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. Find out program and ranking details for three of these colleges and get a list of other top schools in the field. View article »

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  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 0:40 University of Pennsylvania
  • 1:22 Vanderbilt University
  • 2:10 Arizona State University
  • 2:45 Top Neonatal Nursing Schools

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Neonatal nursing is a specialty field within pediatric nurse practitioner programs. Students can find Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) and post-master's certificate programs in this field. Three of the top schools that offer neonatal nursing programs include the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Vanderbilt University (VU), and Arizona State University. Each offers graduate-level neonatal nursing programs for registered nurses and were distinguished by U.S. News & World Report for their educational offerings for 2017.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is a private research university that boasts a first place ranking in U.S. News and World Report's 2017 list of top pediatric nurse practitioner programs. Its School of Nursing was also named the 2nd-best U.S. graduate school for nursing in 2017 by the same source, and 8th for best national university. 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.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University in Nashville was ranked #4 on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 listing of best pediatric nursing schools, and the School of Nursing placed 13th in the magazine's national ranking of graduate nursing programs for 2017. This private research university was also ranked 15th among the nation's best colleges. The school offers a neonatal nursing practitioner program leading to a post-master's certificate. 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.

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Arizona State University

Arizona State University in Tempe offers a BSN to DNP program for aspiring nurse practitioners. This program combines classroom coursework with practical experience at medial facilities in the Phoenix area and is offered on a full-time or part-time schedule. Students also get simulated clinical training through the school's Simulation and Learning Resources (SLR) facility. ASU ranked #30 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 listing of best nursing schools.

Top Neonatal Nursing Schools

The following schools also offer excellent neonatal nursing programs:

School Name Location Distinction
Duke University Durham, NC For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke #5 on its list of best schools to offer graduate programs in pediatric nursing.
East Carolina University Greenville, NC The neonatal nurse practitioner certificate program also prepares graduates to take on roles in nursing education.
Northeastern University Boston, MA 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.
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA UCF placed #3 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of schools with the best programs for aspiring pediatric nurse practitioners.
University of Florida Gainesville, FL UF offers several of its neonatal nursing courses online, though students may have to travel to campus for some clinical hours.
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX The university's Wellness Center provides 11,000 health care visits to low-income and uninsured individuals in the Austin area.

Nurses who want to specialize in neonatal care can find focused programs at highly ranked nursing schools. Some schools offer online or part-time programs for working professionals.

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