Best Colleges for Neonatal Nursing: List of Top Schools

Learn about some of the best colleges in the country to offer programs in neonatal nursing. Read up on program and ranking details for two of these colleges and get a list of other top schools in the field.

School Overviews

Neonatal nursing is a specialty field within pediatric nurse practitioner programs, which may be offered as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or as a post-master's certificate program. Two of the top schools that offer neonatal nursing programs include the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and Vanderbilt University (VU). Both are highly ranked schools that offer graduate-level neonatal nursing programs for registered nurses, though VU also offers its program in a distance-learning format.

1. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

School Highlight: Penn received first-place ranking among universities offering pediatric nurse practitioner programs, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015.

Penn is a private research university that boasts an eighth place ranking and a first place ranking in U.S. News and World Report's 2015 list of top national universities and top pediatric nurse practitioner programs, respectively. Its School of Nursing was named the best U.S. graduate school for nursing in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report. The neonatal nurse practitioner master's program is open to registered nurses (RNs) with two years experience in neonatal intensive care. The 1-year program offers courses in high-risk neonatal care and theory, pediatric pharmacology and developmental physiology.

2. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

School Highlight: Vanderbilt was ranked #11 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 listing of best value schools.

In 2015, this private research university was ranked 16th among the nation's best colleges by U.S. News and World Report. VU's School of Nursing also placed 11th in the magazine's 2015 national ranking of top graduate nursing programs and best value schools. The school offers a neonatal nursing practitioner program leading to a post-master's certificate program. Applicants must have an MSN and at least two years experience with high-risk newborns. Graduates of the program are qualified to work in newborn nurseries, intermediate care nurseries and neonatal intensive care nurseries. The program is also offered in a distance-learning format through weekend and online courses.

Top Neonatal Nursing Schools

School Name Location Distinction
Arizona State University AZU ranked #24 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 listing of best nursing schools. Tempe, AZ
Duke University In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke #2 on its list of best schools to offer graduate programs in pediatric nursing. Durham, NC
East Carolina University The neonatal nurse practitioner certificate program also prepares graduates to take on roles in nursing education. Greenville, NC
Northeastern University Neonatal nursing students can gain experiential learning at six different health facilities, including the Women and Infant's Hospital and the Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Boston. Boston, MA
University of California - San Francisco UCF placed #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 list of schools with the best programs for aspiring pediatric nurse practitioners. San Francisco, CA
University of Florida UF offers several of its neonatal nursing courses online, though students may have to travel to campus for some clinical hours. Gainesville, FL
University of Texas at Austin The university's Wellness Center provides care to 11,000 low-income and uninsured individuals in the Austin area. Austin, TX

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