Neonatal nurse practitioners provide care for newborn infants, including those who are premature, sick, or have congenital abnormalities. With the rapidly increasing demand for nurse practitioners, experts predict that neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP) will be one of the best-performing jobs in the coming years. Preparing yourself to be a neonatal nurse is not an easy feat but is a rewarding one.
Also, we have listed 15 cheapest RN to BSN degrees here.
Here is a look at some of the most affordable Schools for those aspiring to become Neonatal Nurse Practitioners.
Affordable Schools with Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Degrees
|East Carolina University||MSN Post MSN degree||42 credit hours (MSN) 21 credit hours (Post MSN)||$289 per credit hour (in-state) $$1,019 per credit hour (out of state)|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||MSN||45 credit hours||$421 per credit hour (in-state) $1005 per credit hour (out of state)|
|Old Dominion University||MSN||50 credit hours||$571 per credit hour (instate) $595 per credit hour (Out of state)|
|University of Kansas Missouri||MSN||45 Credit hours||$622.39 per credit hour|
|University of Connecticut||MSN DNP||44 credit hours (MSP) 76 to 82-credit (BS-DNP)||$925 per credit or $2,775 for a 3-credit course.|
Affordable On-Campus Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Degrees
|Louisiana State University School of Nursing||DNP||81 credit hours||$8,211.60 per year (in-state) $15,296.19 per year (out of state)|
|University of California – San Francisco||MSN||50 credits||$11,700 per year (in state) $23,945 per year (out of state|
|University of South Alabama||MSN||45 credits||$408.00 per credit hour (In-state) $ 816.00 per credit hour (out of state)|
|University of Maryland||DNP||no more than 80, depending on prior education||$752 per credit hour|
|Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing||MSN||49 credits||$ 733 per credit hour|
*Abbreviation guide: (MSN) Master of Science in Nursing; (DNP) Doctor of Nursing Practice
What is Neonatology
Neonatology is the branch of medicine that deals with newborn babies. Neonatal care includes the management of those babies who are born prematurely or with congenital disabilities, congenital malformations, or chromosomal abnormalities. It also includes intensive care for preterm infants who have infections or other medical problems.
Careers in Neonatology include Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNP), Neonatologists, and Neonatal Surgeons.
What Does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Do?
Neonatal nurse practitioners provide care for newborn infants, including those who are premature, sick, or have congenital abnormalities. Neonatal nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They may also work in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), caring for critically ill infants with complex medical needs.
These nursing professionals provide a wide range of services to their patients. They may conduct physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide counseling and support to parents and families.
Neonatal nurse practitioners work closely with a team of healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, and therapists. They collaborate with these professionals to provide the best possible care for their patients.
Difference between a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and a Neonatologist.
Neonatal nurse practitioners and neonatologists are both medical professionals who care for newborn babies, but there are some key differences between the two.
|Education||Neonatal Nurse Practitioner||Neonatologist|
|Education||Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Become a Licensed RNEarn an MSN with Neonatal specialization Become a Certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) certified by the National Certification Corporation. (Total approx. 6 Years)||Complete a bachelor’s degree Complete medical school Complete a residency with a primary focus on pediatrics Spend 2 – 3 years in neonatology fellowships Licensing after completing and passing a final set of exams focusing on pediatric medicine. (Total approx.14 Years)|
|Scope of Practice||Some states have a limited scope of practice for NNP’s. Specifics on which tasks are restricted depending on the state||Neonatologists have the full scope of practice.|
|Salary||$94,000 median salary||$208,000 Median Salary|
|Approach||Apply a nursing model and provide comprehensive care to patients and their families as well||Neonatologists focus on disease processes and how they can treat them|
Minimum requirements to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
In order to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, one must first complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then obtain a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in neonatal care. In addition to these educational requirements, neonatal nurse practitioners must also be licensed in the state where they practice.
Educational track for a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
1, Complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
A BSN degree is the foundation for becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner. This degree will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become registered nurses and the foundation for further study in this field. Admission into a BSN program requires a high school diploma or GED (minimum GPA varies depending on the school of your choice). Candidates are also required to pass the ATI-TEAS admission exam.
2. Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam
After obtaining a BSN degree, candidates need to become licensed as RNs (Registered Nurse) by passing the NCLEX-RN Exam.
3. Gain experience as a Registered Nurse
As a licensed RN, it is prudent to gain some experience working in maternity wards or OB/GYN clinics. This will make you an attractive candidate when applying for an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) program, which is the final step to becoming an NNP.
4. Earn a postgraduate Master of Science in Nursing
After gaining relevant RN experience, students must obtain a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in neonatal care. This degree will provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to care for neonates.
