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NICU Nurse Salary, Job Description, and Education Information

NICU Nurse Salary,Job Description, and Education Information


The Occupation of NICU Nurse ➣

A NICU nurse works with the smallest of patients in a hospital. A NICU nurse provides care for premature babies and infants who have illnesses that prevent them from leaving the hospital. Successful NICU nurses are well-trained, experienced, and observant. They are dedicated to serving the needs of babies in the NICU until they are well enough to go home with mom and dad. NICU stands for Neonatal intensive care unit and the NICU nurse is the person who takes care of the babies in the intensive care unit. NICU nurses take care of babies until they are 28 days old and shifted out of the neonatal intensive care unit. The job is a very responsible one and can be emotionally draining. The nurse needs to perform various functions that range from taking care of critically ill babies, caring for healthy babies, and caring for newborns that require care. There is a high demand for these nurses because of the increase in premature births and babies born with different birth defects. Strong technical knowledge along with skills and the desire to care for babies are necessary for the job. Discover some other important information about the occupation of the NICU nurse.

A Typical Day as a NICU Nurse ➣

A NICU nurse may begin a work shift by checking the vital signs of each infant in his or her care. The nurse records an infant’s heartbeat, respiration, temperature, and blood pressure. NICU nurses are experts at monitoring the conditions of their little patients. When a physician comes in to check the condition of an infant, he or she needs to have a medical chart with up-to-date information. A NICU nurse may be in charge of feeding several infants in the NICU as well as bathing and changing them. NICU nurses are also in charge of helping parents visit with their infants who are receiving care. For instance, a nurse may make sure that a parent has followed proper sanitary procedures before touching his or her baby. NICU nurses understand the tremendous importance of daily interaction between parent and child.

What Are Some of the Work Responsibilities?

There are three levels in the NICU nurse duties profile – the first level is caring for healthy newborn babies, the second level is caring for newborn babies who might require medical attention due to illnesses and the third level is to care for newborn babies who require critical care and attention. One of the most critical responsibilities of a NICU nurse is to monitor the condition of each infant. they Help the new mother learn how to care for the baby and teach how to breastfeed, Providing emotional support to families of babies who are critical
Monitoring vital functions of babies in intensive care units, Working with other members of the medical team such as pediatricians and other specialists, Being alert to the health of babies and providing immediate medical care in case complications develop, Indulging in some of the administrative and management functions of NICU, A NICU nurse should take note of the smallest change in an infant’s condition and report it to the physician in charge. A change in an infant’s condition can mean that there is a need to make an adjustment in medication, diet, or some other part of the routine. Of course, a NICU nurse should be skilled at bathing, feeding, and changing infants who may be in incubators or receiving oxygen. A NICU nurse must be able to perform his or her job duties with confidence.

Levels of NICU Care ➣

Not all NICUs provide the same level of care. Here are the different levels of NICU care available.
1. Level I (Basic Newborn Care) – This nursery cares for healthy babies who are born near term or at full term.
2. Level II (Specialty Newborn Care) – Babies who are carried in the womb for around 8 months or those who are currently recovering from serious conditions or complications are placed in this nursery.
3. Level III (Subspecialty Newborn Care) – The sickest babies who require the highest level of care and support are brought to Level III NICUs. This type of NICU makes use of highly advanced technology for imaging and offers different types of advanced mechanical ventilation. It also has access to a number of specialists in pediatrics and neonatology, and can readily perform surgical procedures ranging from minor surgeries to major ones such as “open-heart surgeries” for congenital heart defects.

The Educational Requirements ➣


A NICU nurse is also a licensed, registered nurse. He or she has earned either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate’s degree. After gaining some hands-on experience working with infants, a registered nurse can pursue becoming certified in neonatal nursing. In addition, they need to be trained in a neonatal facility, intensive care unit or emergency room for a year. Licensing examination is a must in order to be able to practice nursing. A Masters's degree in neonatal nursing is essential for good future prospects. Certification in neonatal nursing adds to a nurse’s credentials and allows him or her to be even more successful on the job. NICU nurses must continue to add to their store of knowledge each year by taking courses and getting more training.


NICU nurse Degrees, Courses & Certification ➣

Certification in neonatal nursing adds to a nurse’s credentials and allows him or her to be even more successful on the job. NICU nurses must continue to add to their store of knowledge each year by taking courses and getting more training. After a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the NICU nurse needs the experience of at least a couple of years before appearing for certain certification examinations. Certifications that are necessary for the job are Neonatal Resuscitation Provider and National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). After passing this examination, nurses are provided with a permit to practice in medical facilities.

NICU nurse Skills and Specifications ➣


Must be highly sensitive and compassionate in taking care of babies
Must have a genuine want to help babies get better
Strong knowledge about handling various emergency situations in the NICU
Ability to work under extreme stress in tensed environments
Ability to help families cope with difficult situations when baby is critical
Strong knowledge about baby care
Ability to be very alert and observant about babies’ condition


NICU Nurse Salary and compensation ➣

Professions in the medical field are said to be some of the most lucrative and high-paying jobs. The nursing profession falls under this category, but it can be narrowed down further according to fields of specialization, skill levels, and experience, among others. But how are neonatal nurses paid, and will it be enough to convince you to pursue a neonatal career?


Neonatal Nurse Salary Data ➣

In the United States, it is safe to say that neonatal nurses are among the top ten highest-paid specialized nurses. The Occupational Employment Statistics report on employment and wages released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018 reported that registered nurses, including neonatal nurses, have a median annual wage of $72,180, or a median hourly wage of $31.78. The highest-paid nurses make around $94,720 annually or $46.54 per hour.
According to Payscale.com, as of Jan 25, 2020, a neonatal nurse a practitioner working in a NICU has an annual median salary of $73,634 – significantly higher than the annual median salary cited by the BLS report the previous year. The annual salary range, inclusive of bonuses, is a minimum of $60,375 and a maximum of $101,959.

Factors Affecting NICU Salary ➣

Keep in mind that the figures above aren’t fixed. There are several factors that affect the NICU salary rate. Below are some of them.

1.Years Experience and Training 

Expect a neonatal nurse salary to be higher for a NICU nurse who has more years experience than one who is only starting out in the NICU. For instance, the salary range of a nurse who has spent less than a year in neonatal care is $46,978, or an average of $73,762.50. Compare this to a NICU nurse with more than 20 years of experience who makes as low as $92,820. 

2.Employer ➣

The ability of a medical facility to pay its employees is often judged on how many hospital beds there are, or how big the whole workforce is. NICUs in larger hospitals often pay a higher NICU salary than a mid-size hospital or a private medical practice, but this is inconclusive.

3.Place or location ➣

If you are a neonatal nurse working in a city, expect to get a higher NICU income than your contemporaries in smaller towns. In a comparison made by nightingale.com of neonatal nurse salary rates by state, it appears that the highest-paid NICU nurses are found in new york, earning a NICU income of as much as $1o8,499 in a year. However, if we take the averages, it appears that the highest average annual salaries are given to neonatal nurses in the states of Maryland and Massachusetts, with NewYork, only coming in at a third place.
If you are seeking greener pastures and higher pay, pursuing a neonatal career in a NICU is definitely a good idea. Being a registered nurse already gives you more than decent pay; wouldn’t you want to make more by becoming a NICU nurse?

NICU Nurse Salary,Job Description, and Education Information NICU Nurse Salary,Job Description, and Education Information Reviewed by swapee dee on February 26, 2020 Rating: 5
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