Neonatal nursing is a relatively new branch of nursing that takes care of the health of newly born infants. Being a new career, neonatal nursing offers significant opportunities for growth. Continue reading this CareerStint article to know more about the earning potential of nurses in this profession.
Many nurses or students who wish to work as neonatal nurses are usually curious to know the earning prospects in this profession. Well, the neonatal nurse salary range is dependent on various factors. It is very much dependent on the education, certification, and experience of the candidate, and location and type of the employer. Educational and work-experience requirements may vary depending on the specific needs of the healthcare units.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) working as neonatal nurses earn higher salaries than neonatal nursery nurses who take care of newborn infants who are generally in good health or are at a low risk for illness. Location and experience are the important parameters that determine the salary of a neonatal nurse. Many hospitals and healthcare units situated in rural areas don’t have the facilities of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), so on a general note, a neonatal nurse’s remuneration in those cases is decided by the number of hospital beds.
Neonatal nurses are advanced practice nurses, and all advanced practice positions require a master’s degree. After acquiring a bachelor’s degree in nursing and the Registered Nurse (RN) designation, those who want to enter a graduate program, need to have one-two years experience as a practicing nurse. The program with a focus on neonatal nurse practitioner prepares students for working in delivery rooms and caring for neonates.
- Nurse practitioners, including neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs), earned a median annual salary of $96,460 in May 2012, as per the data presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- According to the AANP (the American Association of Nurse Practitioners) study, NNPs had a base salary of $107,550 (with total income $124,540).
Salary by Location
Take a look at the average neonatal nurse practitioner salary in some of the states. The figures are an approximate amount, and are subject to vary.
Arizona – $64,000
California – $83,000
Florida – $72,000
Georgia – $89,000
Illinois – $88,000
Massachusetts – $94,000
New Jersey – $84,000
New York – $94,000
Ohio – $74,000
Pennsylvania – $75,000
Texas – $75,000
Virginia – $78,000
Washington – $80,000
Wisconsin – $69,000
Wyoming – $64,000
* Source: Indeed
Salary by Experience
Neonatal nurse practitioner salary range also depends on the work experience of the person.
Mid-career – $66,298 – $123,540
Experienced – $74,744 – $130,424
Late-career – $80,400 – $131,013
* Source: PayScale
Neonatal nurses are the professionals who look after the newly born infants, especially the sick and premature newborn babies. We all are aware of natal intensive care units, where newly born infants are treated and kept, in case they are unwell. The term neonatal refers to the first 28 days of the life of a child. Neonatal nursing is a new specialty branch of nursing that is becoming immensely popular and significant in maintaining the health of the newly born. It is closely related to the midwifery and similar nursing medical jobs. The first few days after birth are extremely crucial for the child, and so, it makes sense to employ some specialists for monitoring the growth and health of the child.
Most NNPs work in neonatal intensive-care units (NICUs), also known as intensive care nursery (ICNs). The job of a neonatal nurse is divided in three levels.
- In the first level of the working, nurses look after the newly born infants that are healthy and usually don’t require much attention. These days, the healthy child and mother don’t stay in the hospital for a long time.
- In the second level, nurses look after the newborn babies who are born prematurely or may be suffering from an illness. The babies may need oxygen or intravenous therapy due to poor health.
- Under the level III nursing, newborn babies suffering from major health problems are treated. Neonatal nurses may be expected to treat the child using special equipment like ventilators and incubators. Infants battling with severe diseases are generally kept in the grade 3 level baby nurseries.
- Level IV NICUs provide surgical repair of complex congenital or acquired conditions. If required, they also facilitate transport.
The number of newborns needing extra neonatal care has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, and so the demand for neonatal nurses in hospitals has also increased. Choosing a career as a neonatal nurse offers a unique career development path for nurses, as nurses can move on to become nurse managers, and handle larger roles in the hospital care units. Similarly, the neonatal salary range will also increase with work experience. Added to these benefits, is the pleasure of helping mothers and newly born infants with care and love. So, if you have a dream to be a nurse, you can surely make a good career in this particular nursing branch. All the best!!