Explore a career as a neonatal nurse practitioner

August 12, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

See current opportunities

A neonatal nurse cares for newborn infants. As a neonatal nurse, you may opt to care for healthy infants, provide more focused and intensive care for premature babies or newborn babies who are very ill or work only with seriously ill newborns in a NICU or neonatal intensive care unit.

To be able to practice as a neonatal nurse practitioner you must first be a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Career Overview

As a neonatal nurse practitioner, you may work in a hospital, private clinic, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or a community-based setting. You may also act as consultant, conduct research or provide education to staff and family members.

A career as a neonatal nurse practitioner calls for a high level of diligence and teamwork. To achieve the best possible outcomes for your tiny patients, you will have to work closely with that baby’s parents, neonatologists and other nurse specialists depending on the help the baby needs.

Within the neonatal nursing specialty, there are 3 different levels that you can choose to work at depending on your experience, skill level and of course personal preference:

Education & Training Requirements

While requirements at entry-level may vary by location, at a minimum, you need to meet these criteria:

Today there are several neonatal nursing schools that offer a 2-year APPN or the Advanced Practice Neonatal Nursing program that is designed to prepare you for nursing licensure as a clinical nurse specialist or a nurse practitioner.

Career Outlook 

As with all nursing specialties, the demand for neonatal nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners is projected to grow considerbly over the next few years. In general, the more training, certifications and experience you have as a nurse, the higher the demand there will be for your skill set.