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Can You Be A Nicu Nurse With An Associate’s Degree

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How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make

Pregnancy Tips : What Are the Requirements to Become a Neonatal Nurse?

There are many types of nurses, all of whom can make a difference in patients lives while enjoying rewarding careers. If youre passionate about working with infants and their families, neonatal care is one potential specialization.

Some neonatal nurses work in the specialized environment of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit . NICU nurses care for premature and sick newborn babies between their time of birth and their eventual discharge from the hospital.

How much can you expect to make when working in a NICU? It depends on your credentials, training, and specific role within the hospital.

In this short guide, well go over the average NICU nurse salary by position.

Welcome To Mcc’s Associate Degree Nursing Program

MCC’s two-year Associate Degree Nursing curriculum prepares students to become competent registered nurses to give patient-centered care in hospitals and other health care agencies.

The program admits a class of students in the fall and spring each year. Class size is limited, and a considerable number of applications are received each year. Excluding prerequisites, the ADN Program requires two academic years for completion.

The curriculum provides students with nursing theory and clinical experiences that prepare them to be eligible to take the examination for licensure as a registered nurse, as defined by the Texas Board of Nursing. Current LVNs may choose advanced placement, which has special requirements .

Training To Become A Nicu Nurse

As with most career fields, your salary depends on your educational background and qualifications. There are several paths to becoming a NICU nurse. We have outlined to the steps on how to become a NICU nurse. To get started, youll need to pursue one of the following degrees in the U.S. or Canada:

  • ADN An Associates Degree in Nursing usually takes two years to complete. While some NICU units hire nurses directly out of ADN programs, other employers may require you to enroll part-time in a BSN program while beginning work. Upon completion of the more advanced degree, youll likely get a raise.
  • BSN A Bachelors of Science in Nursing typically takes four years to complete, although it can be even faster if you already have an associates degree in a different field. After completing a BSN, youll be prepared to sit for your certification exam as a registered nurse.
  • MSN Some nurses pursue MSN degrees to make a career transition after obtaining a BA in a different field. Others pursue this advanced degree after their BSN to improve their credentials and receive higher pay. An MSN typically takes two years to complete.

No matter which degree you pursue, youll also need to take the NCLEX. This exam tests your practical knowledge and professional ethics. To pass and become a registered nurse , youll need to score 75% or higher.

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How Much Are Neonatalnurses Paid

The work of a neonatal nurse is very valuable In fact, infants in precarious medical situations depend on their survival knowledge. Although the rewards far exceed the money, the financial incentive is still a consideration for those intending to continue this career.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not providespecific data on the incomes of neonatal careers, it provides information forgeneral care professionals.

In May 2014, the registered average nurseâs annual average income was $66,640, while those in the 90th percentile earned $98,880 annually. People who earn certifications or a higher degree may earn even more.

Neonatal nurses can also work as a nurse. The average starting salary of a neonatal nurse is between $50,000 and $67,000 per year.

The salary can increase if he or she earns considerableexperience as a neonatal nurse. Neonatal Nurses earn an annual average of$80,000 to $100,000.

Studies have shown that the demand for neonatal nurses overthe next decade is expected to increase due to the emerging technology thatallows premature or very sick babies to survive during the neonatal period.

Foundation For Neonatal Research And Education

Fastest RN to BSN online program

The foundation is a research and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening of Neonatal Nursing Practice. They promote research, evaluation of Neonatal Nursing Interventions, and working toward improved patient outcomes. They use scholarships and advocacy to prepare Neonatal Nurses for the present and future needs of the society.

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Applying To Nursing School

There are many considerations for prospective neonatal nurses to explore when choosing a nursing school.

A valid nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education . Nursing programs prepare graduates to work as registered nurses. Applicants should also look for a school that will provide them with guidance to help them pass the National Council Licensure Examination , which is necessary for licensure.

Upon qualifying as a registered nurse, neonatal nursing applicants can seek out positions in the NICU. This will allow them to gain the necessary training to have a career in neonatal nursing.

Software Technology And Skills Needed

Nursing practice involves direct patient care and supervision of LPNs and nurse assistants. They must work well in fast-paced teamwork and collaboration-oriented environments. They must have exceptional time management skills and the ability to manage many overlapping activities at the same time. Nursing today involves the use of computer-based, high-tech devices and machines.

Nurses must record inputs, treatment notes, and other medical information into computerized records systems. They must be comfortable with Office suites and similar general software systems. They must also master hospital or facility software systems. Many procedures integrate human efforts with machine-controlled systems.

