Neonatal nursing refers to the care given to an infant in the first 28 days of its life. A neonatal nurse may work in any of the three levels of nursery. Levels 1, level 2 and level 3. Level 1 nursery typically contains healthy babies that do not require specialized care. Because of this, the infants stay in one room with their mother and both are discharged to go home after a few days. Level 2 nursery contains infants that were born ahead of their time or are ill. For this reason, they require specialized care given by the nurses. Infants in level 2 nursery typically require more time in the hospital before being discharged to go home.
Level 3 nursery is the intensive care unit for infants. Infants here require round the clock surveillance and need specialized equipment just to help them survive. Many neonatal nurses work in level 3 nursery. The qualifications required to get into a neonatal nursing career vary with many health institutions but to be a neonatal nurse, you must have a degree in nursing and be a registered nurse. To be registered, you have to take a national licensing exam. Qualifications in midwifery duties may also be required by some institutions. In addition, some may require you to have experience in nursing duties. Other institutions want fresh graduate nurses they can train themselves.
In this way, these fresh nurses will only have experience exclusively in neonatal nursing. To become a neonatal nurse in level 3 nursery, you also need to have basic skills in the resuscitation of an infant. Neonatal nurse salary especially working in intensive care go through a rigorous training in order to be able to provide specialized care to infants in critical condition. They must be able to administer medication that may turn risky and look after infants that need ventilator support. They usually have to do additional training and exams every year to maintain their competitiveness.