Neonatal Nursing (NNP or CNS)

Overview

The Advanced Practice Neonatal Nurse meets the specialized needs of acutely ill and recuperating neonates/infants and their families in a variety of settings including hospital-based neonatal intensive care, convalescent care, and neonatal follow-up. Students enrolling in the neonatal specialty can choose to become either a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). The specialty accepts both Master's and Post-Master's applicants.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

Students may elect to become an NNP, and develop expertise in the clinical management of acutely and chronically ill neonates and infants. The goal of the NNP speciality is to develop culturally sensitive providers who are able to address complex health needs of acutely ill and recuperating neonates and infants, and their families. The NNP speciality aims to prepare a diverse workforce of NNPs to aid in reducing disparities in neonatal health care access. Students will complete core graduate and neonatal/pediatric specialty coursework, in addition to selected residency experiences that support NNP role development. Clinical application occurs across a variety of clinical environments that specialize in care of neonates and infants with complex health needs. Graduates of the NNP specialty are eligible for state licensure as a Nurse Practitioner, and for national certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

Program Requirements and Recommendations (NNP)

Due to extensive clinical experience requirements established by the National Certification Corporation (NCC) applicants are expected to have a minimum of two years of acute care nursing experience with neonates or infants prior to commencing the NNP specialty course work.

This specialty does not admit MEPN applicants.

Fluency in spoken and written English is mandatory for acceptance into the specialty. Fluency in spoken and written Spanish is highly desirable. Due to sequencing of course requirements and clinical rotations, requests for a three-year or part time program of study should be identified prior to initiating coursework. The curriculum is rigorous; therefore, prospective students should plan for no more than 60% employment, and limited professional commitments during their graduate study.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Students may elect to become a CNS, and develop expertise in neonatal clinical practice and systems interventions in neonatal care environments. The neonatal CNS specialty aims to prepare a diverse workforce of culturally sensitive providers poised to address systems needs across neonatal care environments. The curriculum prepares students in five domains of CNS activities consistent with the California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN): clinical practice, research, education, consultation, and clinical leadership. Students will complete core graduate and neonatal/pediatric specialty coursework, in addition to selected residency experiences that support CNS role development. Upon graduation students will be eligible for state licensure as a CNS.

Program Requirements and Recommendations (CNS)

Due to extensive curricular requirements applicants are expected to have a minimum of two years of acute care nursing experience with neonates or infants prior to commencing the neonatal CNS specialty coursework.

This specialty does not admit MEPN applicants.

Fluency in spoken and written English is mandatory for acceptance into the specialty. Fluency in spoken and written Spanish is highly desirable. Due to sequencing of course requirements and clinical rotations, requests for a three-year or part-time program of study should be identified prior to initiating coursework. The curriculum is rigorous, therefore prospective students should plan for no more than 60% employment, and limited professional commitments during their graduate study.

Curriculum

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

Coursework and clinical residency experiences in the NNP specialty support skill development and provide advanced content in neonatal/infant health assessment, family/child development and theory, pediatric/neonatal physiology, acute care neonatal pathophysiology, maternal-fetal health risks, neonatal nutritional and pharmacologic management, diagnostic and therapeutic management of acutely ill and convalescent neonates/infants, ethical and cultural issues in acute care, and professional role development.

In the first year, neonatal courses parallel the Graduate core curriculum and select complementary pediatric courses; foundational clinical skills are developed progressively from intermediate through convalescent/chronic care. In the second year, the specialty immerses students more fully in the critical care setting. A total of 600 clinical hours are required for national certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner by the National Certification Corporation (NCC).

 
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Coursework and clinical residency experiences in the neonatal CNS specialty support skill development and provide advanced content in neonatal/infant health assessment, family/child development and theory, pediatric/neonatal physiology, acute care neonatal pathophysiology, maternal-fetal health risks, neonatal nutritional and pharmacologic management, diagnostic and therapeutic management of acutely ill and convalescent neonates/infants, ethical and cultural issues in acute care, and professional role development.

Neonatal courses parallel the Graduate core curriculum and are complemented by select pediatric courses. Residency experiences immerse students in the clinical environment progressively from chronic/convalescent through acute care. A total of 500 clinical hours is required to complete the specialty.