National Neonatal Nurses Day Date in the current year: September 15, 2024

National Neonatal Nurses Day National Neonatal Nurses Day is observed annually on September 15 to celebrate nurses who care for newborn infants for the first few weeks of their lives. Neonatal nursing is one of the most demanding sub-specialties of nursing care.

Neonatal nursing focuses on caring for newborn infants from the time of their birth until they are discharged from hospital (for up to 28 days). It has been a separate sub-specialty of nursing care in the United States since 1960.

A neonatal nurse may work at one of the four levels of neonatal nurseries that exist in the United States (defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics):

  • Level I (well newborn nursery): care for healthy newborn infants. These nurseries have recently become uncommon since healthy babies are typically discharged quickly and share a room with their mother prior to being discharged.
  • Level II (special care nursery): care for premature or ill newborns that don’t need breathing/feeding tubes or other high technology to survive.
  • Level III (neonatal intensive care unit): care for premature or ill newborns that need high technology to survive.
  • Level IV (regional neonatal intensive care unit): extensive care for newborns in the most critical condition.

As we’ve already mentioned above, level I nurseries aren’t very common anymore, so most neonatal nurses care for newborns with a range of problems, including prematurity, congenital disorders, infection, surgical issues, and cardiac malformations. Due to this, neonatal nursing requires not only a high degree of skill, but also exceptional emotional strength and dedication.

Neonatal nurses in the United States are registered nurses, which means that they must hold and associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination. In addition, neonatal nurses are required to complete the Neonatal Resuscitation Program. Other requirements, such as additional experience or a midwifery qualification, vary depending on the healthcare facility.

National Neonatal Nurses Day was established in 2002 by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), a professional organization that unites and represents neonatal nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) from across the country. In 2019, the celebration was expanded from one day to an entire week in September, but September 15 is still referred to as National Neonatal Nurses Day.

National Neonatal Nurses Day and Week events include NANN’s Annual Conference, other professional gatherings at hospitals, social media campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of neonatal nursing, and more. You can celebrate the day by congratulating neonatal nurses you know and thanking them for the work they do, as well as by spreading awareness on social media with the hashtags #NeonatalNursesDay and #NeonatalNursesWeek.

National Neonatal Nurses Day isn’t the only professional holiday celebrated by the American nursing community. Other holidays recognizing nurses include National Nurses Day (May 6), National Student Nurses Day (May 8), and National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day (September 8).

Remind me with Google Calendar


Professional Days



National Neonatal Nurses Day, professional holidays, holidays in the United States, neonatal nursing, National Association of Neonatal Nurse