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Which nursing graduate program should you choose? Neonatal nurses get paid a great salary, but it takes a very special kind of person to work with sick or premature babies and their families. Is a career as a neonatal nurse right for you?
Classes You Might Take in the Neonatal Specialty
Graduate programs in nursing school focus on several sub-specialties: advanced practice neonatal nursing, neonatal nurse practitioner, neonatal clinical nurse specialist, acute care pediatric nurse practitioner, or other areas of concentration.
An APNN degree program teaches students advanced skills in child health assessment, managing chronic and acute diseases, newborn development theory, family psychology, and community and clinical practice.
ACPNP master's degree programs focus on acute care. Because part of caring for critically ill infants is dealing with death, coursework focuses on palliative care and end-of-life issues for children and their families.
Salaries for Neonatal Nurses
The average salary for a neonatal nurse is around $74,000 per year. With more training and experience you can expect to earn more. In addition, large hospitals specializing in caring for children tend to pay more than smaller hospitals, and if you take on a leadership role in your department you'll receive a higher salary.
Not all neonatal nursing school graduates work directly with patients. Some go into research or policy-making. Working with underserved and vulnerable communities requires a unique set of skills, and these nursing jobs are extremely rewarding (both in salary and in knowing you've made a difference).
More Information About Nursing Graduate Degree Programs
As you consider which nursing school to attend, request information about the neonatal sub-specialty. Admission to these advanced training programs is competitive, so make sure you explore all your options before applying to nursing school.
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