Celebrating Neonatal Nurses Week

September 9, 2019
nicu nurse, nicu nurse appreciation day

Established in 2000 by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Neonatal Nurses Week gives members of the neonatal community the opportunity to honor their nurse colleagues and show their pride in being a neonatal nurse. For NICU parents, it’s a time to honor and celebrate the nurses who not only cared for our babies, but who cared for us as NICU parents and the entire NICU family.

Here are just a few heartfelt stories from our community about how NICU nurses are making a difference in the lives of NICU families:

She empowered me as a mom.

My special nurse made time to empower me. My peanut has drops in heart rate and respiration events, and naturally that scares me when he does it while I’m holding him. She taught me to check his color, and if it’s okay, give him 20-30 seconds to resolve it himself. If he can’t resolve it himself, then stimulate him. Either way the staff is always close by to jump in and help. She also made him this cute little birth facts card with his foot prints. I feel like she has a special connection with my son, and it shows in how she treats us. I’m forever grateful that she taught me what she did about his events. They no longer cause me anxiety, and now nine times out of 10, it resolves before anyone can respond to his monitors beeping.

BJ G., Austin, TX

Great nurses, day and night.

Our day nurse’s name was Vangie, and she was amazing. She cared for my grandson as if he were her own child. And our night shift nurse, Mary, updated us on everything he did throughout the evening. She talked to him and loved on him like we did. She even signed up for extra shifts to take care of him. She made my daughter feel at ease with leaving him and going home to sleep. I can never thank either of these women enough for all they did during my grandson’s stay.

Tinika A., Copperas Cove, TX


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Photo courtesy Ashley H.

She always made me feel like a mother.

Ashley admitted my 24-weeker into the NICU. I immediately asked her to primary. What I loved about seeing her everyday was that she was just normal. I lived in terror each moment. And she was there being weird. And having bad days. And talking to me about her daughter’s cheer practice. It gave me a sense of normalcy, and I related to her so much on a personal level.

My NICU baby was my first baby, and I literally knew nothing about taking care of babies. She always made me feel like I was a mother and taught me how to be a mother in a very abnormal situation.

She cried with me on the really bad days and talked me through the hardest decisions of my life. I literally don’t think I could have made it without her.

Ashley H., Ft. Meyers, FL

She advocated for adoptive parents.

She advocated for our baby when she didn’t have parents and demanded that CPS find her parents! They found us. She saved our baby before we met her.

Kat M., Austin, TX


Two NICUs; two amazing nurses.

We had one favorite nurse in the level II NICU, Kathryn, and one in the level IV NICU, Melinda, after our transfer. They were amazing!

I always felt comfortable leaving the NICU each time, because I knew they were overseeing my daughter, and they had such wonderful bedside manner.

These two nurses went above and beyond and I am forever grateful!

It will never be enough to express my gratitude and give them the recognition they deserve for helping to save my daughter’s life. I will never forget the care they provided.

Nikki, L., Bethlehem, PA
nicu nurse, nicu nurse appreciation, neonatal nurses week
Photo courtesy Ashley H.

She was like a mother to me.

We ended up calling her Auntie Julie. Julie was like a mother to me. She was a charge nurse with an insane amount of experience. She helped explain what was happening to my baby without ever making it overly clinical.

She knew when I was at my breaking point, and she never left me hanging. She always gave me the truth, but never made me feel bad about it.

She took exceptional care of not just my baby, but of me as well. I got a wealth of knowledge from Auntie Julie. I’m so grateful for her.

Ashley H., Ft. Meyers, FL

They made all the difference.

One nurse wrote us a note about how sweet our baby was and what he did while we stepped out to get a bite to eat. He also had one night nurse who stayed with him several times. She always made sure to take care of me and would send me out for a break when I needed it. Even just holding him so I could pump or grab a bite to eat.
They made all the difference.

Heather B., Austin, TX