Career Spotlight Saturday

An Interview with a NICU RN

Do you dream of being a NICU RN? Have you ever wondered what it is like to work in a neonatal ICU as an RN? Are you wondering how to become a NICU nurse? Join us for an interview with Dawn and discover what she does as a NICU RN.

"I love working with the babies and the families."

I have to admit that it certainly sounds fun to work with premies and newborns all day! But the reality is that these babies are very sick and need a high level of specialized care – and that is what the NICU RN provides. It’s much more than rocking and swaddling in this setting, these nurses have to monitor vital signs, teach premature infants how to eat (how is that even a thing???) and watch drug dependent babies struggle with withdrawal.  Throw in a fair amount of parent education and a dash of heartbreak now and then and you have described a neonatal nurse.  You can be sure that it takes a lot of training and experience to get here and having a big heart is only part of the equation.

This is a very specialized part of nursing. Training is rigorous. There is a lot to learn because these special patients aren’t like any others. But it can be incredibly rewarding and worth the effort if you are the right type of person for the job. 

NICU Training and Education

NICU RNs are critical care nurses, often board certified. In many settings, a bachelor degree is required (4 year degree). These nurses work in hospitals and work closely with co-workers and families. Many units will train interested RNs that meet certain criteria. They must maintain special certifications in CPR, PALS, NRP and/or NALS.

If you are interested in this career, you would need to obtain RN certification, obtain your BSN (Bachelor’s degree), specialize in critical care or obstetrics, then apply for specialized training in your facility.

Thank you for tuning in to Career Spotlight Saturday, where we interview a different healthcare professional each week. Let us know if there is a profession you would like us to spotlight in the comments below!

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