Neonatal nurse practitioners have one of the most respected jobs in all of healthcare. They are responsible for looking after the health of newborn children and providing acute care to those who were born prematurely or with disorders.
Neonatal nurses are hailed as heroes in the field and many people have a neonatal nurse to thank for being alive today. That’s why they are so needed in the healthcare industry and there will always be a demand for them.
If you are considering a career as a neonatal nurse practitioner, here are a few reasons why becoming one could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
1. Make a Real Difference
If you’re a floor nurse and want more involvement in your patients’ lives, then being a neonatal nurse could be a great option for you.
You’ll routinely have to make life or death decisions and have a direct impact on whether your patients survive or the severity of their condition.
With that being said, you also have to be ready for the tough part of the job. While you’ll have a chance to save children’s lives, you have to be ready to deal with those you can’t save.
This is something a lot of people don’t think about before they start their path to becoming neonatal nurse practitioners, but you’ll need to reflect on yourself and see if you have the mental fortitude to deal with tragedy regularly.
This is why we would suggest that you ask to work in the NICU unit before you think about credentials so that you can see what the conditions are and what the job is really like. This will give you a better idea of whether this is the position for you.
2. Getting Your Credentials is Easier than Ever
Another reason why you should consider working as an NNP is how much easier it is to get your credentials these days. If you’re already a registered nurse, then you could get your neonatal nurse practitioner degree online while you keep your current job.
And, if you think that your credentials won’t be as respected because you got them online, think again. As long as you get your degree from a reputable school with a good program, you will have the exact same qualifications as everyone else.
No one will be able to tell that you got your degree online and you don’t have to disclose this information either.
If you’re looking for a good program, you could check Baylor University’s online neonatal NP programs. They have both regular neonatal nurse programs and a doctorate that will prepare you for leadership roles as an NNP.
Learning online is the best option for any working nurse who wants to balance their work, life, and school obligations or any student who wants a more convenient way to earn their degree.
3. The Great Pay and Job Prospects
You should know that as a nurse practitioner, you’ll have some of the best job prospects across all professions. The demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by a whopping 52% leading into 2030, and a large portion of these positions will be in neonatal care.
Neonatal nurse practitioners are also paid in the top tier across all professions and the average NNP can earn as much as $108,535.
4. Work with Whole Families
Another thing a lot of nurses love about their roles is the educational part. You’ll be in charge of teaching parents how to take care of their child properly once they’re ready to leave and you will be laying the health groundwork for the rest of this child’s life.
You are asked to teach them about things like breastfeeding, signs to look out for, and how to perform certain procedures in case the child has a disorder. This may include things such as administering oxygen and medicine, tube feedings, and other types of therapies.
In addition to that, you will also be there to provide emotional support to a child’s parents or their extended family. Parents often go through an emotional roller coaster after birth complications or after a child is born prematurely.
It will be your job to educate them about their child’s condition and reassure them while being realistic. This makes neonatal nursing one of the best jobs for good communicators and natural empaths.
5. Great Option for Senior Nurses
If you’re an older nurse and running the floor is becoming too much for you, you could always consider moving to neonatal care. You’ll stay active, but you won’t have to travel the same kind of distance the average nurse does during a shift.
It’s also much less demanding physically since you’ll only need to worry about lifting infants and not adult patients. And, while children can get noisy, they are usually much easier to deal with than grown patients who can sometimes get very aggressive or stubborn.
6. Community Support
Another perk of being a neonatal nurse practitioner is how much support and admiration you’ll get from the public. You’ll be proud to tell people what you do, and you can expect people to ask you all sorts of questions about your work.
Some people may also thank you for your service. This is one of the things that make neonatal care practitioners such a fulfilling position.
Not only that, but you may end up forming lifelong relationships with the parents you assisted. Some of them will be thankful their whole lives for what you did for them, and they may even introduce you to their children once they get older.
The feeling of being responsible for someone else’s life is something very few people will have the chance to experience, but you’ll have the chance to experience it many times during your career.
If you are thinking about becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner and you still have questions, we suggest you start speaking with a few NNPs.
Don’t hesitate to ask them about what they like and don’t like about the job and some of the things you need to prepare for.