Hi, and welcome to this exciting Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs article!

This comprehensive guide will highlight the best Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs available in the market today.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be clear on the admission requirements, pass rates, and course outlines of different Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs.

Our article will delve into the following topics:

  • What is the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program?
  • Best Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Online Programs
  • Benefits of Neonatal Nurse Practitioner schooling

Let’s get started!


Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

Neonatal NPs are Advanced Practice Nurses who hold an MSN or DNP in Neonatal Nursing studies and offer specialized care to sick newborns.

These advanced healthcare providers offer their services in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), delivery rooms, private medical services, and Neonatal evacuation agencies.

Due to the specialized nature of Neonatal care, Neonatal NPs are required to have advanced nursing training, solid clinical experience, and pass several Certification Exams.

This article will look at the graduate programs available for Neonatal NPs.

What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program refers to the Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner schooling NNP students undertake to qualify as Neonatal Nurse Practitioners.

The two main types of Neonatal NP Programs include:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Both these degree programs adequately prepare the candidates for the rigorous life of a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner by imparting the necessary technical skills for the job.

Since thousands of Neonatal Nurse Schools offer Neonatal Nurse Programs, identifying the best school is a challenge.

What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

This article will provide a comprehensive list of the best NICU NP Programs.

Before proceeding, let’s first understand the common courses available in NICU Nurse Practitioner Programs.

Common plans of study in NNP Schools

Common plans of study in NNP Schools

This section will explore the courses that an NNP candidate will likely meet in different Neonatal Nursing schools:

Courses in the Neonatal MSN Program

Different Neonatal Nursing colleges offer different courses in their Neonatal Master’s degree program.

Here are the common courses in an NNP master’s program:

  • Embryology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Public policy
  • Family dynamics
  • Advanced physical assessment
  • Evidence-based practice

Courses in Neonatal DNP Programs

Candidates should expect to find these Neonatal courses in their DNP curriculum:

  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Health policy
  • Advanced physical assessments
  • Public policy
  • Neonatal diagnosis and management
  • Embryology
  • Pathophysiology

Read on for a comprehensive list of Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs.

Best online MSN Nursing Programs

Best online MSN Nursing Programs

If you’re wondering which are the best NNP Programs for MSN candidates, this section is for you.

Here are some of the top online NNP Programs in the US today, according to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN):

1. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

The UAB Neonatal MSN Program offers a comprehensive and flexible training program for candidates to graduate with an MSN Neonatal major.

The UAB school of nursing equips students with the latest nursing skills and training that enables them to provide top-class nursing services to critically ill Neonates.

The school uses experienced tutors, preceptors, simulation exercises, and advanced distance learning systems to impart knowledge to candidates.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Admission requirements

  • BSN degree with CCNE or CNEA accreditation
  • Valid RN license
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA average score of 3.0 and above
  • Three official reference letters
  • Submit official transcripts


The average fee for the UAB MSN Program is $26730 for the 2021/2022 period.

Course length

The MSN program takes an average of two years (24 months).

Financial aid

UAB offers scholarships to bright students with financial challenges.

The scholarship program runs twice a year and is open to all deserving students.

Credit hours

The Neonatal MSN Program consists of 45 credit hours:

  • 35 credit hours of didactic coursework
  • 10 hours of clinical practice

2. University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC)

The UMKC Neonatal NP-MSN Program offers candidates the opportunity to grow their nursing knowledge and provide more specialized services to patients.

Candidates in this program graduate with a Neonatal MSN degree and specialize in the following key areas:

  • Advanced Neonatal Assessment
  • Advanced Neonatal Pharmacology
  • Advanced pathophysiology

UMKC NNP-MSN boasts accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admission requirements

  • BSN degree
  • Valid RN license
  • GPA of 3.2 and above
  • Two years of clinical experience


 The estimated tuition for non-residents in the 2021/2022 study year is $27621.

Course length

The NNP-MSN Program takes an average of 24 months.

Credit hours

Candidates need at least 42 credit hours to graduate.

3. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)

The UTMB offers one of the best Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs in Texas and prepares candidates to sit the National Certification Corporation (NCC) Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam.

Students from this college provide high-quality and focused Neonatal care to sick newborns.

The course uses a hybrid learning system incorporating simulation laboratories, online classes, clinical practicum, and peer groups that improve students’ quality of learning.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB

Admission requirements

  • Active and valid RN license
  • BSN degree from an accredited Nursing school
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 and above
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Three reference letters
  • Two years of RN experience in Level III Neonatal unit


Each credit hour costs $1385 for Texas residents and $1808 for non-residents.

