Neonatal care nursing at Southmead Hospital

Women’s and Children’s Health is a diverse range of opportunities in both clinical and managerial progression with the option for bespoke rotation packages across specialties, and a well- structured and supported preceptorship programme to help you achieve your career aspirations and realise your full potential.


"What is a neonatal nursing career like?"

"How is the NICU structured?"

The Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Southmead Hospital is a well-established Level 3 unit providing a centre of excellence for babies requiring medical and neurological assessment and treatment. We have 34 cots, compromising of 8 ITU, 8 HDU and 18 SC, with an additional 10 cots on our Transitional Care Ward. As a regional referral centre, we take patients from 23 week gestation and sick babies from our network and further afield.

Family integrated care is at the forefront of our ethos and we are working towards the BLISS charter and we have just submitted the stage 1 application for UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative for neonatal units. We value nurse education at the unit and have an established practice development team to support and guide our nursing staff.


"What would a typical day look like?"

Our nurses place their patients, and families, at the centre of the care they give. Gain an insight into what a day in the life of a NICU nurse is like through the eyes of a NICU parent here:…

Our in house Practice Development team are passionate about providing professional and personal development and actively encourage those looking to apply for neonatal qualifications when in post. We are also proud to be able to offer support to those keen to transition from adult nursing into neonatal intensive care.

We were proud to be nominated for Team of the Year at the Exceptional Healthcare Awards 2018: “NICU puts both the patient and families first, with every decision made collaboratively to engage parents in the care of their babies”.

"What is the team like?"

Our nursing teams are passionate about exceptional healthcare, are empathetic with patients, and have an Interest in Women’s and Children’s Health. They are dynamic and incredibly professional individuals: knowledgeable and understanding when adhering to policy and procedures. They’re team players able to manage a busy environment whilst supporting colleagues to provide the best care for the patient.

Outside of shifts, you’ll be part of a wider nursing community here at the hospital that value their colleagues and strive to create a good working environment.  For example, our staff won’t shy away from a challenge in aid of Southmead Hospital Charity. They cycle, run, row and race in aid of a fantastic cause, or sing in our staff choir and compete in ‘Southmead Does Strictly’.

As a wider organisation, we value staff feedback; in the results of our 2019 staff survey, our response rate was higher than the national average and highlighted we had improved in all the areas staff told us were priorities in 2018. Out of the 90 questions asked, we had made 73 improvements from the previous year and 69% of staff would recommend our organisation as a place to work (6% better than the national average).…

"What skills could I acquire within this area?"

We have a real focus on high quality care, and the MBRRACE document identifies the unit as among the best tertiary centres in the country for the outcomes of extremely premature infants. Or professional development reflects this high level of care: we offer our nurses the chance to gain highly sought after and valued qualifications. As well as on the job training, and internal Trust courses, our external qualifications enable our nursing staff to work towards becoming neonatal specialist nurses.