Neonatal nurses are trained in the care of newborn infants. Neonatal nursing is one of the most specialized forms of nursing, particularly if they choose to work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). You need to complete a Registered Nurse program from an accredited institution to work as a neonatal nurse. Some hospitals may require an RN certification plus BSN degree. Neonatal nurses find employment with hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, non-profit organizations, and foundations. Career prospects for neonatal nurses are good and particularly bright for those that acquire an MSN degree. An MSN degree with a specialty in neonatal care qualifies nurses to work as neonatal nurse practitioners.

Experience in neonatal nursing with an MSN degree qualifies you for some of the best salaries amongst all nursing specialties. Career options are influenced by the type of certification courses a neonatal nurse pursues and job profile which defines the scope of work. In many states, neonatal nurses with an MSN degree work independently of physicians. One can choose to work in a NICU, take up a teaching job, or with experience achieve a managerial position in a medical facility. As with all nursing jobs, a compassionate and patient outlook, ability to perform independently, lead a team, and execute routine tasks are some of the important factors that influence career prospects.

With less than one year of experience after an MSN degree, a neonatal nurse can expect an average salary of around $77K per annum. Hospitals and private medical care centers that use sophisticated machinery and equipment for neonatal care pay well. A neonatal nurse with experience and appropriate certification can make more than $100K working with a private practice.

Illinois and New York are the states to be in if you are looking for a healthy salary working as a neonatal nurse.