The core, required courses in the program address content and skills that are basic to Neonatal Nursing regardless of the setting. The elective credits and courses enable you to pursue relevant areas of interest, based on your educational and career goals.
The first course in the program, NSNE 7100 (Neonatal Theory 1), focuses on infants and families as clients. It explores partnership with infants and families; and introduces developmentally supportive care and family care as frameworks for neonatal nursing practice. The course begins by looking at healthy newborns and ends with a group of modules that introduce the concept of vulnerability. It explores three sources of vulnerability: fetal growth and development/gestational age, transition to extrauterine life, and the environment.
The second course, NSNE 7200 (Neonatal Theory 2), further explores neonatal vulnerability by examining the pathophysiology underlying common neonatal health challenges. Specifically, it examines asphyxia, dehydration, jaundice, apnea, bradycardia, patent ductus arteriosus, opiate dependency, hypothermia, and respiratory distress. Throughout the course, issues are examined in development, family, feeding and assessment.
The third required course in the program, NSNE 7300 (Neonatal Clinical 1), focuses on the knowledge and skills required to begin practicing Neonatal Nursing. The course is organized around seven key areas of Neonatal Nursing practice. They are: assessment, nutritional support, thermal management, medication administration, infection control, respiratory support and developmentally supportive care. The emphasis in this course is synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable nurses to provide competent care to vulnerable infants.
The fourth course in the program, NSNE 7900 (Clinical Preceptorship in Neonatal Nursing), provides 75 hours of clinical practice and is used to provide novice neonatal nurses with additional time to focus on the basics, or may be used to provide clinical practice in an area not address in the required clinical courses.
The final course that is required prior to taking any Neonatal clinical course is NSPN 7450 (Neonatal Resuscitation [NRP]). This course prepares health care professionals to provide skilled neonatal resuscitation during the first moments of an infant's life.
Together, the first four courses in the program prepare you to begin working with stable, non-ventilated, vulnerable infants.
The remaining credits and courses in the program are electives. Choose electives from within the Neonatal Nursing Specialty: NSNE 7400 (Neonatal Theory), NSNE 7911 (Neonatal Respiratory Care), NSNE 7920 (Neonatal Acute Care), or Acute Care Of at Risk Newborns (ACORN). Choose electives from other related BCIT Specialty Nursing Programs, such as Perinatal Nursing and Pediatric Nursing.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
Nurseries and perinatal units in hospitals throughout the province employ Neonatal nurses. Because babies are born in every community hospital in BC, all of these hospitals need Neonatal nurses. In addition, British Columbia's Children's and Women's Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, Victoria General Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital (planned) have neonatal intensive care units that provide level I, III and level IV Neonatal care. These hospitals employ large numbers of Neonatal nurses and often have employment opportunities. Community health settings in programs such as Healthy Beginnings also employ Neonatal nurses.
Neonatal nursing is experiencing the beginning stages of a nursing shortage. Many community hospital neonatal nurses are reaching retirement age and are either retiring or decreasing their employment to part-time. This is creating many job opportunities in these community hospitals. The larger, referral centres such as BC Children's and Women's Hospital have ongoing employment opportunities arising from a variety of factors, including retirement of staff.
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