What Does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Do? [11 Key Tasks]

So do you want to know “What a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Does”?

A neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) is a nurse with a specialty in taking care of sick or premature neonates. Notably, a neonate means a newborn that is not older than 28 days. This neonate nurse practitioner takes care of newborns that require specialized attention due to any disorders or abnormalities such as respiratory distress, low birth weight, and congenital heart defects.

Typically, a neonatal nurse practitioner works in a developmental pediatric clinic, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), emergency unit or delivery room of a hospital. Working with neonatologists and other specialized medical personnel, a neonatal nurse practitioner evaluates, monitors, and manages the condition of the newborns.

Due to the conditions of newborns under the care of a neonatal nurse practitioner, their work environments are often intense and sensitive. Therefore, they usually work nonstop whenever they are at work.

Also, there are times when they will remain on call for a long time; therefore, a neonatal nurse practitioner must be able to cope with a flexible work shift.

What does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner do?

Based on their experience and expertise, the key tasks of a neonatal nurse practitioner are the following:

  • Use and monitor specialized medical equipment like ventilators and incubators
  • Collaborate with a medical doctor to dispense medications to the patients
  • Educate and support the families of the newborns in regard to postpartum, intensive, and neonatal care
  • Make sure that the neonates are properly fed
  • Create various treatment plans for newborns with serious health conditions
  • Assess, diagnose and implement various procedures to take care of the sick newborns
  • Order and use the right equipment to carry out diagnostic tests
  • Interpret the results of clinical tests and deliver the results to the medical doctor in charge
  • Draw blood samples form the acutely ill newborns
  • Conduct psychological and physical assessment of neonates
  • Deal with the transport of newborns that are acutely ill

In addition to the basic duties of neonatal nurse practitioners, some of these professionals become specialized educators. These educators provide people with information related to proper infant care, pregnancy as well as birth control.

Check the video that shows a day in the life of an NNP:

What are the Soft Skills of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners?

Apart from the education requirements of a neonatal nurse practitioner, there are some soft skills that will help them in the discharge of their duties. These soft skills include:

  • Ability to work with at-risk newborns
  • Perseverance, determination, and enthusiasm to cope with concerns and reactions from families of newborns
  • Ability to show excellent judgment when under pressure
  • Physical and mental fitness to cope with fatigue, pressure, and stress of working long shifts
  • Emotional stability to cope with any unfavorable outcomes to their patients
  • Good vision, hearing, and agility to stay at alert and respond quickly to the needs of the newborns in their care.

We hope that this article has clearly shown you what a neonatal nurse practitioner does.

Now, you can decide whether this is a career you are still interested in pursuing or not.

Recommended reading: How to Become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

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