For current and prospective nursing students who are still undecided on the career path to follow, it is important to look at these six factors that have a direct effect on the neonatal nurse salary. With such a wide range of options available in the nursing field, it is important to be aware where the best potentials for career growth can be. With neonatal nursing, the priority is taking care of infants 28 days after their birth. This means special care should be provided during the initial weeks of life of these fragile creatures.
Considering that a neonatal nurse practitioner is a relatively new career path, it means potentials for future career growth are immense. The important thing is to be able to diagnose and treat new born babies during their first weeks of life. Licensed to practice their craft virtually in every state in the country, they gain flexibility and mobility in pursuing career growth.
The neonatal nurse salary is also very reasonable based on the expected responsibilities, but, it is equally important to be aware of the factors that can increase it considerably.
The considerable potentials of being a neonatal nurse become achievable after engaging in about six years of education. This is something you need to consider before gaining the necessary work experience and continued training for specialization. The basic education will give neonatal nurses the basic skills to respond to the needs of helpless infants. The course of study would lead to a Registered Nurse license and eventually to a Bachelors of Nursing Science.
Specialization in relevant field of studies are required if you intend to maximize the potentials of the neonatal nurse salary which can range anywhere from $93,000 to $117,000 annually depending on some factors. The education received can open opportunities for growth in clinical and emergency settings, or perhaps even an independent educator for families of patients. Many neonatal nurses find employment in Intensive Care Units of hospitals.
- Continued Training
After the basic education, the neonatal nurse must invest additional time in training to be able to gain specialization in their preferred field of study and eventually move to a higher salary range. The importance of an extensive training is highlighted by the fact that there are a high number of critical cases for infants that can be encountered on a daily basis. These extra training hours will prove to be useful when supervising and attending to the special needs of infants.
Continued training may also lead to a specialist position allowing neonatal nurses to progress from a Bachelors of Nursing Science degree to a Masters in Nursing degree with specialization in the field of neonatal care. The additional training hours undoubtedly will contribute to the level of expertise of the neonatal nurse and can even result in a PhD sometime in the future.
It is important to recognize the fact that the demands for neonatal nurses with higher qualifications remain relatively high with excellent compensation benefits.
- Relevant Practice
Aside from education and continued training, another important factor that can have significant effect on the neonatal nurse salary would have to be the amount of relevant practice or years of experience in the chosen field. This is something that neonatal nurses would have to work persistently and patiently for. As one of the key determinants for a higher salary grade, it is important to be aware that drastic increases can be received for every year of relevant practice.
This means that any fresh college graduate cannot expect to receive the same amount of compensation as neonatal nurses who have worked for at least five years for example. Combining this with the first two factors increases the chances of maximizing any of the benefits that can be gained from a neonatal nursing career. To have relevant practice, normally about 10 years of exposure in an established clinic or hospital would be required.
- Work Attitude
It is true that hard work pays off and more so when you want a successful career as a neonatal nurse. The work attitude of anyone who wants to pursue this field should be one that is focused on commitment to duties. Regardless of what anyone thinks, this type of work attitude gives many employers due cause to provide increased salaries because of their belief that the employee deserves it.
By displaying this type of work attitude, there is no doubt of the potentials of pay increases that are unscheduled and may not be covered by your pay grade. There is a need to realize that many employers provide minimal pay increases as a form of motivation and reward for employees that display exemplary performance in the work environment.
Sometimes, volunteering for overtime work instead of waiting to be assigned one can have significant impact on work performance reviews aside from putting extra money in your pocket on payday. Bottom line is that work discipline is a major determinant for potential income levels.
This references the work environment or location of the employment of neonatal nurses. There is no question that employers in the private sector can have varying income level structures. The same can be said for neonatal nurses working in the public sector, who are forced to conform to the salary structure and control implemented by the government. In the same manner that neonatal nurses may find salaries to vary distinctly as they move from one state to another.
You have to be aware that working in a local hospital, federal hospital, or private health institution will have different salary opportunities as well as career growth potentials. Those working in a private health institution can receive a higher salary compared to those in public hospitals. However, neonatal nurses in public hospitals also have better compensation than those in private clinics on the average. This factor helps you determine where to practice your profession.
- Hours Worked
There is no question that much like in any other profession, the actual number of hours worked can directly affects the neonatal nurse salary. Many neonatal nurses working in public hospitals are expected to work for longer shifts because they are engaged with greater number of patients.
This translates to better salaries because of the amount of hours they have to render. The same can be said for those that work in nightshifts, who have relatively higher pay than those who provide nursing services during the day.
These are six extremely important factors to consider and understand when contemplating on how to increase the potentials of the neonatal nurse salary and achieving career growth.
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