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What is a Neonatal Nurse?

Health Technician at Work
What is a Neonatal Nurse?

Neonatal Nurses care for newborn babies who are born premature or are sick. As a neonatal nurse, depending on which type of unit you work on, you will look after babies with a range of care needs such as intensive, high dependency or special care. This makes the role very diverse, exciting, and rewarding. Working in such a varied environment offers a lot of career opportunities as you develop your experience in neonates. Working in partnership with the families of the babies is integral to the role. 


To be a Neonatal Nurse you need to be a Registered adult nurse, children’s nurse, or midwife. Education and training will be available, and you will be encouraged to undertake the Neonatal Qualified in Specialty course when you have consolidated your neonatal skills.


The importance of the role was highlighted by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh when he wrote in the forward of the Toolkit for Neonatal Services (2009) that:


‘One of the measures of a civilised society is how well it cares for its most sick and vulnerable members. Nowhere is this tested more than in neonatal services and, in particular, in neonatal intensive care. This is where cutting-edge science, medical technology, ethics, and compassion forge complex alliances. These have a direct and long-lasting impact – not only on the future of each vulnerable baby, but also on the lives of those who care for them’.

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