NNP - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Jobs
What Does A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Do?
A neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) is a registered nurse (RN) with advanced practice training and skills. NNPs in this specialty work with infants with a variety of problems. The most common, according to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses , are birth defects, premature birth, cardiac malformations, surgical issues, and infection. While the neonatal period is technically an infant’s first month, many NNPs care for infants with long-term health issues up to the age of 2. NNPs are under the direction of a neonatologist or a neonatal fellow. However, they usually have total responsibility for their small charges when it comes diagnosis and initiating the appropriate medical procedures.
What Are The Job Roles For A NNP?
The setting where a NNP works determines the duties performed. Most facilities have three care levels:
- Level 1: Newborn nursery care is appropriate for full-term, healthy babies. The need for an NNP is limited.
- Level 2: The intermediate care nursery provides constant care for infants who are sick or born prematurely.
- Level 3: A neonatal intensive care nursery (NICU) has seriously ill infants who need constant monitoring due to critical health problems.
In general, however, NNPs have five important roles, according to GraduateNursingEDU.org :
- Monitor special equipment like ventilators and incubators
- Educate and support patients' families
- Dispense medication pursuant to a collaborative agreement with a doctor
- Perform diagnostic tests and order laboratory tests
- Ensure correct feeding and basic care
- Work is medically challenging.
- Job requires significant in-person family contact.
- Responsibilities are usually multifaceted.
- Work requires considerable independent judgment.
- Duties can be emotionally draining.
What Education & Certification Is Needed For A NNP?
Those who are interested in the NNP path must first obtain an RN designation. They can complete a two- or four-year degree in nursing or a hospital nursing program. Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) is necessary for licensing in the state of choice. While completing clinical experience, typically in a NICU, an RN should complete a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) with a neonatal specialization. Some nurses opt to pursue a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. For nurses with an MSN in another area, a post-master’s certificate is often available. Once they have completed educational and experience requirements, RNs can sit for the NNP certification examination.
What Are The Degree Requirements For A NNP?
To be eligible to apply for NNP certification, candidates must have at least an MSN. Many programs are available online. Some schools offer options for RNs without a prior BSN to enter an MSN program.
Among top choices of schools are these, according to Nurse Practitioner Schools :
What Certification Is Needed For A NNP?
The National Certification Corporation administers the NNP certification program. Eligibility for the exam includes having a current RN license and being a graduate of an accredited, graduate-level nurse practitioner program. Candidates must take the exam within eight years of graduation, according to Nurse Practitioner Schools . Certification renewal is necessary every three years. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners lists certification requirements by state.
What Are the CEU Requirements As A NNP?
NNPs should check state requirements for continuing education units. In addition, maintaining NNP certification requires verifying completed continuing education.
Where Can I Work As A NNP?
- Birthing centers
- Military facilities
- Home care
Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript, womansday.com, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.