require constant cares. It is also their responsibility to care the neonates, who have complications immediately after the birth or come up with numerous issues that require immediate attention and cares in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The specialized specialty training and education provides required knowledge and skills to NNPs to offer advance level neonatal cares in various types of health care settings such as hospital, NICU, private clinics and others. The job duties of Neonatal; Nurse Practitioners can be classified into three levels including:
Level 1 - In this level their job responsibilities are more concentrated in caring babies who are born healthy. In addition they counsel and coach moms about breast feeding and importance of breast feeding to neonates, child care, personal care and healthy life styles.
Level 2 – This level requires providing cares to babies who are born prematurely with weak or underdeveloped organs. These neonates are to be constantly monitored and watched for complications and provide caring as required, till the period when neonates starts functioning on their own or their organs are fully developed and commence working normally. During this period the Neonataligist or physicians are constantly updated about the condition of the babies, cares offered to babies and response to their cares.
Level 3 - This level can be termed as very crucial in the life of neonates because the care is offered to new born babies who are critically ill and need advance level cares. The chances of any complications are also highest in this phase that also requires constant watching and monitoring.
In addition, they also assist physician or Neonataligist in different neonates care procedures, assess, interpret and analyze test reports and apprise physicians about the reports, administer medication under the direction and supervision of physician or specialists, provide therapeutic forms of treatment under the supervised environment and monitor vital signs. They also counsel the mothers of the new born babies and families about child care, preventative health measures and healthy life styles for the well being of both mom and baby.
In order to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, you must earn RN Licensure by completing and earning BSN Degree. Next, you are required to earn few years working experience in NICU, child cares and emergency rooms. You can then continue your education for Masters, post masters or doctoral degree for FNP specialty track studies.
NNP specialty track requires both didactic and clinical trainings and course instruction to gain extensive knowledge in the neonatal field. Your course curriculum may include physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology along with other subjects.
The NNP Certification in neonatal intensive care nursing (RNC-NIC) is offered by the nationally recognized certifying agency the National Certification Corporation (NCC).
NNP must have qualities of excellent communication skills for counseling, quick decision making acumen, ability to understand the psychological and physical needs of the premature and critically ill neonates, mothers and families and must be capable in working in high tech environments.
The average salary of a Neonatal nurse ranges from $65,000 to $ 92,000 annually or $41.00 to $65.00 & more per hour, depending on the work experience, job location, education and certification and job position.
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