Nursery nurses are either licensed practical nurses or registered nurses who offer health care services to infants and small babies. The nursery nurse job role can be ideal for anyone who is driven to help others, especially the younger children. The nurses may find employment in a number of different settings such as hospitals, care centers, and private residences. Sometimes, they also provide in-home-care for the babies if it is not considered appropriate to take them outside to a different environment. The nursery nurses can choose to specialize either as pediatric nurses or neonatal nurses which will decide the age of the children they are going to be working with.
Duties Of A Nursery Nurse
The main duties of a nursery nurse include providing special care to children up until the age of 7 years. This could include everything from medical care to education and psychological nurturing. Their daily role would be to help the children in various different ways through practical and emotional interaction and providing guidance when needed. For example, they may encourage and help the children to clean up their toys and crafts after play, help with reading, games and outdoor play activities and maintaining a tidy and organized playroom.
Often times, parents may give over their children to the complete care of a nursery nurse. Hence, it is the responsibility of the nursery nurse to ensure that the environment in the care center remains safe and child-friendly. To make sure that nothing goes amiss, they design plans for the development and care of the children and present it to the parents. They keep a close watch on all the children and maintain updated records so that the same can be, presented to parents on a timely basis. The nursery nurses may also hold meetings with parents on a regular basis to discuss any concerns regarding the child’s health and development.
Nursery Nurse In Hospital
The nursery nurses working in hospitals offer the same duties as that of an RN or an LPN specializing in adult care. Their primary roles are mentioned in the nursery nurse job description template given below.
- Administering tests, medicines and other treatment procedures to the patients
- Helping the physicians during the treatment procedures
- Developing and reviewing the existing care plans for the children
- Hold educative sessions with the parents or guardians about the follow-up care
- Maintain detailed and accurate records of the patients
While these are the general duties of a nursery nurse, a newborn nursery nurse may have a slightly different role. Since they mostly work with the newborns and very young infants, their daily work would include providing nonmedical care to the babies such as soothing a crying baby, putting them to sleep, bathing or changing the soiled diapers.
The main roles and responsibilities of a nursery nurse actually depend on the level they are working in. There are three different levels, each of which has its own job requirements.
The level 1 nursery nurses are assigned the task of providing care to the newborns who are born healthy and do not have any medical complications. A large number of hospitals allow the mothers to stay together with their babies. Therefore, nursery nurses tending to the Level 1 nurseries may also have to provide room care.
The level 2 nurses are responsible for the care of newborns who are at a higher risk of illness or are born with some complications, for example, premature birth. The babies in level 2 are at a higher risk when compared to those who are put in the level 2. Hence the nurses working in this category have greater responsibilities. They should also be well versed on how to administer special care, such as IV administration, oxygen supplementation and more.
Level 3 Nursery Nurse
The newborns who are born with a high level of risk are put into the level 3 nurseries. This could include small and premature babies with a high risk for potential illnesses. The babies at this level are more sensitive and fragile than those in the level 1 and level 2. The level 3 nursery nurse job description would include providing extra special care and working with equipment such as incubators and ventilators.
Duties And Responsibilities Of A Nursery Nurse In School
The duties and responsibilities of a nursery nurse can vary significantly depending on their area of work. For those working in schools and care centers, the basic tasks include
- Educating the children about basic hygiene and collaborating with social care professionals to spread awareness about the same.
- Ensuring that the environment stays safe for the children at all times
- Making effective communications with the children through play
- Providing distraction and comfort to the children during treatments that could be potentially painful
- Ensuring that all the play equipment, toys, books, etc., remains hygienic for the children to use
- Developing care plans for all the children individually and making sure that all are getting enough attention
- Come up with new and effective ways to stimulate children with special needs
- Supervise other staff who may be working in the nursery section
- Devise and daily schedule for the nursery
- Attend meetings and organize programs for children’s activities
- Keeping updated about child healthcare
- Promote parenting and offer support to children who have been victims of abuse
Nursery Nurse Education Requirements
Individuals who are simply looking to work as a nursery assistant nurse may not have any specific education requirements. Employers do not expect a very high level of literacy and simply ask for the GCSE or other qualifications equivalent to it. In addition to this, they are also required to hold qualifications in childcare, for example, BTEC and NVQ. The job could be a voluntary as well as permanent type. The individuals find employment in a number of different settings. This would include working in care centers, schools or with families. Acquiring the qualifications for childcare can take up to three years, one year each for
- CACHE Level 3 Diploma
- BTEC National Diploma
- NVQ level 3
These courses require the candidate to have GCES together with mathematics and English or other qualifications which are considered equivalent.
