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Nursery Intensive Care Unit
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Nursery Intensive Care Unit


St. Joseph’s is home to Level III Perinatal Center and Nursery Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of few Arizona. We care for newborn infants throughout the Southwest and serve as the first home for nearly 800 premature babies each year. These infants often weigh less than a pound and stay in the unit for weeks or even months.


The NICU is staffed by neonatologists, highly skilled nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners, perinatologists and other physicians who treat premature and critically-ill infants. We collaborate closely with our internal Maternal Fetal Medicine experts for complete, integrated care. Many of the unit’s staff have worked in the NICU for more than 20 years. Depending on patient needs, the nurse staffing ratio falls between 1:1 or 1:2 in the ICU and 1:3 in the Intermediate ICU.

Conditions for NICU Stay

The following conditions are the primary reasons babies receive treatment in the NICU:

  • Any unusual stressors within the first hours or days of life
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Prematurity
  • Respiratory/birth transition issues
  • Surgical needs

About St. Joseph's NICU 

The unit is equipped with 72 licensed beds and is capable of handling complex illnesses that can’t be accommodated in Level II nurseries, and even some Level III nurseries. All 72 beds are licensed as Level III ICU, which allows the team the flexibility to place infants in the area that is best suited to their medical and family needs.

Because infants in the NICU often have complicated and serious respiratory issues, the unit is outfitted with some of the most advanced life-saving equipment. Its state-of-the-art technology includes Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a heart-lung bypass machine that works for an infant’s heart and/or lungs while the baby’s organs develop.

To ease the transition from hospital to home, the unit offers a parent room where parents and their babies can stay for 24 to 48 hours before being discharged. During that time, nurses assume a secondary role in which they help parents learn to care for their baby, administer medications, and become comfortable as their baby’s primary caregiver.

NIDCAP Training Center

Our unit is proud to become one of 12 NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) Training Centers in the world. Our exceptional care and experience brings us to the forefront of the care for premature infants. Learn more about our NIDCAP training center.

Support for Parents

Because infants are not the only ones who require care, St. Joseph's has partnered with the March of Dimes to offer the state’s first NICU family support program. The program offers education, assistance and peer support to parents experiencing the challenges and emotions of caring for a premature baby.

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 St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center    
 350 W Thomas Rd
 Phoenix AZ 85013
 (602) 406-3000
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