A neonatal critical care nurse is a licensed registered nurse who cares for newborns who need round-the-clock attention.
These young patients are typically born prematurely or with some type of illness or developmental defect, which can sometimes lead to long stays in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) . Some will need to stay in NICU for two years, and to provide such expansive and dedicated care, NICU nurses typically work long shifts (8-16 hours per day) that include nights, weekends, and holidays. They typically care for one to four newborns per shift.
Neonatal intensive care unit nurses work in a team with other NICU doctors and nurses. They are directly responsible for monitoring vitals, administering medications and nutrients, and providing care and comfort to newborns. NICU nurses also educate new parents on the appropriate care for their newborn following discharge, and they answer any questions that families may have.
NICU nurses work in public or private hospitals. Some NICU nurses may also work for in-home health services or in medical emergency and transportation teams. Regardless of their location, NICU nurses can expect to work very hard to provide care for vulnerable human beings.
It takes a special person to become a nurse, but that's even more true for those who go on to become Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses. These dedicated professionals care for the most fragile patients there are, sick and premature newborns. In addition, they are on the front lines when it comes to helping scared parents through what is often a traumatic experience.
This Kenya Registered Neonatal Critical Care Nursing (KRNCCN) programme is a one year course that prepares registered nurses to provide comprehensive and therapeutic nursing care to critically ill newborns, the growing premature infant, and their families.