Often asked: How To Get A Job In The Nicu?

How to Become a NICU Nurse (Neonatal Nurse)| NurseJournal

Nurses who work as labor and delivery nurses, pediatric nurses, or neonatal intensive care nurses care for critically ill infants who require extra attention after birth. This guide will walk you through the steps to becoming a neonatal nurse.

What is a Neonatal Nurse?

Neonatal nurses ensure that an infant’s bodily functions are performing as expected, as well as educating parents on how to care for their infants and providing them with the specialized care they require. In the United States, about 40,000 infants are born with birth weights that are below the recommended guidelines.

Where Do Neonatal Nurses Work?

Neonatal nurses work in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and maternity wards at hospitals, birthing centers, and clinics, as well as delivery rooms and nurseries. These are often stressful work environments, as infants require constant attention.


Neonatal nurses can earn an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing, which both prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN and qualify them for RN licensure. An ADN typically takes two years for full-time students, while a BSN takes four years.

Training and Certification

Neonatal nurses can earn certifications in neonatal care by completing a proctored exam that assesses test-takers’ knowledge of the field. Applicants must have 1,750-2,000 hours of direct care of acutely or critically ill neonatal patients.

NICU Nurse (Neonatal Nurse) Salary and Job Growth

According to BLS data, RNs earn a median annual salary of $73,300, while neonatal nurses earn a similar average salary of $101,727, and the number of neonatal nurses in the United States is expected to grow by 7% between 2019 and 2029.

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Top Employing States for RNs (Including NICU Nurses)

South Dakota, West Virginia, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Delaware have the highest concentration of RNs; California is the top-paying state for RNs, with an average salary of $113,240; top-paying metro areas include Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

Top Paying Industries for RNs (Including NICU Nurses)

Nurses in business support services earn the highest average salaries of $92,200, but the industry employs only 650 RNs. Other high-paying industries include the federal government, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, and neonatal nursing. The average salary for neonatal nurses is higher than the average salary for all RNs.

Reviewed By:

Theresa Granger, Ph.D., MN, NP-C, is a nationally recognized expert in nursing education and clinical practice at all levels of education, and she was a founding faculty member of the University of Southern California’s first fully online graduate family nurse practitioner program.

How can I work in the NICU?

  1. Understand the specialized role of a neonatal nurse.
  2. Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
  3. Pass the NCLEX-RN exam and become a Registered Nurse (RN).
  4. Acquire clinical experience in a neonatal facility.
  5. Take and pass a national neonatal certification exam.
  6. Begin your career as a certified neonatal nurse!

How much do you make working in the NICU?

Salaries of NICU Nurses by State

State Salary COL Adjusted Salary
California $120,560 $84,663
Hawaii $104,830 $52,784
Massachusetts $96,250 $74,095
Oregon $96,230 $71,975

Is working in the NICU hard?

To put it another way, it’s a demanding job. As a NICU employee, you’ll be dealing not only with patients, but also with worried families who want to know what’s going on at all times. While much of the work can be emotionally draining, the NICU is also a unit full of love, support, and positive outcomes.

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What jobs are there in the NICU?

Who Works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?

  • Pediatrician. A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in the care of newborns, infants, and children.
  • Pediatric Resident.
  • Neonatal Fellow.
  • Neonatal Physician Assistant.
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.
  • Neonatal Nurse.

How many days a week do NICU nurses work?

Because hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, nurses are often required to work weekends, holidays, and nights. Work shifts can range from five days working eight hours per day to four days working ten hours per day in order to maintain a 40-hour work week.

What education is needed to become a NICU nurse?

To work as a Neonatal Nurse, you’ll need an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing ( BSN ), as well as a license, which you can get by passing the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing exam.

How much does a NICU nurse make a week?

How much does a week of work as a neonatal nurse pay?

Annual Salary Weekly Pay
Top Earners $140,500 $2,701
75th Percentile $127,000 $2,442
Average $100,944 $1,941
25th Percentile $74,000 $1,423

Are NICU nurses in high demand?

NICU nursing is not only a high-demand specialization, but also a fulfilling career choice for aspiring nurses who enjoy working with infants to improve their health and get them home.

What is the highest paid nurse?

The application deadline is July 30th, 2021, and space is limited. What are Some of the Best Paid BSN Jobs?

  1. Informatics Nurse u2013 $88,740.
  2. Pharmaceutical Nurse u2013 $86,400.
  3. Travel Nurse u2013 $78,604.
  4. Legal Nurse Consultant u2013 $78,046.
  5. Operating Room Nurse (Perioperative Nurse ) u2013 $74,713.
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What does a NICU look like?

A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a collection of rows of babies in incubators or isolettes, which look like large clear plastic containers, rather than a hospital nursery, which is usually a collection of small plastic bassinets filled with snugly sleeping babies.

Do NICU nurses hold babies?

NICU nurses spend the majority of their time providing direct patient care, teaching parents about basic infant care, assisting parents with skin-to-skin holding, or creating an environment where infants can sleep in a developmentally appropriate environment.

How do I prepare for a NICU interview?

II. Interview advice for Nicu nurses:

  1. Conduct background research on the company, hiring manager, and job opportunity.
  2. Review common interview questions and prepare responses.
  3. Dress for Success.
  4. Arrive on Time, Relaxed, and Prepared for the Interview.

Is neonatology a good career?

The life of a neonatologist is not easy, but those who succeed should know that it is one of the noblest of all medical careers. The neonatologist job outlook is positive, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an expected growth rate of 7% in all physician and surgeon roles through 2028.

Is being a neonatologist worth it?

It’s a great job from a lot of perspectives. Neonatology is a highly specialized field that requires several years of additional training after pediatric certification, so it’s a small community of professionals, a small ecosystem.

Is there a test I can take to see what career is best for me?

The Career Personality Profiler is a comprehensive, scientifically validated career test that assesses both your interests and personality traits in order to help you find the right career for you, including real-world careers, industries, and college majors.

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