Friday, April 29, 2011 15:27 PM

What kind of nurse takes care of newborn babies in a hospital that aren’t sick or premature?

Question:What kind of nurse takes care of newborn babies in a hospital that aren’t sick or premature?

1. They are Neonatal Nurses. Technically all nurses that take care of newborns whether they are premature, healthy or sick are neonatal nurses. It just depends on what level they are.

For example:

Level 1 neonatal nurses take care of healthy infants.
Level 2 neonatal nurses take care of premature or sick infants.
Level 3 neonatal nurses take care of infants that cannot survive without the help of machinery.

However you must already be an RN and depending on the hospital you have to have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or a Masters of Science degree in nursing.

2.  A Registered Nurse will oversee their care or directly take care of them.

But the answer will vary by hospital. In most facilities it will be an RN. Some facilities may have LPN’s working under the RN’s who will also be taking care of the infants. CNA’s also known as techs (title will vary at different facilities) will also assist with the infants care and many hospitals.

In any of these an RN will be primarily responsible for the care of the infant.

Newer RN’s are mostly BSN ( bachelor degree) nurses while some areas still have ASN ( associate degree) RN’s.

Whether or not the babies nurse also takes care of mom also varies by facility. Some hospitals have nurses who strictly work with the infants (nursery) and others who work with the new moms (postpartum). Others have nurses who do care for sets of patients taking care of moms and their babies together. Only well babies will room in with their moms or be taken care of by the same nurse.

NICU’s (Neonatal intensive care units) will always be staffed individually, separate from mom’s care, because of the special needs of these babies. Not all hospitals are equipped to handle special care babies and may have to transfer them to a larger facility if they have special needs. (in some cases the baby will have to be transfered while mom stays to recover)

Specialized training is not required to become a nursery nurse but some certifications will be required to work in a nursery, such as NRP ( neonatal resuscitation ) or PALS ( pediatric life support ).

You may also study for and receive certification in a specialized area of nursing. In this case pediatrics or neonatal. These types of certifications are not required in most facilities but sometimes will increase your pay rate or ability to advance in your career.

In some cases an APN (advance practice nurse) or NP (nurse practioner) will work with the neonatalogist in a NICU. These nurses have gone above their BSN training and have received their MSN (master degrees) and have a wider scope of practice than an RN. They will usually specialize and pediatrics is one of those areas of specialty.

3. Usually Registered Nurses and Nurses Aids who work in the nursery also rotate thru the Neonatal Intensive Care Units. They are exposed to sick and well babies.

I think you’re asking about a nurse who works in the newborn nursery. I am a nurse on the Maternal-Child Unit. I take care of the newly postpartum mommies and the newborn babies. It’s a great job, I love it.

In larger facilities, a pediatric nurse. In smaller town hospitals, a regular RN without further specialty.

I don’t think it’s a special kind- just a nurse that works the maternity ward/nursery area. Lots of them stay there a long time so they are really knowledgable.

Registered Nurse-R.N.

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