However, candidates looking to advance their career to a neonatal nurse specialist are required to hold multiple credentials. The requirements may vary slightly from state to state as well as the employer. Given below are the nursery nurse qualifications required to work as a specialist.
- A four year degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Certification to work under the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Neonatal Resuscitation.
- Before seeking employment, the neonatal nursery nurses should have enough experience through practicum and apprenticeships
Interested candidates also have the scope of continuing education and becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner. This will require the taking up of a two-year course for acquiring a degree in Master of Science in Nursing. The program will prepare the candidates for a licensed as a clinical nurse specialist and a nurse practitioner.
Nursery Nurse Salary
Nursery nurses are also often known as neonatal nurses. Their main role is to provide care and treatment to the new mothers and their babies. People who love working with babies may find this job very satisfying. When it comes to the pay, the nursery nurses tend to have significantly different wages, depending on a large number of aspects. Although there are a few challenges in the workplace, the earnings are enough to earn them a decent living.
RN vs LVN
The role of a nursery nurse can be taken up both by the registered nurses as well as the licensed vocational nurses. Due to a higher education requirement, more intensive training as well as the additional administrative responsibilities, the registered nurses tend to have a higher salary than the licensed vocational nurses. In fact, there can be quite a remarkable gap between the salary scales for the two. According to a survey conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for the registered nurses as of May 2010 was $64,690 per year, while the average annual salary for the LVNs during the same time was only $40,380.
Irrespective of whether you are an RN or an LVN, the amount of education received can be a huge factor in determining the pay scale. Nurses who hold degrees with specialization in child care are apt to have a higher salary range as compared to the nurse show have obtained a regular nursing degree. Furthermore, higher the education, more will be the salary. This difference can arise right from the entry-level nurses. However, should be noted that the years of experience could also make up the gap in credentials. For example, the starting salary for an entry-level RN nurse may be $44,190 while that of an LVN is $29,680. However, as they gain more experience, the LVNs can gradually climb up and stand comparable to the RNs. Despite the low credentials, they can even have salaries as high as $56,010 per year. On the other hand, a well-credentialed Senior Nursery Nurse can have salaries as high as $95,130 during the later stages of his/her career.
The type of employer or the institution they are working under can have a huge influence in determining the salaries of a nursery nurse. For example, those working under private health care facilities, child care centers, schools or at a doctor’s clinic may have higher salaries than those working under the government sector such as state and county health care institutions. The nurses may also work in independent birthing centers outside of hospitals that only tend to the mothers and newborns. This would work just like the neonatal unit in a hospital but the salary would be much higher. It is seen that out of a total number of nurses working in the private medical facilities, 48 percent are registered nurses while the licensed vocational nurses only make up for 15% of the total number.
While considering the salary, it is important to include every factor that could determine the total earnings. Compensation is one of the most significant factors that decide the overall salary. The compensations could come out of working overtime, as tips from the patients or in the form of regular bonuses. The amount of experience can also influence the total compensation in a very significant manner. For example, the nursery nurses who have just entered into the profession and have an experience of fewer than 5 years receive an average total compensation of $22,000. The nurses who have been working in the field for 5 to 10 years have a yearly compensation of almost the same amount as the junior nurses and may vary slightly depending on factors other than experience. Nurses who have been working for 10 to 20 years are also expected to earn the same average annual compensation of $22,000. However, those who have been working for more than 20 years and are currently in the late phase of their career can have average annual compensations as high as 28,000. 1
How Much Do Nursery Nurses Make On An Hourly Basis?
According to data collected from over 2,657 points during the last 24 months, the nursery nurse hourly rate of salary is $28.89. This is the average rate and is bound to vary slightly from one place to the other. 2
Highest Paying States
The local economy, living costs, and legislation of a state can also affect the salary for nursery nurses. All the registered nurses are essentially registered nurses and the highest paying states in the United States are Massachusetts, Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, and California. Given below is a table to indicate the pay range in these states.
Highest Nursery Nurse Salary Paying States:
|STATE||ANNUAL MEAN WAGE|
The career prospects for the nursery nurses are quite positive. In fact, it is estimated to grow by 26 % by the year 2020. This holds both for the RNs as well as the LVNs.