Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs with a focus or major in neonatal nurse practitioner are available in on-campus and online formats and may be taken full- or part-time. These degree programs require clinical hours and prepare students for careers as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs). Here we discuss this degree program more in depth.
Information for MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs
Most MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs require clinical hours and practicum experiences at healthcare facilities. Online programs may also require on-site visits for simulations and hands-on learning. Learn more about some of the common courses for these programs below.
Students are typically required to take a course in advanced pathophysiology that builds on their background in human anatomy and physiology. Students study pathophysiologic processes and their effects on different body systems. These courses often include a thorough overview of research in the subject and help prepare students for advanced clinical assessments.
Advanced Neonatal Health Assessment
Courses in advanced neonatal health assessment equip students with the necessary clinical skills to interpret diagnostic test results, record health histories, complete physical examinations and more. Some of these courses include hands-on learning via clinical hours. Students can practice making assessments in nurseries and neonatal intensive care units.
Neonatal physiology courses usually include a discussion of embryology and neonatal development, with a focus on fetal, transitional and neonatal physiology. Students learn about the role of genetics in development and what normal physiologic functions in fetal systems should look like. Some courses also discuss the legal and ethical issues concerning topics like in-vitro fertilization and genetic therapy.
Advanced Neonatal Pharmacotherapeutics/Pharmacodynamics
MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs typically include a pharmacology course in order to train students how to properly utilize drugs as a method of care. Students learn about ideal drug responses, side effects and drug choice. Students spend time discussing clinical judgements and become familiar with the various drugs typically used for neonates and infants.
The number of neonatal practicum courses and their requirements may vary with each program, but programs typically require at least one practicum experience to provide students with advanced, hands-on learning. Sometimes these courses include seminars and projects but are most commonly made up of clinical hours. Students in these courses gain experience caring for moderately or critically ill infants, high-risk neonates, and normal neonates and infants through 2 years of age.
Common Entrance Requirements
It is fairly common for MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner degree programs to require applicants to have an undergraduate degree and at least 2 years of full-time registered nursing experience in a neonatal care unit. Some of these programs may also have a minimum GPA requirement, but typically do not require GRE test scores. Programs might ask that students have prior coursework in areas like statistics, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and developmental psychology. Applicants are usually asked to submit official transcripts, letters of reference, a personal statement or answers to application questions and a current resume with their application.
MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner degree programs are intended for RNs who would like to work as NNPs. These programs include clinical hours and practicums and typically require applicants to have work experience in neonatal care units.