What does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner do?

Learn all about Neonatal Nurse Practitioner duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed advanced coursework and training in the care of newborn infants. These nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices, providing comprehensive care to newborns and their families. In addition to caring for sick and premature infants, they also provide well-baby checkups, immunizations, and other preventive care services.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner job duties include:

  • Providing care for newborn infants up to 28 days old
  • Acting as a primary caregiver for sick and premature infants
  • Performing physical examinations and ordering diagnostic tests
  • Identifying health problems and prescribing treatments
  • Counseling parents on infant care and development
  • Collaborating with physicians and other health care professionals
  • Coordinating care with the infant’s family
  • Providing education to families and staff on neonatal topics
  • Conducting research on neonatal topics
  • Participating in quality improvement initiatives

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Job Requirements

A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) is a nurse with specialized training in the care of newborn infants. NNPs must have a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing, and they must be certified by the National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties. In addition to their clinical training, NNPs must also have experience working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Skills

  • Patience
  • Attention to Detail
  • Compassion
  • Strong Stomach
  • Empathy
  • Organizational Skills
  • Ability to Multi-task
  • Quick Thinking
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Flexibility

Related: Top Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

There are many reasons why someone might want to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP). Maybe they love working with babies, or they have a personal connection to neonatal care. Whatever the reason, becoming an NNP takes dedication and hard work. Here are a few tips on how to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

First, it is important to get a degree in nursing from an accredited school. There are many great nursing programs out there, so do your research to find one that fits your needs. Once you have your degree, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse.

Next, you will need to complete a Master’s degree in Nursing with a specialization in Neonatal Care. This can be done at many different schools, so again, do your research to find the best fit for you. During your Master’s program, you will take classes specifically related to neonatal care, such as physiology and pathophysiology of the neonate, pharmacology for the neonate, and advanced assessment of the neonate. You will also complete clinical rotations in various neonatal settings, such as the NICU or special care nursery.

After you have completed your Master’s degree, you will need to pass the national certification exam for NNPs. This exam is offered by the National Certification Corporation for Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nurses (NCCOBNN). Once you have passed this exam, you will be officially certified as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner!

Now that you are an NNP, it is important to stay up-to-date on all the latest information and research in neonatal care. There are many great resources out there, such as journals and online forums. Attend conferences and networking events whenever possible. And most importantly, never stop learning!

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