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The Neonatal Nurse Job Hunt

Neonatal nurses can find jobs in one of two ways: through personal connections or through job listings. A nurse who leverages personal connections for a job may rely on mentor recommendations, residencies, or professors for introductions.

Nurses can also identify potential employers by searching hospital databases and insurance provider directories. Joining LinkedIn also allows nurses to connect with potential employers.

Paying For The Adn Degree Financial Aid Scholarships Grants Loans

Neonatal Nurse Salary | NICU Nurse Salary, Job Overview, and Education Requirements

Education of any kind represents an investment in yourself, and no matter how promising your future will be with an ADN degree, paying tuition can still represent a burden. Fortunately, there are many options available to help, including grants, scholarships and loans. Here are just a few:

  • Grants. A variety of grants are given out to students who demonstrate financial need. These are offered by the federal government, as well as by states and individual colleges. Like scholarships, grants do not require that you repay them. The selection of students who qualify is based on information submitted on the FAFSA form . Once youve filled out the form, you will receive notification of a financial aid award, either with your acceptance letter or at some point thereafter. The amount of these awards varies based on availability of funds and on perceived ability of the students family to pay, but the average amount distributed is $5,000 per student. Pell Grants are also available, but generally are limited to students with needs that are considered most urgent based on annual family income.
  • Payment plans. If you are going to pay cash for your tuition, the ADN program that you enroll in may allow you to set up a payment plan. Many schools also offer financial aid, so contact the school directly to ask what options are available.
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    How Much Can You Make As A Neonatal Nurse

    According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the average wage for registered nurses was $80,010 per year .* Pay varies based on many factors such as years of experience, the type of healthcare facility, your specialty in nursing and the state in which you practice.

    Registered nurses with specializations such as neonatal/NICU care require higher levels of training and experienceand have the potential to earn an above average salary.

    Can You Deduct Nursing Home Expenses

    Can you deduct nursing home expenses? Yes, in certain instances nursing home expenses are deductible medical expenses. If you, your spouse, or your dependent is in a nursing home primarily for medical care, then the entire nursing home cost is deductible as a medical expense.

    What percent of nursing home care is tax deductible? Medical expenses, including some long-term care expenses, are deductible if the expenses are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

    Can you deduct long-term care expenses? The costs of qualified long-term care, including nursing home care, are deductible as medical expenses. However, if an individual is in the home primarily for non-medical reasons, then only the portion attributable to actual medical or nursing care, excluding meals and lodging, is deductible.

    Are assisted living expenses tax deductible in 2021? Can You Write Off Assisted Living On Your Taxes? Yes, if you live in an assisted living facility, you can generally write off a number of medical expenses included in the fees for assisted living as well as other qualified long-term care services on your taxeswith some qualifications and restrictions, of course.

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    Key Differences Between Adn And Bsn Degrees

    Graduates of a two-year ADN degree are Registered Nurses. Like those who complete the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, they have all of the education and clinical training that they need to sit for and pass the NCLEX exam and to get their nursing license. However, there are significant and immediate differences between the two that need to be taken into consideration. These include:

    • It takes substantially less time to complete an ADN degree than a BSN degree. An ADN degree can be obtained in just two years of full-time classwork, while a BSN takes twice that amount of time. Those two years can be spent earning valuable hands-on experience and becoming established and respected within the workplace, as well as earning a solid income.
    • Depending upon the program that you choose, an ADN degree can represent a much smaller financial investment than a BSN degree. It is also possible to pursue an ADN degree on a part-time basis or through an online program: this means that students can continue to work full time and earn income while achieving their educational goals.

    Next Steps To Enroll In An Adn Program

    What Is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

    Once youve made the decision to pursue an Associates Degree in Nursing, there are a number of important steps that are either required or recommended to help you achieve your goal.

    • Investigate the programs that are available to you. Just as in choosing any college program, you want to determine what type of program you want to apply to and is best suited to your life and needs. Considerations include location, program reputation, how competitive the program is, and cost. Once youve identified those that are of interest, make a checklist for each ones application requirements and deadlines.
    • Complete your high school diploma or GED. If you already have done so, collect all pertinent transcripts and proof of graduation. If you are still in school, remember that higher GPAs, involvement in school activities and in volunteer programs will make you more attractive to those making decisions about which students to accept. Participation in volunteer activities at local hospitals or with the American Red Cross is a good idea, and so is seeking mentorship through local nursing professional associations or attendance at nursing camp.
    • Apply to the accredited ADN programs that you have identified.
    • Apply for financial aid if needed.

    Read Also: Education To Become A Registered Nurse

    Doctorate Degree In Nursing

    There are four doctoral options for those interested in neonatal nursing. These include:

    This is a practical degree offering nurses the opportunity to hone their skills to provide better care for NICU patients.

