Top 10 United States NICUs: 2012 Edition

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Ever curious how your local NICU measures up against the rest of the nation? Wondering if that AMAZING hospital that saved your baby looks as good on paper as it did in real life?


Well, this one’s for you. According to U.S. New & World Report, these are the current front-runners when it comes to United States NICUs:

  1. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  2. Texas Children’s Hospital
  3. Boston Children’s Hospital
  4. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  5. Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital (Cleveland)
  6. Children’s National Medical Center (Washington D.C.)
  7. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  8. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  9. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  10. Johns Hopkins Children’s Center


You can see all the way up to #51 right here, if you’re interested.


As always, it’s important to note that just because a hospital isn’t in the top ten– or maybe even the top 50– this does not mean it’s not a great hospital. Historically, some commenters have gotten a little irked when I post these things and their beloved NICUs aren’t on the list.


I do believe it’s safe to say that those hospitals topping the charts clearly do have exceptional NICUs and are doing a great job. This does not mean others are not also excelling.


Lots of these hospitals are repeats from last year’s list– they just moved around a bit in terms of ranking. Once again, I am delighted to see how well-represented all regions of our country are!



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8 comments to Top 10 United States NICUs: 2012 Edition

  • Becky

    That’s a great list. Ours (Duke, #11) isn’t on the top 10 list and it was fantastic, which just tells me that today’s medicine gives preemies such a fighting chance these days! This just means there is hope all across the country.

    • That’s what I find so encouraging, Becky! I’m so glad there are excellent NICUs scattered across the nation. It’d make me sad if they were all clustered in CA, or the Northeast, or whatever. Most fragile newborns don’t tolerate transfer super well, so it’s great that the need is lessened by having great facilities spread out. :)

  • Laraba

    We live close to Cinci. I had no idea they had a world renowned NICU. We’ve never needed it, but it is great to be within driving distance of such a facility.

  • Susan

    I didn’t even see Cedars Sinai which was our home for 6 months. They have a massive NICU. I think that Dennis Quaid twins heparin overdose thing really killed their standing.

    • There were a lot of heparin based deaths and injuries between 2006 and 2008, I think… it started the year right after we got out of the NICU and it seemed like they exploded on the news. So, so sad.

  • I’m happy to see Seattle Children’s was 17. Babies that needed surgery were transferred there and then generally stayed. Luckily Reese didn’t need anything crazy, so he was able to stay with me at UW where my perinaltologist is based. The NICU did a great job, but I guess I still give a huge chunk of the credit to my preeclampsia guy for getting us two extra weeks. AT 29 weeks Reese only got intubated to receive surfactant. For breathing he only ever needed c-pap.

  • Celine

    What a great list. So wonderful to see two local hospitals make the list.

    I know there are so many other hospitals around the country that have to be amazing hospitals that didn’t make the list.

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