Course length

This part-time course covers 12 units over seven semesters and takes an average of three years to complete.

Credit hours

To graduate from the program, you need 46 credit hours.

4. Stony Brook University of Nursing, NY

Stony Brook University’s Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program incorporates long-distance learning with on-site requirements to prepare Neonatal Registered Nurses to earn the NNP-BC designation.

In this course, students learn:

  • Leadership in the field
  • To integrate research and clinical findings into the treatment process
  • Effective communication with healthcare teams
  • Professional engagement

Admission requirements 

  • BSN degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Official academic transcripts
  • One year of RN experience
  • Active RN license
  • Three online recommendation letters
  • Three credits in health assessment and statistics
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Official CV


$577 per credit for online students.

Course length

Two years (24 months).

Credit hours

The course requires 45 credit hours to graduate.

5. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion is ranked number 63 in the best online Masters in Nursing programs, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

The Old Dominion NNP-MSN Program adequately prepares candidates to offer high-quality and specialized nursing services to critically ill Neonates.

This program uses a combination of online and on-campus lessons to prepare candidates to sit for the NCC Certification Exam and provide quality NNP services.

Admission requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in Nursing(CCNE/NLNAC Accredited)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Valid RN license
  • One year of NICU experience


  • Residents – $26999
  • Non-residents – $29155

Course length

You’ll need 2- 3 years to complete this course with five campus visits.

Credit hours

You require 50 credit hours to complete the program.

Best Colleges for Neonatal Nursing MSN Program (on-campus)

Best Colleges for Neonatal Nursing MSN Program (on-campus)

1. University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

The UCSF offers a culturally diverse Neonatal NP- MSN Program that utilizes different teaching techniques and environments to prepare specialized Neonatal Nursing Providers.

Students complete over 600 hours of mentored training and acquire first-class training on a broad spectrum of Neonatal studies.

Admission requirements

  • Two years of Neonatal acute care experience
  • Valid RN license
  • CCNE or NLNAC certified BSN degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above
  • Official transcripts
  • TOEFL/IELTS English proficiency for Non-English speakers
  • Four nominated letters of recommendation
  • A current professional resume or CV
  • Application fee ($105 for US citizens and $125 for international students)


$5034 per quarter (three quarters per year).

Course length

Two-year program with 600 clinical hours.

Application deadline

The application deadline for this program is 1st April 2022.

2. University of Texas- Arlington

The University of Texas-Arlington offers a comprehensive MSN- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program that adequately prepares RNs for the NNP role.

UTA offers online, on-campus, full-time, and part-time classes to cater to all their students’ needs.

Admission requirements

  • Valid RN license
  • Neonatal Resuscitation program
  • CCNE/ACEN accredited BSN degree
  • GPA of 3.0 and above
  • Grade C undergraduate statistics
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training
  • Two years of clinical experience in a level III or IV Neonatal facility
  • Current employment in level III or iv facility (at least one shift per week)


You will pay $3456 per six-semester credit hour plus other costs.

Course length

Two years (24 months).

Credit hours

You require 42 credit hours and 600 clinical hours to complete the course.

3. The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)

TCNJ offers a comprehensive on-campus NNP-MSN Program that adequately prepares students for life as Neonatal NP.

The TCNJ NNP-MSN Program exposes students to critical topics that improve their nursing knowledge and provide appropriate nursing care to patients.

This program allows students to study in two top-class nursing institutions, TCNJ and Thomas Jefferson University.

Admission requirements

  • BSN degree
  • Neonatal Nursing experience
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Student essay
  • Current CV/resume
  • Pre Admission interview


$949.91 per credit.

Course length

Full-time students take two years to complete the course, while part-time students have up to six years.

Credit hours

The course requires 38 credits (23 credits in TCNJ and 15 credits in Thomas Jefferson college).

Application deadline

August 1st, 2022.

4. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

The University of Pennsylvania is a top-tier education center ranked the third-best nursing graduate school by the U.S. News & World Report, 2020.

The on-campus UPenn Neonatal NP-MSN Program prepares candidates to become experts in the Neonatal Nursing field by focusing on family and infant health.

UPenn’s interactive Nursing training incorporates the latest technological advancements, preceptors, and highly trained staff to train their students.

