How Much Does a Neonatal Nurse Make?
If you enjoy helping people, working in a team environment and working with newborn infants, you might consider a career as a neonatal nurse practitioner. A neonatal nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who specializes in working with newborn infants needing extra care. Read on to learn more about your potential salary and the skills you need to become a neonatal nurse. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Salary Information for Neonatal Nurses
RNs working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) earned a median annual salary of $50,747, according to PayScale.com in August 2011. Advanced practice nurses, including neonatal nurse practitioners, generally make a higher salary than registered nurses. PayScale.com reported the median expected salary for a neonatal nurse practitioner in August 2011 was $79,105.
Your place of employment and city of residence may contribute to your potential earnings as a neonatal nurse. In general, larger cities and metropolitan hospitals offer higher wages than rural hospitals and smaller clinics. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that many hospitals were offering signing bonuses and subsidized training in order to attract qualified nurses, and advanced practice nurses, in general, were expected to be in increasingly high demand between the years 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov).
The first steps to a career in neonatal nursing is to complete a bachelor's degree program and obtain licensing as a registered nurse (RN). As a RN, you might work in hospitals with advanced-care facilities for newborns. If possible, you may want to spend time working in a NICU.
In order to practice as a neonatal nurse practitioner, you will need to complete a master's degree for nurse practitioners. Some schools include the option to concentrate in a subspecialty of advanced nursing, such as neonatal nursing. While enrolled, you may take advanced classes in nursing and care of high-risk infants, often including the following subjects:
- Neonatal pharmacotherapeutics
- Developmental biology
- Neonatal assessment
- High-risk family care
Certification and Continuing Education
Though optional, with several years of on-the-job experience you might choose to earn certification from a professional organizations. The National Certification Corporation offers an exam for you to earn a credential as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (www.nccwebsite.org). In order to qualify, you must be a licensed RN and have completed a graduate program in neonatal nursing. Many states also require RNs to complete a certain number of continuing education hours every year to keep current with advances in technology and maintain licensing.
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