5. Get certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP)
After completing an MSN degree, aspiring NNP needs to obtain NCC Certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner by taking an exam. The certification exam includes 175 multiple-choice questions that take approximately three hours to complete. After successful completion, candidates may go ahead and apply for licensure as NNP’s in the state of their preference.
Minimum requirements to become a Neonatologist.
The minimum educational and training requirements for being a Neonatologist are a doctoral degree with special training in neonatology and pediatrics.
Educational track for a Neonatologist
- Pre-Med Bachelor’s degree (4 Years)
You will need to have a pre-med bachelor’s degree from an accredited school with 4-year programs. This is a requirement for anyone interested in pursuing a medical career. Candidates must earn a 3.0-3.5 GPA in undergraduate programs.
- Medical School (4 years)
Most medical school requires an average GPA of 3.5 or higher; In addition to your GPA, the schools look at several other factors when evaluating applicants for medical school:
- Your MCAT score (Medical College Admission Test).
- Your personal statement.
- Letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals.
- Residency (3 years)
Aspiring neonatologists must also complete their pediatric medical residencies, which take three years to complete. The Residency involves working with a team of other professionals in a medical environment. Upon completion of Residency, the candidate must complete an exam focused on pediatric medicine.
- Fellowship (2 years)
Neonatology fellowships can be either research- or clinical-based and are usually two years long. A fellowship will typically involve working in neonatal care, including contributing to research in the field.
Students may undergo fellowship at the same institution where they completed their Residency or opt for a different one. During the fellowship, students study all areas of neonatal care delivery, which include:
Preterm birth risks
Diagnostic tools and technologies
High-risk infant care
The etiology of congenital anomalies
The licensing process for a neonatologist begins in Medical School with the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) taken in 3 steps: Steps 1 and 2 during Med School and Step 3 during Residency.
Once the candidates complete their fellowship and pass the post-fellowship examinations, they may apply for licensure that identifies them as licensed neonatologists.
Job Duties for Neonatologists and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
Neonatologists and Neonatal Nursing Practitioners share the same duties as follows:
- Responsible for assisting in delivering high-risk babies
- monitoring medical equipment such as tube feedings and ventilators
- Interpret test results to guide the treatment plan
- Diagnosing and treating babies who suffer from serious illnesses or congenital disabilities.
- Ordering diagnostic tests and procedures
- Order and administer medicine as appropriate to the neonate (state scope of practice may limit this for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners)
- Evaluate the response of the neonates to treatment
<h2>Where do Neonatal Nurse Practitioners Work?<h2>
*Data based on outcomes from data from the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners.
Neonatal nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings
– Level III NICU units: Neonatal nurse practitioners are often the primary providers on these units, treating newborns with illnesses that require monitoring but do not necessitate intensive care. They may also specialize in areas like neonatal ethics or pain management.
– Level IV NICU units: Neonatal nurse practitioners are often part of the team that provides inpatient care to newborns with complex health issues that require intensive monitoring, treatment, and skilled management.
– Community/Home Care: Neonatal nurse practitioners may provide care for newborns and their families when they go home after hospitalization. This may include coordinating follow-up appointments with pediatricians and other specialists, managing medications prescribed by other providers, educating parents about how to care for their child at home, and providing direct clinical care to newborns and families during this transition period.
What is the demand for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners?
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have specific data on Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, the general projected job outlook for Nurse Practitioners is 45% (Much faster than average).
As more women have children later in life, more pregnancies are considered at high risk for complications during and after delivery. These complications can include congenital disabilities (such as congenital heart disease), gestational diabetes, and pre-term labor.
All these conditions require specialized care from an NNP specializing in neonatal care.
And if you’re interested in pursuing this career path, here are some cities where neonatal nurse practitioners make more money than others:
|State||Average Annual Salary||Job Count|
What are the core attributes fo a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Patience – Neonatal nurses need to be patient and gentle with their patients. The babies they look after are critically ill and may not respond to treatment immediately. It takes time for babies to recover from illness, so neonatal nurses need patience during this process.
Compassion: Neonatal nurses are also compassionate towards their patients. They understand how difficult it can be for parents to see their child in an incubator or an intensive care unit (ICU). Therefore, neonatal nurses try their best to make sure that parents feel comfortable while visiting the hospital so they can see that their baby is doing okay.
Organizational skills: Neonatal nurses must manage many different things at once, including keeping track of all the medications given to each baby and ensuring that each baby gets enough nutrition through tube feeds. Therefore, neonatal nurses must be organized, so they don’t forget anything when caring for these tiny patients.
If you’ve got the proper credentials, experience, and skills, this is one career that has lots to offer. It provides some unique opportunities to work with a wide range of infants and their families, meeting those babies’ health needs while also working closely with the families to help them care for their newborns. With all of this in mind, it can be easy to see why so many people love working as neonatal nurse practitioners.