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Advanced Neo Natal Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Quality Improvement

Area of Practice

  • Children's Nursing
  • Midwifery


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner works beyond normal professional boundaries. I work within a defined team/ multidisciplinary team but with some autonomy in accordance with local guidelines and protocols.

Areas of practice include the Neo natal intensive care unit, Labour ward to provide immediate appropriate resuscitation management and treatment of newborn, and the postnatal ward management and treatment of newborn infants and providing advice to colleagues and parents. The role also includes transporting of sick and convalescent neonates, and running a BCG clinic for at risk groups at birth.

The work involves working with other disciplines and parents to formulate clinical decisions and complex treatment plans to manage acute and chronic illness in neonates.


Specific qualifications and experience required

  • On live NMC Register
  • Degree level qualification
  • 5 years post registration experience in neonatal
  • Neonatal modules and Advance Neonatal practitioner Course or be prepared to undertake same within 2 years of taking post. (currently only offered at Masters Level)


Career Milestones

I always wanted to work with neonates and was advised when began my training that the best route was though RGN and then Midwifery. Following completion of RGN in 1991, I took up post in a Gynae ward. I was unable to access Midwifery course so I decided to travel. When I moved to New Zealand, I worked in the Neonatal department for 5 years and undertook a 1-year Neonatal course equivalent to the neonatal modules.

I returned to N. Ireland in 2001 to work in the neonatal unit- I applied for a secondment to undertake the Advanced Practitioner course, which lasted 1 year and was based in Southampton – which meant relocating for 1 year.

On return, I applied for Advanced Practitioner Position and have been in post since 2003.

Since then I have continued to develop by completing the Head Scanning Course in 2004; the Nurse Prescribers Course in 2006 both of which have contributed greatly to me becoming a more autonomous practitioner.

Recently I have undergone the Newborn Life Support Course and Instructors course; this has added a further dimension to my work, which allows me to pass on vital skills to colleagues.


What attracted you to this job?

  • Always had a desire to work with new born babies.
  • I like the variety and spontaneity of the work.
  • I like a challenge.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

  • I relish the within this role I can provide continuous care to the neonate.
  • I enjoy being an autonomous practitioner.
  • I like to be challenged to continually develop my knowledge and skills and use this knowledge to not only inform practice but also my colleagues and parents.


Challenging aspects of the job/role

  • Advance Nurse Practitioner is a very different role – pushing the boundaries but also very aware of accountability.
  • Time management to facilitate all areas of work and keep up to date also.
  • Using your skills to communicate to parents, explain, empathise and empower them in the care of their new born.


Important success factors

  • Team of Nurses and Medics that have help this role progress and helped me to develop my skills.
  • Gaining the experience overseas which allowed me to work in the area I had a great desire join but due to the system in N. Ireland at the time I could not access.
  • Family support as the job and the extra courses can take over your life at times.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

You need to be a strong character to help define the role and not get pulled in too many directions. Commitment to the job is essential but the rewards are great. You learn very fast to prioritise your workload but remaining flexible to accommodate patient needs.

I have learned to have a much-focused mind set to ensure I complete each activity with total concentration to ensure safe practice.

Clear and proper documentation is essential for clear communication of treatment and care planned.

Always check that you work within the Code of Conduct and Scope of Practice, as a service that is continually pushing boundaries it is important to work within the Code.


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

  • Communication skills are essential when working with all the disciplines, parents, and colleagues.
  • Organisational skills and Documentation skills.
  • To work regionally with central laboratory and the network of other practitioners.
  • Working autonomously but with and in a team.
  • Teaching skills through the neonatal life support instructors role.
  • Diagnosing skills with extremely sick babies.


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