Job Responsibilities and Career Outlook for a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

A parent’s worst fear is a child who is sick or injured, so if you want to work helping people who find themselves in this situation after a birth, neonatal nursing might be for you. Nurse practitioners in this field have clinical experience and education that allows them to effectively diagnose and treat problems, as well as work with teams of doctors and the family itself to provide care to the infant in question. Could becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner be the right career path for you?

Neonatal Nurse Duties and Career Outlook

Most hospitals and other health facilities have neonatal care units. In this area, you’ll find sick or injured infants, often those born prematurely, who need around-the-clock care. Neonatal nurses provide this care, assisting with feeding, monitoring a baby’s condition and vital signs, bathing, comforting, and more. Nursing in these units can be especially difficult since you’ll be dealing with anxious parents and, at times, heartbreaking losses. As is the case with most nursing field, neonatal nurses are in high demand, so the career outlook for these workers is great in most parts of the United States.

Nurse Practitioner Responsibilities

Along with providing the above-mentioned neontal care, with certification as a nurse practitioner, you’ll be qualified to serve as a leader in the neonatal unit. Doctors are often dealing with several tough cases, surgeries, and other problems, so nurse practitioners take charge of the daily tasks, making sure that every single infant receives the immediate care he or she needs. Neonatal nurse practitioners can work more independently of doctors than typical registered nurses, allowing them to make decisions about treatment and judge when to get an doctor involved. Nurse practitioners also often act as a liaison with families, so good communication skills is a must.

Becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

To become a nurse practitioner in any nursing field, you need at least a master’s degree (soon, most states will require an even more advanced doctorate degree). You can become a registered nurse by getting either an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree and then entering an MSN degree program at an accredited school, where you’ll specialize in neonatal education. You will also do hands-on clinical work with patients to gain experience as a neonatal nurse before applying for certification as a nurse practitioner in this field.

Top Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Degrees

South University
Accelerated RN to MSN
Accel MSN: Adult Health
Accel MSN: Education

South University -- The South University MSN program trains registered nurses to the next level of nursing science. The program format allows nurses to pursue their education goals while continuing their career. The curriculum is designed to develop clinical teaching skills and modern research in the nursing field.

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University of Cincinnati
MSN: Clinical Nursing
MSN: Family Nursing
MSN: Nurse Midwifery
MSN: Women's Health

University of Cincinnati -- At the University of Cincinnati, students in the Nursing College may choose from a variety of advanced nursing programs. For example, the MSN in women's health reviews female medical conditions. The nurse administration, adult nursing, nurse midwifery, and family nursing programs teach the skills to apply treatment in these specific nursing fields.

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Kaplan University
MSN: Administration
MSN: Education

Kaplan University -- The Kaplan University Master of Science in Nursing programs in nurse administration and nurse education features a curriculum that is designed to allow for the exploration of the dynamic healthcare nursing environment. Courses include Advanced Nursing Roles, Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing, and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in a Diverse Community.

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Grand Canyon University
MSN: Education
MSN: Leadership
MSN/MBA: Leadership

Grand Canyon University -- The MSN - Nurse Education, MSN - Nurse Leadership, and MSN/MBA - Leadership degree programs from Grand Canyon University all are designed to provide current nurses with the tools they need to become leaders in their field. The curriculum features classes that both educate and engage.

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