Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Roles
A NNP is an advanced practice nurse who specializes in the care and treatment of pre-term and full-term newborn infants through the first few years of their lives. The NNP manages high-risk infants in an intensive neonatal hospital setting independently and often in collaboration with a neonatologist or other specialist. Family-centered and development care are also focuses of a neonatal nurse practitioner. NNPs may also work in private practices outside of the acute care setting.
All neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP) must successfully complete a graduate-level, accredited nursing program. A valid license as a registered nurse and a bachelor of science in nursing are usually among the minimum requirements for entry into such a program. Additionally, prior to becoming an NNP, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses recommends that potential applicants practice at a high-risk neonatal intensive care unit for a full year prior to enrolling in the clinical portion of an NNP program. Click here to learn more about Neonatal Nurse Practitioner education programs.
The master’s program leading to a NNP designation will vary in course work, but the National Association of Neonatal Nurses recommends the following basic curriculum outline:
- A minimum of 200 neonatal focused, didactic hours
- A minimum of 3 graduate-level classes in the following areas (with specific neonatal content related to each):
- Advanced physiology and pathophysiology, including general principles applicable across the lifespan
- Advanced health assessment, including advanced assessment techniques, concepts, and approaches
- Advanced pharmacology, including pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents.
- 600 precepted (a form of nursing mentorship) clock hours with critically ill newborns and/or infants in Level III neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Observational, seminar, or hours outside of the NICU may not be included in the 600 hours
- Core Content that is sufficient to meet the Core Competencies for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Practice (appendix a)
These programs, in addition to preparing students for their role as an NNP, will prepare students to sit for their Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Examination.
Return the the Nurse Practitioner page