How should we respond to the crisis in neonatal nursing?

The RCN’s career guidance on neonatal nursing must address changes in the profession
Nurse and baby in incubator

The RCN’s career guidance on neonatal nursing must address changes in the profession

Neonatal nursing is in crisis. It’s a long story and the result of a number of factors.

There has been difficulty in recruiting into the specialty, poor staff retention and high turnover. Work in a neonatal unit is highly pressurised and emotionally draining, and so does not suit everyone.

Other issues that do not help the situation include: a lack of educational funds, which has resulted in restricted in-service education; service cuts, which have meant a lack of promotion and career development; and a level of pay that does not reflect nurses’ level of responsibility. The retirement of a core of experienced and committed nurses has also played a part.

This is not


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