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Caring for the smallest and newest patients, neonatal nurses work in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to provide for the special needs of those who come into the world a bit earlier than expected. From basic care like feeding, bathing, changing and weighing the newborns to administering medications, making assessments, and perhaps even performing resuscitation, the job of a neonatal nurse can be a stressful but rewarding one, making a difference on a daily basis. 

National Neonatal Nurses Week is celebrated to shine a spotlight on the impact that people in the neonatal nursing profession make on the lives of their tiny patients and their families. In addition, the hope for the week is to make a difference by advocating for those who are in this profession and thank them for the hard work and dedication they put into this life-saving work.

History of National Neonatal Nurses Week

This important appreciation event was founded by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) in 2000. Originally starting out as Neonatal Nurses Day on September 15, it was determined in 2019 that the event should be expanded to give everyone a better chance to acknowledge and say thanks to these many neonatal nurses who make the world a better place for so many families.

How to Celebrate National Neonatal Nurses Week

Show some support to the women and men who work so hard in this niche job by celebrating them on some of these ways during National Neonatal Nurses Week:

Thank a Neonatal Nurse

Those who have a friend or family member who is a neonatal nurse can take National Neonatal Nurses Week as a perfect opportunity to show some love and appreciation for the dedicated work that they do. Equally, those folks whose lives have been impacted through the direct care of a child – who is perhaps born prematurely or has birth defects or other health issues – can take this week as a special opportunity to say a rousing “thank you” to a special neonatal nurse with cards, messages, gifts and more.

Understand More About Neonatal Nurses 

Get involved with National Neonatal Nurses Week by learning a bit more about the kind work that these men and women do. Those who know a neonatal nurse can ask them about their experiences and stories. Those who are interested but don’t know one can learn by doing research. Check out some of these interesting facts to get started with:

  • While NICU nurses are dedicated to the babies, they are equally there to help the whole family during very challenging times.

  • The majority of babies that neonatal nurses take care of are those born prematurely.

  • Most training for nurses in the neonatal unit occurs on the job, with approximately 4-6 months of orientation

Become a Neonatal Nurse 

One excellent thing to consider during National Neonatal Nurses Week might be becoming a NICU nurse. Depending on the particular state in which they work, neonatal nurses can be trained through either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree along with licensing as a registered nurse.

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