Admission requirements

  • BSN from an accredited college
  • GPA of 3.0 and above
  • Two years of full-time experience in level iii or iv Neonatal nursery
  • Statistics course
  • TB test, Flu shots, and full physical exam
  • CPR test
  • Background check
  • Drug screening
  • Valid New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania RN license


12-month program (12 CU) – $78720.

Course length

Full-time students take two years, while part-time students take three years.

Financial Aid

UPenn offers various student loans, scholarships, and other financial aid.

5. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (UVA)

The UVA nursing school is one of the most prestigious colleges for Neonatal Nurses that offers the coveted MSN-NNP Program.

This top-tier training institution ranked as the sixth-best public MSN Program by the U.S. News & World Report, 2023, prepares students to offer holistic and specialized services to patients.

The UVA NNP-MSN Program uses innovative hands-on training, world-class mentorship, cutting-edge research, and a flexible study program to train future Neonatal NPs.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (UVA)

Admission requirements

  • Two years of NICU experience
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Valid US and Virginia RN license
  • Three recommendation letter
  • CV/Resume
  • Baccalaureate degree in Nursing
  • Undergraduate/Graduate degree in statistics


Fee estimates depend on your mode of study.

Here are the fee estimates for 2021/2022:

  • Full-time Virginia resident – $22414
  • Full-time non-resident – $35226
  • Part-time Virginia resident – $799/credit + $3246
  • Part-time non-resident – $1304/credit + $3928

Course length

  • Full-time students – Two years
  • Part-time students – Three years

Credit hours

You need 46 credit hours and 600 hours of clinical practice to graduate from the program.

Application deadline 

December 1st, 2022.

Financial aid

Students are eligible for various student loans (FAFSA), scholarships, and grants.

Best DNP Neonatal Programs

Best DNP Neonatal Programs

Here are the best DNP – NNP colleges for NICU Nursing professionals:

1. Rush University

Rush University offers a versatile, fully online Neonatal NP-DNP program that prepares candidates to offer advanced care to critically ill neonates and their families.

This part-time program with a manageable class size of 20 students allows students to benefit from world-class instructors and innovative teaching techniques.

Ranked as the second-best DNP school by the U.S. News and World Report, Rush University is perfect for students seeking to gain solid Neonatal NP -DNP training.

Admission requirements

  • BSN degree from accredited institutions
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal essay
  • Six months of level III or IV NICU experience
  • Valid RN license
  • Resume/CV


$1224 per credit hour.

Course length

2.5 -3.5 years.

Credit hours

Total of 68 credit hours.

Application deadline

  • Fall semester – July 1st, 2022
  • Spring semester – August 8, 2022

2. Baylor University

Baylor University offers a fully online DNP-NNP Program for active RNs seeking to grow in their careers.

The school offers a BSN-DNP and MSN-DNP Program to allow RNs from any level to earn the DNP designation.

Baylor University offers personalized practicums and clinical placement support by identifying suitable preceptors to work with their students.

Admission requirements

  • Valid RN license
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • One year of full-time RN experience
  • Accredited BSN degree


$1100 per credit.

Course length

  • BSN-DNP – Three years
  • MSN-DNP – 2-3 years

Credit hours

  • BSN-DNP – 75 credit hours and 1125 clinical hours
  • MSN-DNP – 38-75 credit hours and 1000 clinical hours

Financial Assistance

Students can access the FAFSA loan.

3. St Francis Medical Center College (SFMC)

SFMC offers a dynamic 100% online DNP-NNP Program perfect for RN Nurses who wish to grow their Nursing careers.

The five-year RN-DNP Neonatal NP and three-year MSN-DNP Programs prepare students to offer high-quality and specialized nursing services to patients and their families.

Admission requirements

  • Accredited BSN degree
  • Valid RN license
  • Two years of level NICU III or IV RN experience
  • Official transcript
  • Essay
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Admission fee
  • Undergraduate health assessment and nursing research (grade C and above)


Estimated charges for 12 credit hours are $9076.

Course length

BSN-DNP – Five years

MSN-NNP – Three years

Credit hours

MSN-DNP – 42 credits and 640 clinical hours

BSN-DNP – 73 credits and 1152 clinical hours

Financial assistance

SFMC offers various grants, scholarships, and student loans.

4. University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON)

UMSON offers a blended DNP Program (online and in-person) that prepares you to be an effective Neonatal Nursing professional.

