Unlike most other fields in nursing such as adult health and midwifery, which have been practiced since the 1960s, neonatal nursing is very new. Neonatal means babies who are less than 28 days old. Neonatal nurse are largely responsible for the provision of care to babies at this early stage in their lives. Many hospitals usually have nurseries within the community, or in their maternity wards and this nurse has the necessary qualifications, knowledge, and skills to work in them. The nurseries are usually classified into three levels namely, level I, II and III.
Although many hospitals are getting rid of level I because many mothers sometimes opt to share hospital rooms when their babies are healthy or they do not need to be admitted to the hospitals when they deliver healthy babies, it is extremely important because it houses babies that are born healthy. Babies with serious childhood illnesses or are born premature need supplemental oxygen, intravenous therapy, specialized feedings, and extra time to grow before their mothers take them home. Hence, the need for level II, which is specially designed for the provision of specialized care for babies with special needs.
Levels I and II may not be able to handle complicated situations and for this reason, many hospitals usually send babies with complications to level III because it has the most advanced technology such as special equipment for performing complicated surgeries and ventilators. Most children hospitals or big general hospitals usually have level III nursery units because the babies need specialized care since they may be too small or premature. Neonatal nurse salary usually provide direct care in such cases. However, since neonatal nursing is very complex, it is advisable for these nurses to ensure that they meet the necessary educational requirements to practice.