NICU Nurse

Care for newborn babies who have critical health problems.

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do NICU Nurses do?

NICU Nurses care for serious ill infants in their first days, weeks, or months of life. These fragile newborns may have been born too early, suffer from disease or illness, or fail to thrive. While NICU Nurses have the heart-wrenching job of watching some babies lose their battle, they also save lives, and have the good fortune of using modern medicine in ways that allow babies to thrive, grow, and go home with their parents.

As a NICU Nurse, you’re specially trained in the equipment used in the neonatal intensive care unit. That includes respirators, incubators, and feeding tubes. You might also assist Physicians who perform surgery on newborns.

A typical day has you monitoring the progress of the little ones in your care. You use gear that minimizes the spread of germs, such as gloves and masks. In order to hook those tiny bundles up to monitors and breathing apparatuses, you insert IVs and hoses. In addition, you make sure that heart, lung, and breathing sensors are in the right place and operating properly.

You take frequent readings, communicate with the Pediatrician, and administer medications. You also update the infant’s medical chart as needed.

While your medical expertise is put to a daily test, so is your ability to express empathy and compassion to the infant’s parents. You do your best to offer support while educating them about their child’s treatment, now and in the future.

Should I be a NICU Nurse?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse

    How to become a NICU Nurse

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