Neonatal Nurse | Kids Work!

What is a Neonatal Nurse?

Neonatal nursing is a specialty in the health care profession where nurses provide direct patient care to high-risk newborn babies. They access the patients' health problems and needs, and use mathematics to calculate medication and nutrition based on the patient's very low weight. Knowledge of the sciences is required to understand the function of the human body. Neonatal nurses operate high tech equipment in the neonatal intensive care unit such as ventilators and incubators. Nurses must also keep precise medical records on each infant patient to help the physician provide proper medical care.

Real People Profile

Name: Sherrie Morgan
Workplace: Palmetto Health Richland
Education: Diploma degree in nursing
Favorite Subject(s)
in School:
Mathematics and reading
First Real Job: Summer nurse intern
Dream Job: Neonatal nurse
Interests: My children, my church, tennis, rollerblading, biking

Real People Q&A

Advice for students interested in my job: 
Study hard. Volunteer at your local hospital.

What subjects in school will students need to do my job?
Mathematics, reading, science, typing, computer, and foreign language

What I like most about my job? 
I love going to deliveries. The most fun part of my day is that I can go down for seven or eight deliveries and it's just so neat because when the baby comes out and does well, the family is so excited. It's a challenge when it doesn't go well. We wish every delivery went well. I like when babies come back to visit. We had one baby that was so sick that we never thought he was going to get out of here. The families bring them back to visit and they look great, and it's awesome to see them run around, they're talking and it's just a great feeling. The parents, sometimes on the birthday of their baby, will send us flowers every year. We've gotten roses from one particular family every year for the past 21 years and it's just amazing that they're so thankful. It's very rewarding.

What is the biggest challenge in my job? 
The nursing shortage is probably the most challenging thing. It's a stressful place to work, but it can be very rewarding so we're always looking for nurses. When I make out assignments and I don't have the number of nurses I need, although I always end up getting them, it's a little stressful. It would be nice to have more good, talented nurses. And we have some male nurses. I want to put a plug in there for the boys.

How do you get a job like mine? 
We do summer nurse internships for students who are in school for nursing. Some days we have people to be able to come up and shadow. We do senior career day where students work with our clinical nurse specialist and nurse educator. We've had students from our in the community to come out and spend half a day with us to see if they are interested in this. Another thing is to volunteer, especially during the summer. We have volunteers who are getting exposed to what it's like to work in the hospital and in the intensive care area.