How many hours does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner work?

If you are planning a career as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, you should become prepared for working continuously for long hours, providing primary, severe, prolonged, and critical care to neonates and infants.

Being a neonatal nurse practitioner demands a lot of sharp skills and strength to show instant actions towards several acuities of the newborns.

The newborns may go through prematurity or some severe physical disorders which need emergency care, and the neonatal nurse practitioners have to perform accurately in those situations. A neonatal nurse can be called for duty at any time of the day in case a newborn needs an immediate cure.

Although, you get the freedom to choose their shifts according to the work hour limitations. The flexible work hours allow you to have a balance between your work and personal life. In this article, you will read about the working hours of an NNP and will know whether they are concrete or they vary.

Hospital Hours

A hospital runs 24 hours a day and seven days per week. It has to operate throughout the year because patients are always in need of an emergency check-up. Therefore, an employee may have to work at night shifts, holidays, and weekends too.

Moreover, when you are practicing as a neonatal nurse, you will have to manage more emergency cases because the infants’ medical disorders are very delicate. Therefore, irrespective of the working hours, you may have to report on duty either on holidays or at nights.

Division of shifts

Recently, hospitals have allowed flexible shifts to neonatal nurse practitioners. According to these flexible shifts, you, as a neonatal NP, will have to maintain forty working hours per week. Although, these forty hours also allow you to fluctuate your shifts.

According to the hospital rules, you can work eight hours per day and five days per week or ten hours a day and four days per week. You can choose to work in any shift and can maintain your limit of working hours per week.

Staffing requirements

Hospitals need to maintain a particular number of nursing members throughout each shift. Those members include a specific number of neonatal nurse practitioners too. However, the nurses have the freedom to choose their work shifts, but sometimes they may have to work different shifts to meet the requirements of the hospital.

Most of NICU’s neonatal nurses work twelve-hour shifts, although, as mentioned before, you may work eight-hour shifts too. But they may more likely have to work during nights, weekends and holidays.

Workload according to neonatal levels

Your working hours may vary according to the neonatal level of your designation. NICUs designate the neonatal nurses on different levels based on the care provided and the availability of technology. The neonatal units in hospitals have categories divided into levels I, II, and III. The level three neonatal nurses are hired for severe cases. Most of the neonatal intense care units have level IV neonatal NPs who handle the most severe cases.

The level II nurses may have to cure two to four patients at a time, but level IV nurses have to handle one patient at a time. That is how your working hours may vary depending on your neonatal level.

Typically, neonatal nurses have to work 40 hours a week. You may have to do overtime on some days, depending on the severity of the patients’ health. The infant or newborn patients can’t be left unattended. Neonatal nurse practitioners play a crucial role in NICUs to monitor the patients. Therefore, you may have to face infrequent long working hours.

Working on weekends, nights, or overtime will be part of your job because the hospitals operate every hour and every day. Neonatal nurse practitioners work primarily during the day time, but their performance or duties may be required anytime. You will play a prior role, so you should be prepared to work on short notice.