The UMSON Neonatal DNP training incorporates strong simulation models, personalized practicums, and experienced faculty to provide a holistic learning environment.

You’ll benefit from the broad range of experience from the shared clinical courses with pediatric DNP students.

Admission requirements

  • Accredited BSN degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above
  • Two recommendations
  • Essay
  • RN license
  • CV/Resume
  • Official transcripts


  • In-state – $840/credit
  • Out of state – $1490/credit

Course length

Variable (3, 4, 5-year options).

Credit hours

Not more than 80 credits and 1080 clinical hours.

Financial assistance

Multiple scholarships and funding opportunities are available.

Qualities of a good Neonatal NP Program

Qualities of a good Neonatal NP Program

When searching for an excellent NNP Program, consider the following factors:


Ensure that the Neonatal NP meets the accreditation standards of national accreditation bodies, including the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Program Cost

Consider the tuition cost plus extras before settling down at a particular Nursing school.

It will be unwise to start a program only to stop midway due to a lack of funds.

Program length

Some programs offer longer part-time courses, while others offer shorter full-time courses.

Consider the time you plan to use in your studies before making your choice.

Internship/Practicum opportunities

Does your preferred program assist in securing internship and practicum opportunities?

Consider opting for a program that offers facilitation towards your clinical rotations.

Study model

How flexible is your study model?

Does the program offer online, face-to-face, or hybrid training?

Choose a program that offers flexibility and can fit into your schedule.

Experienced Faculty

Consider opting for an NNP Program that boasts experienced and professional faculty.

Competent tutors will ease your journey and make you a better Neonatal NP.

Why enlist in an NNP Program

Why enlist in an NNP Program

There are several reasons why the Neonatal NP Program is perfect for you, including:

  • Satisfy NNP Certification requirements
  • Build professional contacts
  • Gain credibility
  • Improve your professional portfolio


Conclusion on Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

Earning the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner designation is a smart career move as it opens the door to bigger and better opportunities.

And while numerous NICU Nurse colleges offer Neonatal MSN and DNP degree certificate programs, finding the right fit for you is no easy task.

We hope that this comprehensive list will act as a trusted guide when selecting the best school for your NNP Program.

Read on for answers to our reader’s frequently asked questions.

All the best.


FAQs on Neonatal Nurse Salary

What degree does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner need?

To join a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, you must have a BSN degree from an accredited nursing school. Additionally, you’ll need a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to earn the NNP Certification, which allows you to practice professionally.

What is the best college to become a Neonatal Nurse?

Here is a comprehensive list of good colleges:
– University of Pennsylvania
– Vanderbilt university
– Arizona state university
– Duke Carolina
– East Carolina University
– North Eastern University
– University of California San Francisco
– University of Texas Austin
– University of Florida

How do you become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in Canada?

Follow these steps to become a Neonatal NP in Canada:
– Earn a BSN degree
– Sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam
– Earn a Neonatal NP graduate certificate (MSN or DNP)
– Meet safe practice requirements
– Sit for the NNP Certification Exam
– Apply for NNP registration

What schools have Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs?

The following Neonatal Nurse colleges offer Nurse Practitioner Programs:
– The University of Alabama at Birmingham
– Stony Brook University, NewYork
– University of South Alabama
– University of Pittsburgh
– Rush University
– University of Louisville
– The University of Illinois at Chicago
– Case Western Reserve University

Are MSN and NP the same?

Nurse Practitioners (NP) are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) that hold Advanced Nursing degrees (MSN/DNP) and provide specialized nursing services to patients. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an education program that allows Registered Nurses to advance their education and take up more specialized roles.

What education is needed to become a Neonatal NP?

To become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, you need to meet the following educational requirements:
– Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree
– A Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree
– Post-Masters Nursing degree ex DNP (optional)
To meet these requirements, consider enrolling in an accredited Neonatal Nursing college.

What is NNP-BC?

NNP-BC refers to a board-certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner who has satisfied the educational and certification requirements of the National Certification Corporation. Only Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) who complete a Neonatal MSN or DNP Program and sit for the NCC Neonatal Certification Exam earn this designation.

What is the difference between a Neonatal Nurse and a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

The main difference between an NN and NNP is their educational background and duties.Neonatal Nurses are certified RNs with a BSN degree, while NNPs are APRNs with an MSN or DNP in Neonatal studies. NNPs also offer more specialized neonatal services compared to Neonatal Nurses.







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