Neonatal Nurse Practitioners take care of ill and premature infants. There are many levels in neonatology, from basic workers in the newborn nursery to doctors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This paper is specifically on the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, which requires more schooling than a regular registered nurse but less schooling than a doctor.
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A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) usually has a Bachelor’s in Nursing, a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a concentration in neonatology, and several years of clinical experience. Basic duties for NNPs include monitoring ventilators and incubators, feeding the babies, and administering medicine for jaundice, birth defects, anemia, etc. NNPs need to know how medications react to each other so that they can understand the infant’s symptoms and prevent possible death. Also, the at-risk infants often need tests to survey their blood pH and oxygen levels. A premature baby’s lungs are so weak that sometimes they do not have enough oxygen. This is monitored through blood gas tests administered by the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in the Intermediate Care Nursery or NICU. Some places to work include Loyola Medicine and Northwestern Medicine in Illinois. The average pay is about $107,550.
I chose this job from the three I researched because this is actually a career I want to pursue when I grow up. I really love babies, and I am very involved in the pro-life movement. Therefore, I was interested in a career which involved helping infants. However, science is not my favorite subject, so I will have to work extra hard in my classes should I pursue this career. It was fun to research neonatal nursing because I had already started looking around at schools and programs for it. To be a neonatal nurse practitioner, one should be competent, hardworking, quick-thinking, compassionate, and resourceful. A neonatal nurse should be able to compose themselves in stressful situations and be able to reassure the parents of the patient they are working with. A nurse cannot faint at the sight of blood or be nervous when inserting a needle. I think I have many traits that are necessary to be a neonatal nurse practitioner, but on the other hand I need to work on not being so sensitive. When you are a nurse, patients may die. I need to be able to deal with that stress and pain and not let it weigh me down too much, especially if I am working with fragile, high-risk infants. Overall, I want to have a career which helps people, and to me nothing is more important than helping the most vulnerable.
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