WVU Children’s Hospital to Recognize Neonatal Nurses Day

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – To recognize one the difficult and, at times, under-appreciated job of nursing, West Virginia University Children’s Hospital will honor neonatal nurses on Neonatal Nurses Day, Friday, Sept. 15.

“Neonatal nurses are the backbone of WVU Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” said Cheryl Jones, director of WVU Children’s Hospital. “Neonatal Nurses Day is one way we can show nurses how much we value their compassion and commitment to the profession since nursing can be a thankless job.” 

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at WVU Children’s Hospital is a Level- 3 intensive care unit, which cares for more than 700 babies annually. It is a secured unit with three levels of care: intensive, intermediate and transitional. The NICU is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by neonatologists, neonatal clinical nurse specialists, neonatal nurse practitioners, pediatric residents, and many others who work together to save the lives of the smallest children.

Neonatal nurses often treat tiny premature infants in the NICU. These babies stay from a week to more than 300 days. Several require support or surgery in the first few days of life. Neonatal nurses work closely with newborns and their families. Many times, they are the first care-giver of the newborn and provide a link between parents and their child.

The bond formed between nurses and patients and families is long-lasting. Often, kids and adults return to visit the nurses who took care of them.

WVU Children’s Hospital has maintained a specially trained neonatal transport team for more than 25 years. The transport team is proficient in both ground and air transport, moving critically ill newborns from one hospital to another. Since its inception in 1979, the neonatal team has transported nearly 6,000 newborn patients.

The neonatal transport team brings WVU Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to the referring institution. Because of our specialized training and equipment, the team is able to provide the highest level of quality intensive care to the critically ill infant during transport.

The National Association of Neonatal Nurses initiated Neonatal Nurses day in 2002 to commemorate the dedication and compassion these nurses bring to their specialty area of the health care profession.   

- WVU -

For more information:
Sarah Opel, Children's Hospital, (304) 598-4346

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