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 Published: 29/11/2011

Nursing opportunities

The Newborn Intensive Care Unit offers a variety of nursing positions. Nurses have the opportunity to work part time or full time. NICU nurses have the opportunity to self roster and every effort is made to assist staff with young families to coordinate their family needs along side needs of the service. As it is an intensive care area, nursing staff are required to do a mix of shifts inclusive of night duty.

Enquiries about possible positions for neonatal nurses in Newborn Services should be directed to Dale Garton (Charge Nurse - Newborn).


Clinical Pathway for Nurses

What is this?

Auckland District Health Board has had a well-established Professional Development Programme (clinical pathway) for nurses since 1991. This programme has been based on Benner (1993) Novice to Expert.

The professional development programme provides a framework, which provides structured support, learning and feedback to assist nurses develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective patient/client care.

This programme is a means of recognising and differentiating the skill and competence levels of different nurse clinicians and prepares registered nurses to progress to fill advanced practice roles in patient care delivery and leadership.

A nurse may progress through four levels commencing at Novice (level 1) through to Expert (level 4). Level 3 and 4 are currently recognised and linked to a pay incentive and while strongly encouraged in the intensive care setting are not mandatory.

What does this mean?

This means that you have a clinical career pathway to follow in neonates. The Newborn Service has integrated the use of the professional development programme from orientation of a new staff member to offering advanced clinical career opportunities within the speciality of neonates.

What Orientation Programme does the Newborn Service offer?

All nursing staff employed by the Newborn Service receive an orientation programme or sometimes called a preceptorship programme.

This programme ensures all new staff entering the Newborn Service are given the knowledge and skills required to enable them to provide optimal care for all premature and sick neonates and their families within NICU Level two and the Parent Infant Nursery.

Individualised programmes take into account those staff with previous neonatal experience and their current level of expertise.

Progression to the Level 3 nursery usually occurs after a separate orientation programme designed to prepare the nurse for the specific needs of ELBW infants and respiratory technology.

What Education Opportunities are Available?

Auckland District Health Board has a strong commitment to ongoing education for nurses. Level 2, 3 & 4 of the Professional Development Programme is linked to an additional allowance for this purpose (Continuing Nursing/Midwifery Education fund)

The Newborn Service offers

  • Regular In-service education
  • Daily education sessions
  • Annual mandatory neonatal update day
  • Neonatal Resuscitation programme
  • Competency booklets and on-line learning modules.

The Newborn Service with Massey University jointly offers a suite of postgraduate neonatal papers as part of a Master Programme.

The Newborn Service also supports nursing attendance and presentations at the Neonatal Nurses College - Aotearoa and New Zealand and Australia Perinatal Society conferences and meetings.

Opportunities for Advanced Nursing Roles

The Newborn Service offers a diverse number of senior nursing roles enabling registered nurses to progress into senior roles clinically, managerial or educational. This offers a nurse the opportunity to utilise expert knowledge and for some roles practice in an expanded RN scope. These roles make a strong contribution to the multidisciplinary team and outcomes for babies and families who come through the service.

  • Charge nurse
  • Clinical Charge nurses
  • Nurse Specialist - Family Liaison (primarily providing a consistent support role for parents and discharge planning of babies)
  • Nurse Educators
  • Lactation Consultant
  • Neonatal Homecare Nurse
  • Research nurse
  • Nurse Specialist-Advanced neonatal practice (Acute assessment, diagnosis and complex care role)
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Flight Transport Team

Reviewed by Dale Garton, October 2011