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What are the requirements to become a neonatal nurse practitioner

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Phyllis’s Answer

In order to become a neonatal nurse practictioner for your state you have to do the following:

Step 1: Earn a BSN degree - To become an NNP, you must first have your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN). If you only have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree. This is a must before any graduate program can be started.

Step 2: Get An RN License - Once you are deemed eligible by the state board of nursing you are seeking a license from, you must sit for and pass the NCLEX in order to earn your RN license. Once you pass the NCLEX and meet all additional requirements, you will receive licensure in your state.

Step 3: Gain Experience - You’ll likely need at least two years of experience in a neonatal intensive care unit or comparable clinical experience in order to be accepted into an MSN or DNP graduate program.

Step 4: Earn an MSN or DNP - Next, you’ll need to earn either your MSN or DNP from an accredited program with a specialty in Neonatal Nursing.

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Rachel’s Answer


I was the manager for a NICU and worked closely with neonatal nurse practitioners also known as NNPs. You would need to start by getting your RN, and then getting hired in a NICU. A bachelors degree will be required of the majority of hospitals that have neonatal critical care units or NICUs.This will give you the experience to learn all about the neonatal population. I would recommend 3-5 years in a NICU before going back to school for your NP training. in many hospitals the NNPs are fairly independent so the NICU experience is critical to being able to manage all the critical neonates.

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Palak’s Answer

Phyllis did a nice job of summarizing.

This may be more than you asked, but I really liked the way nurse.org presentation of a neonatal nurse practitioner and discussion of salary, job responsibilities, setting, and lastly steps required to become one.

Link: https://nurse.org/resources/neonatal-np-career-guide/

Best of Luck