Neonatal nurse practitioner jobs all revolve around the care of premature or very ill newborns. Any job may specialize in a particular area like the in-taking of preemies or working with babies that will have or are recovering from surgery. The amount of specialization may depend on the hospital and how many neonatal intensive care (NICU) units it possesses. In some hospitals, one NICU serves the whole population of newborns with compromised health, and in others, units are highly specialized as to the condition of the child, in which case neonatal nurse practitioner jobs may be specialized, too. There are also other types of neonatal nurse practitioner jobs such as in administration or education.
In most settings, neonatal nurse practitioners care for the youngest and most medically fragile children in a variety of ways. They assess them regularly, and contribute their assessment to a team of medical personnel that includes a neonatologist. They also can prescribe treatments, either pharmaceutical or otherwise, and determine if the supportive equipment is functioning properly. Neonatal nurse practitioners can direct and educate nurses working in NICUs and they also advise, reassure, inform, and educate parents or guardians about their ill babies.
Though this occurs with less regularity, neonatal nurse practitioner jobs might also involve work outside of the NICU. These professionals might find work assessing babies in a regular nursery or being on hand to evaluate the health of a newborn at places like birthing centers. In this capacity, they essentially act as a pediatrician would, determining if a newborn is healthy or needs medical attention.
Given the growth of this field, there are two more neonatal nurse practitioner jobs available. People want to learn to be in this profession, and schools that offer this specialty need teachers. Therefore, neonatal nurse practitioners can teach, generally after several years of direct practice experience. They may teach part-time while still working in a hospital, or they could leave direct practice for academia.
With their experience, neonatal nurse practitioners can be good candidates for administrative work, too. They might run a neonatology department, work in a nonprofit that specializes in reducing birth defects, advise product development companies, or manage in other ways. These jobs are less common, because most nurse practitioners in this field prefer direct practice, and some employers in these areas wouldn’t necessarily think of hiring a nurse practitioner first. A good resume that details experience and education may quickly change potential employers’ minds.