101 Careers in Nursing

By Jeanne M. Novotny; Doris T. Lippman et al. | Go to book overview
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Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
1. Basic description—Neonatal nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who specialize in providing care to acutely ill babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These nurses have advanced skills in physical and psychosocial assessment of the newborn and handle transport of acutely ill babies. The environments in which neonatal nurse practitioners work are very intense and dramatic often with non-stop action.
2. Educational requirements—RN preparation and MSN with advanced practice certification as a neonatal nurse practitioner. Programs are generally 2 years in length. These programs are affiliated with major medical centers that are equipped to care for premature babies. Previous experience in the NICU is usually a requirement for admission to a neonatal nurse practitioner program.
3. Core competencies/skills needed:
Technical competency involving use of complex and computerized equipment
Skill in regulating ventilators
Hemodynamic monitoring skills
Experiences and expertise in assessing and managing acutely ill babies
Skill in obtaining blood samples from central IV lines
Interpersonal competency dealing with patients and their families in life-threatening situations
Ability to work with interdisciplinary teams
Ability to support parents’ decisions even when you do not agree
Comfort working with very small babies
Ability to support a parents decision even when you do not agree
4. Compensation—Salaries vary according to place of employment and geographic location. The average is $62,000 to $80,000 but can be much higher depending on level of responsibility.
5. Employment outlook—High
6. Related Web sites and professional organizations:
American Association of Nurse Practitioners: www.aanp.org
Nurse Practitioner Support Services: www.nurse.net
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: www.pedsccm.wustl.edu
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN): www.awhonn.org/
National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN): http://www.nann.org/
American Nurse Association Credentialing Center: www.ana.org


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101 Careers in Nursing
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