    This degree is rooted in research, allowing students to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to move into positions at research universities and hospitals.

    This degree is ideal for those who want to focus on a very specific point of nursing, such as specialist skills in neonatal care.

    This degree has a strong focus on investigative and research skills, and is designed for those who want to work with or lead research teams.

    Students who have already earned a masters degree and have several years of experience working in a neonatal unit may decide to pursue a doctoral program. Those who want to work as hands-on neonatal nurses can earn the DNP or the DN with an emphasis on neonatal care, preparing them to work in the best NICU units in the country.

    Graduates of doctoral programs in nursing will have strong skills and deeply rooted knowledge, honed over years of experience and educational study. Some of the most common skills students can expect to master during a doctoral program are highlighted below.

    Understanding of illness trajectory
    Collaborative skills

    The leadership and management skills of a doctoral graduate are finely tuned, giving them the excellent skills to work effectively with those in the highest levels of research and administration.

    Leadership

    Types Of Adn Programs

    Once youve decided to pursue an Associates Degree in Nursing, you will find that there are multiple routes available to you. The right one for you will depend upon your current situation, whether you are interested in taking classes on a full-time or part-time basis, in person or online, and whether or not you have already started working towards a nursing degree or career in healthcare.

    The fastest and most direct route to an Associates Degree in Nursing is to enroll in and graduate from an accredited program offered by a community college, university or nursing school. These programs can be taken on a full time or part-time basis, in person or online, and can be completed in as little as 18-to-24 months. There are also programs for those who are already Licensed Practical Nurses and who want to pursue an ADN degree.

    • ADN program This is the most straightforward and quickest way to become a Registered Nurse. ADN programs are available on a full-time and part-time basis, and most programs offer the opportunity to take classes at night or online. Graduation from these programs prepare you to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses .
    • LPN-to-ADN program Licensed Practical Nurses can pursue an Associates Degree in Nursing in one or two years. These programs are available at vocational schools and community colleges, as well as online. Graduation from these programs prepare you to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses .

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    How To Become A Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse

    The population in the United States is growing, and so is the need for neonatal intensive care nurses. Caring for prematurely born, ill babies while offering support to their families can be one of the most arduous yet emotionally rewarding careers out there. RNs who are considering NICU nursing should have a natural interest in working with infants and their families.

    Advanced Education And Certification

    Should You Get Your Associates or Bachelors Degree in Nursing? How To Get Your Masters/Become A NP.

    Continuing education requirements for neonatal nurses vary by state, with the state nursing board determining how many hours nurses must complete every two to three years to maintain their nursing licenses. After gaining neonatal nursing experience, nurses can earn a graduate nursing degree specializing in neonatal care. Ohio State University offers a master’s degree program for neonatal nurse practitioners and requires candidates have at least one year of full-time experience working in a neonatal intensive care unit before beginning the clinical courses.

    References

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    What Education Licensing And Certifications Do I Need

    To become a neonatal nurse, you must earn at least a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing , although a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is becoming more commonly required. You must also be licensed as an RN. Neonatal nurses must also be certified in neonatal resuscitation as well as earn specific NICU certificates if theyre working in the NICU. You may also be required to have a minimum number of years of clinical experience in a hospital setting.

    To become a neonatal nurse practitioner, you will need at least two years of clinical experience in a neonatal intensive care unit before pursuing an advanced degree. Currently, NNPs need at least a Master of Science in Nursing degree, although The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties in 2018 made the decision to move all entry-level nurse practitioner education to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree by 2025. You must also earn state certification as a neonatal nurse practitioner in the state in which you wish to practice.

    Neonatal Nurse

    Degree youll need:At least an Associate Degree in Nursing , although a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is most often required

    Licensing required:

    Advanced practice registered nursing license, such as nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist

    What Certifications Do You Need To Be A Nicu Nurse

    To become a Neonatal Nurse, either an associates degree in nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing is required. Its also required to become licensed. This can be done by passing the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing exam.

    What certifications can you get as a NICU nurse?

    • Basic Life Support
    • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
    • Neonatal Resuscitation Program

    What are the requirements to become a NICU nurse? To become a neonatal nurse, you must earn at least a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing , although a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is becoming more commonly required. You must also be licensed as an RN.

    How many years does it take to become a NICU nurse?

    Becoming a NICU nurse takes a minimum of two to four years. You will need to: Obtain a nursing degree. Complete clinical experience in appropriate units such as pediatrics, labor and delivery and mother/baby.

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