The role of the neonatal intensive care nurse (NICU nurse) is to provide direct and specialized care for newborns needing close monitoring due to premature birth, birth defects, infection, or other medical conditions requiring surgery or therapy. Working in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with doctors and other healthcare professionals, the NICU RNs assist in developing and implementing a plan of care for high-risk newborns requiring high-technology care, including ventilators, incubators, or other special equipment or surgery.
Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities
NICU RNs perform life-sustaining care. Their duties include administering medications, monitoring vital signs and providing vital nutrients to newborns. Because most premature and sick newborns’ lungs are not fully developed, NICU RNs must ensure that infants are breathing and maturing properly. These specialized nurses work with upper-level nurses and physicians and assist in treatment plans and examinations. They keep, maintain and update records of the patient’s care. In addition to medical care, NICU RNs communicate with and educate parents on day-to-day operations as well as home-care procedures.
- Cleaning the babies and maintaining hygienic and favorable conditions around the babies
- Feeding the babies on time, changing their diapers and bedding, and giving the medications as prescribed by the doctors
- Monitoring the babies’ health regularly and noting down their health status and taking them for periodic checkup to the doctors
- Recording the health status report and handing it to the doctors and assisting the doctors in the treatment process
- In case of emergency situations, providing primary treatment to the babies and informing the doctors for further treatment
- Sterilizing and inserting IV’s and changing them regularly, and adjusting the ventilators
- Conducting blood checkups and helping in blood transfusing and other critical treatments
- Maintaining a track of the number of babies admitted in particular ward and give necessary information to the doctors on request
- Training the new nurses and making sure that the hospital has all kinds of necessary equipment’s required in the treatment
Key Competencies and Characteristics
NICU nurses must be team players since they deal with such delicate patients. They must also be masters of technical competencies related to neonatal nursing because every second counts. A full understanding of the needs of newborns and their families is also an imperative aspect of the NICU nursing.
- Should be aware of the treatment procedures and the kind of treatment required for babies with different levels of illness
- Ability to maintain hygienic conditions in the wards
- Respond quickly in case of emergency condition and provide appropriate treatment
- Should be caring, loving and polite while handling the babies
- Willingness to work on shifts and for extended hours if required
- Ability to provide emotional and mental support to the family members of the babies
Key Competencies and Characteristics
- Must pass pre-employment examination.
- Designated and/or Random Drug Testing required.
- Background and/or Security Investigation required.
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English
Education and Experience
- Candidates must have a bachelor’s, associates or diploma degree in Nursing.
- Full unrestricted Registered Nurse state Licensure, Certification, or Registration required
- The ideal candidate will have at least have one year of recent Neonatal ICU RN experience
- Employment is conditional upon passing a drug test and background check
- Current TX or any state Compact license – American Heart Association ACLS, PALS, BLS certifications, NRP and STABLE