Nowadays, nurses are one of the most eminent professions in the medical field. This is due to the increase in the demand for health care services all over the world. One of the most sought-after specialties in nursing is a NICU nurse.
What is a NICU nurse?
The term NICU stands for a neonatal intensive care unit nurse. These health care professionals practice in a specialized nursing are which primarily focus on caring for newborns and births. NICU registered nurses serve as an integral part health care team such as doctors and health care professionals who are responsible in newborn care.
Duties of Neonatal Nurse
- NICU nurses work with healthy newborns as well as babies with health problems. They are responsible in dealing with the concerns and questions of parents regarding their newborn.
- The NICU nurse monitors the baby’s vital signs, feeds milk, changing diapers and administers medications as prescribed by the attending doctor.
- NICU nurses are also allowed in administering IV solutions and supply oxygen if needed. NICU RNs should also closely with neonatologists and NICU doctors.
- Nurses assigned in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) are also tasked in updating the patient’s chart, recording and monitoring the progress and growth of the infant or newborn under their care. NICU nurses are responsible in noting symptoms, health concerns, health improvements, as well as family concerns. They also interact with other family members in order to provide relevant information about medical treatments, options and medical precautions.
Conditions of Work
NICU nurses work in a hospital with an intensive care unit of either public or private healthcare institutions. They mostly work in extensive hours as newborns need care on a routine basis. Some NICU nurse work as on-call and are sometimes required to work during weekends, nights and holidays.
In order to become a NICU nurse, a bachelor’s degree in nursing along with at least 1 year work experience in the NICU is essential. Aspiring nurses must also pass the state licensing exam in order work eligibly. NICU RNs should also be certified responder in newborn or infant CPR. Leadership, communication skills and critical analysis are important in this particular field.
Occupation and Progress
The demand for NICU nurses is expected to grow significantly. The job prospects for NICU RNs in general, are expected to increase by 22% on 2008 up to 2018. Salaries on these particular fields are also expected to boost while advanced education and licenses will become very valuable.