A neonatal nurse works with newborn infants who are below 28 days old. The infants may be suffering from a range of problems including been born prematurely, with birth defects or even infected. These infants may continue to develop long-term problems after birth. For this reason, the nurse may care for the infant for longer than one month. The nurses may take care for the infant for up to 2 years. In most cases however, the infant is looked after until she is discharged from the hospital. Many infants develop problems at birth but continued care by the nurses give these vulnerable babies a chance at life. In fact, more babies survive these days than they did a long time ago.
A neonatal nurse cares for critically ill newborns by providing highly technical and supportive care for ill infants. On a typical day, a nurse may help a young mother nurse her infant, care for another infant on a ventilator or help an infant who is prematurely born. Neonatal nurses interact with many infants on a daily basis, their parents and families as they provide critical care to the infants. They get to watch a sick baby recover and get discharged to go home with the parents. This gives them a lot of satisfaction. The nurses also learn something new every day they work in the nursery.
A neonatal nurse salary gets many opportunities to grow professionally. They can expand their practice by taking an annual exam to test their knowledge. After doing a masters degree or a doctorate, they can become neonatal nurse practitioners who work closely with other specialists to provide advanced care to infants. One can also advance to be a nurse manager, clinical specialist or even educator. In these roles, they can manage a team providing comprehensive care to critically ill infants. Regardless of the role they play in delivering care to infants, neonatal nurses enjoy this highly rewarding career.