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Nursery Nurse

Education and Training Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Registered Nurse credential, and specialization in Neonatal care.
Average Salary $62,450 per year
Job Outlook Very good

A nursery nurse is a Registered Nurse, specializing in the care of infants. A nursery nurse (often referred to as a Neonatal nurse) takes care of infants less than 28 days old. There are typically three types of nursery nurses:

  • Level1: Level 1 nursery nurses take care of healthy newborns. The demand for Level1 nursery nurses is rapidly decreasing as mothers and healthy newborn infants are more likely to stay in the same room.

  • Level2: Level 2 nursery nurses take care of infants needing special or intermediate care. Level 2 nursery nurses tend to premature newborns or those needing special therapy before being discharged.

  • Level 3: Level 3 nursery nurses work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and look after premature or seriously ill infants who need high technology (ventilators and incubators) to survive. Level 3 nursery nurses keep a close tab on the progress of the infant’s health and also educate the parents about caring for their infants.

A nursery nurse is expected to administer treatments, medications, tests, and procedures on neonates. They also assist physicians, create and update infant care plan, maintain infant records, and educate parents about proper infant care, post-discharge from the hospital.

Education and Training Requirements

Nursery nurses should ideally complete a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Next, they need to obtain the Registered Nurse license. An advanced specialization as a neonatal nurse practitioner or a neonatal nurse specialist is also helpful.

Getting the Job

To get a job as a nursery nurse, an advanced training in neonatology is highly recommended. Previous experience of working in the NICU is also a big plus. A nursery nurse having more certifications and experience stands a better chance of getting the job.
Nursery nurses should be caring and sympathetic. They should have an attitude for helping others. The nature of work requires a high degree of diligence and a team spirit. Nursery nurses need to work in close collaboration with neonatologists and need to interact with parents on a regular basis. Nursery nurses should have good interpersonal skills and an ability to empathize with the parents and provide them reassurance about the well-being of their baby.
Working as a nursery nurse is a truly rewarding experience as it offers numerous opportunities to tend to infants and see them recover. However, it can be a very demanding job.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects for a nursery nurse are very positive. Every year, approximately 40,000 low weight infants are born. They might even need months of care. With the advancement in neonatal care permitting the treatment of a greater number of neonatal health problems, the demand for nursery nurses is bound to increase.
The employment for Registered Nurses is expected to grow by 22% for the period 2008-2018.
With experience, a nursery nurse can go on to become a clinical nurse specialist or a neonatal nurse practitioner.

Working Conditions and Environment

Nursery nurses work in well-equipped hospitals. They need to provide round-the-clock care and often need to work during evenings, holidays, and weekends. They need to work long shifts and spend considerable time walking, stretching, bending, and standing. At times, they also run the risk of catching infections.
The work can be stressful and physically and emotionally draining. The work involves looking after sick newborns and this can be very disturbing. However, despite the demands of the job, it is considered to be an extremely rewarding experience.

Salary and Benefits

Nursery nurses are generally Registered Nurses and get good salaries. A nursery nurse gets approximately $62,450 per year. Other benefits include: flexible work schedule, educational benefits, bonuses, and child care.

Where to Go for More Information

The Academy of Neonatal Nursing
2000 L St., NW, Ste. 740
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 261-2400

National Association of Neonatal Nurses
4700 W. Lake Ave.
Glenview, IL 60025
(800) 451-3795

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