How much schooling is needed to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

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Posted on : 22-04-2013 | By : My Study Coach | In : Improve Your Concentration
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And what is the ranging salary? What courses do you suggest I take in high school and college for the best education in this area?

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Comments (2)

In high school you will want to take as many math and science course that you can. In college you will want a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, followed by a RN license from your state. By the time you are a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner the pay will be up around $125,000/year or more. Good luck, it is a very rewarding career outside of the money too.

A great ambition!

The quick answer is that you must obtain a Bachelors degree in Nursing, pass the NCLEX nursing exam to be licensed as an RN (Registered Nurse); work in a neonatal unit for at least a year to get experienced, and then go on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Nursing, as a Neonatal NP.

The details:
In high school, you would take college prep classes, with emphasis on the biological sciences, math, and statistics. Just make sure your basic algebra skills are solid. I would highly recommend the stats & probability course for 2 reasons:

1) that course will help you understand ALL statistics better — an important life skill — such as politics, news reporting, when others are using statistics in an argument, etc.

2) Stats is important if you want to go on to a college level nursing program. It will make the often-required college level course much easier to understand and conquer if you already have had a basic introduction to Stats, which you WILL be required to take on the Master’s level

Talk with a local college advisor. You can do this no matter what age you are.

Once in college, keep in close contact with the School of Nursing (SON) as you plan your course load, even in Freshman year; usually the formal application to the SON is in the Sophomore year.

The competition to get into nursing school is fierce. Their standards may say you have to have a “B” average, but in reality, your GPA must be higher than that to be accepted into the SON. I would also encourage you to do summer jobs or volunteer work in the health field, as this will make your resume more attractive to the committee that evaluates prospective students.

NP in In Neonatal is an advanced degree — a Master’s Degree. One must have a Bachelor’s degree first. It is VERY helpful to have some years as a regular neonatal nurse, to learn from all sorts of situations, before going on to become an NP. The more previous experience, the better an NP a person will be.

(Other types of Nursing Master’s degrees are in Education, Research, Administration, Computers, Midwifery, Anesthesia, etc.)

The typical Master’s program is two years of full-time course work, or the equivalent spread out over a longer time. An area you want to think about is funding, as grad school is expensive. Many corporations (incl. hospitals) will help pay for grad school IF you have worked there full time for at least a year. So this is a job benefit you’ll want to be aware of when you consider where you are going to work. You study while still working full time, so it is a very heavy load. However, it is worth checking out, since getting a Master’s is expensive.

In the Nursing Master’s program, all students take core courses in theory, research, the role of the Advanced Practice Nurse, etc. You also decide on, and then research and write a thesis. For the clinically-based nurse, such as a Neonatal NP, this will typically be written on a clinical issue related to your area of study.

Then, you take courses specific to your area of study. These include Physical Assessment and Health Promotion, Pharmacology, managing your practice, etc. The majority of the remainder of the time is spent in actual clinical practice, doing assessments, diagnosing, prescribing, and doing followup work. All while writing your thesis! :)

Another route is to obtain your LPN via a local community college (one VERY full time year), work as an LPN while your earn your BSN, and then eventually apply to a Master’s program. While this will take longer, you will be a very experienced NP!

hope this helps! We NEED more advance practice nurses!

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