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Night Nanny (Night Nurse)

Wondering about the distinction between different childcare providers and whether all "night nurses" can accurately be described as nurses?

Short story: Nurses have medical degrees. In general, if you want to shout out someone that helped you with your baby, use “Newborn/Infant Care Specialist” or “Night Nanny” and NOT nurse unless they have the credentials of a RN.

 

Longer Story:

Unless a baby nurse has a medical degree (which the overwhelming majority do not),  it is not accurate to call a night nanny or newborn care specialist a “nurse.”

- What Is a Newborn Care Specialist / Infant Care Specialist?

An individual trained and skilled in newborn care. There are various non-medical certificate programs available, and there are many certification programs for infant care, CPR, etc. Note that these are not always programs accredited by a medical community. Some certification programs may include: http://ncsainfo.com/faq/

- What Is a Night Nanny?

The term "night nanny" is often used to describe a provider who works with families with infants in the newborn stage. Most often this involves sleeping at the family's home during the newborn weeks and helping the parents during the night with infant wakings and feedings. There are many certification programs for infant care, CPR, etc. Note that these are not always programs accredited by a medical community. Some certification programs may include: http://ncsainfo.com/faq/ 

•As per the American Nurses Association:

 "At least 39 states are known to have language in their Nurse Practice Act...Restricting use of the title "nurse" to only those individuals who have fulfilled the requirements for licensure as outlined in each state's nurse practice act is a protection for the public against unethical, unscrupulous, and incompetent practitioners. Nurse practice acts describe entry level qualifications such as education, practice standards and code of conduct for continued privilege to practice nursing.  

•As per New York State law:

“No person shall use the title 'nurse' or any other title or abbreviation that would represent to the public that the person is authorized to practice nursing unless the person is licensed or otherwise authorized under this article.”

We urge you to take special care and check multiple references for these caretakers and ask about their specific credentials.

That said, we know that many of the people our members have hired for these jobs are GIFTED in their ability to take care of newborns and that folks have had great experiences. We want our members to have the ability to post about their first-hand experiences with these people. At the same time, we urge potential employers to do their due diligence and investigate the credentials of the people they are seeking to hire for these jobs.   

If you’d like to read more about the issue, see this NY Daily News story and this by NBC News story

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