Of all the professions listed by the next Bachelor Nick Viall's 30 potential brides, some form of "nurse" was definitely the most common. There's a travel nurse, an unemployed nurse, but what is a neonatal nurse exactly? The Bachelor contestant Danielle M. has the very important job of caring for at risk newborns in their first month of life, which is obviously a very admirable attribute that she's bringing to the rose-filled table.
Technically speaking, "neonatal" refers only to the first month or 28 days of a child's life. A neonatal nurse, therefore, specializes in working with newborn infants born with any one of several potential health problems, including prematurity, birth defects, infection, and surgical problems. For parents of newborn children with serious health concerns, the neonatal nurse is the one who helps to guide them through the most difficult times of their lives.
According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses' website, "Approximately 40,000 low-birth-weight infants are born annually in the United States. Because of significant medical advances and the efforts of physicians and nurses who provide for very vulnerable babies, survival rates are 10 times better now than they were 15 years ago." So, as you can see, this is one Bachelor contestant with a very specific, and I can only imagine extremely harrowing job. Basically, she's a hero and I don't know if Nick is even worthy. (Are any of us?)
Neonatal nurses work in one of three levels. Level I is usually the nursery for healthy babies who are just waiting to be discharged with their parents. As mothers and babies usually leave the hospital within the same day and share the same room these days, these nurseries are much rarer now. Level II neonatal nurses work with babies in need of immediate care. They may be premature, need help breathing, or need to further mature before they can leave the hospital. Level III is for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for babies that require the most care. This is where a neonatal nurse will have the most direct patient care, and probably her share of heartbreak.
It takes a strong kind of person to be a good nurse, and I can only imagine a special kind of strength to work with such sick babies in their first few weeks of life. Unquestionably, this is a very admirable job, and I am already rooting for Danielle M., even though I haven't even seen how she and Nick interact yet. Also, in her bio she said that if she could be a fictional character she'd be Hermione Granger. How could you not love this girl?