NICU Nurse Career Guide

Looking for a different career guide?


A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Registered Nurse (RN) is a healthcare professional who specializes in caring for newborn infants who require intensive medical attention. Working in a high-acuity and highly sensitive environment, NICU RNs provide critical care to premature babies, infants with congenital disorders, and those experiencing complications after birth. The primary goal of a NICU RN


Becoming a NICU RN requires obtaining a nursing degree. The most common educational paths include completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. A BSN program typically takes four years to complete, while an ADN program typically takes two to three years. After graduation, aspiring RNs must

A stethoscope held in one hand

Related certifications

To work as a Staff or Travel NICU RN, candidates must possess an active RN license. Many employers prefer candidates with experience in pediatric nursing or neonatal care. Specialized certifications, such as Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification, are often required. Some NICU positions may also require Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced

State licenses process and requirements

All 50 states require state licensure to become a professional nurse. Review the step-by-step process to obtain or renew your RN license in each one.
A stethoscope held in one hand


10 Important Skills for a NICU RN:

  1. In-depth knowledge of neonatal anatomy, physiology and common conditions

  2. Proficiency in monitoring and interpreting neonatal vital signs

  3. Ability to provide specialized care for premature infants and those with complex medical conditions

  4. Competence in operating and troubleshooting neonatal medical equipment

  5. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills for effective collaboration with families and the healthcare team

  6. Emotional resilience and empathy to provide

Thousands of
healthcare jobs in
your pocket.


13.6k Ratings


1.5k Ratings


The responsibilities of a NICU RN are diverse and demanding. They include closely monitoring infants' vital signs, administering medications and treatments, providing respiratory support, ensuring proper nutrition, supporting families emotionally, collaborating with the healthcare team, conducting assessments, documenting care, and advocating for the well-being of the infants and their families. NICU RNs play a vital role in providing compassionate and

Salary Insights

Compare your pay with the most up-to-date job market data using our comprehensive salary calculator.
NICU Nurse

The average salary for a NICU Nurse is $2,379.25 per week.

Last updated on September 25, 2023. Based on active jobs on

Pros & Cons


  • Opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable infants and their families

  • Exposure to cutting-edge neonatal care technologies and treatments

  • Continuous learning and professional development opportunities in the field of neonatal care

  • High-demand profession with various job opportunities and potential for career advancement

  • Collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals

  • Building relationships with families and offering support during a challenging time

  • Fulfillment

NICU Nurse Jobs

View job details for Martinez, CATravel ContractMartinez, CATravel Nurse RN - NICU - Neonatal Intensive CareCross Country Nurses$3,760/wkEstimated pay package
Posted 4 days ago
View job details for Downey, CATravel ContractDowney, CATravel Nurse RN - NICU - Neonatal Intensive CareMedical Solutions$3,402/wkEstimated pay package
Referral Bonus
Posted 3 days ago
View job details for Oakland, CATravel ContractOakland, CATravel Nurse RN - NICU - Neonatal Intensive CareMedical Solutions$3,146/wkEstimated pay package
Referral Bonus
Posted 9 days ago
View job details for Downey, CATravel ContractDowney, CATravel Nurse RN - NICU - Neonatal Intensive CareCross Country Nurses$3,130/wkEstimated pay package
Posted 2 days ago

Get alerts about new jobs

Be the first to know about new jobs for Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses.

Some of the content on this page was enhanced using artificial intelligence.

Join over 1 million healthcare workers that are getting a head start with Vivian.

Join Vivian
A group of healthcare professionals.

Navigate to a different career guide