The UC Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a level IV-designated nursery (the highest possible rating) for the Sacramento region, providing clinical care for infants throughout Northern California and conducting research on health problems facing infants, including those who are born very prematurely, are extremely ill, or require surgery.

Best Children's Hospital badge for neonatology

Nationally ranked

Our neonatology program ranked 29th nationally in the 2022–2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals survey.

Human milk analyzer machine for premature babies

Thanks to our Miris human milk analyzer machine funded by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN), preemies in our NICU can now receive customized breast milk fortified with the nutrients they need to support their growth and wellness.

FamilyLink improves pumping experience

A recent UC Davis Health study published in Breastfeeding Medicine found that parents who used FamilyLink, our videoconferencing program that allows off-site families to see their babies in the NICU 24 hours a day, felt more connected to their child and had an improved pumping experience while expressing milk for their premature infants.

NICU gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) received a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). We are the only NICU in Northern California and second in the state to receive this honor. The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. These standards are skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision-making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership.