Neonatal Inpatient Care
The online, distance learning Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) provides population-focused health care to preterm (<37 weeks) and term neonates, infants, and children up to 2 years of age. As a key member of an interprofessional team, the NNP participates in a wide variety of complex patient care activities in settings that include, but are not limited to, all levels of neonatal inpatient care in both academic and community-based settings; transport, acute care, and chronic care settings; delivery rooms; and outpatient settings. Student clinical experiences are designed to prepare the graduate to practice as a NNP providing direct patient care in a newborn nursery, or in a Level II, III, or IV NICU. Successful completion of the program qualifies students to register for the examination for certification as a neonatal nurse practitioner.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Current, unencumbered license as a registered nurse (RN)
- Baccalaureate degree in nursing or related science field from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average;
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) combined score of 300 or higher or Miller Analogy Test (MAT) score of 400. Note: Standardized tests are waived for students with a GPA of 3.5 or above in the baccalaureate degree;
- Three letters of recommendation, with at least one from a former faculty member;
- A written statement that addresses the applicant's career goals and reasons for seeking certification as a neonatal nurse practitioner;
- Completion of undergraduate courses in statistics and health/physical assessment;
- Two (2) years recent clinical practice experience working in a NICU. Note: Applicants applying for part-time study will be considered for admission with only 1 year of NICU experience, with the expectation that they will continue employment in the NICU during the 1st year enrolled in the program to obtain the second year of clinical experience needed.
The part-time course load is approximately 5-6 credits per semester, and the full-time course load is 9-11 credits per semester. Click on the link for the NNP curriculum (note: part-time schedule indicated by colored text). For students choosing a part-time schedule, we recommend a transition to full-time study after the first two years when you have completed all core courses. Full-time study once you begin clinical practicums will allow you to dedicate critical time to developing your clinical practice skills, and is consistent with requirements in all of our other advanced practice programs.
If you have an earned MSN in another advanced practice role, we may be able to give you credit in the NNP program for previously completed core courses. MSN courses taken to satisfy requirements for a previously earned MSN will be considered for transfer credit according to University policy. An analysis of the transcript from the school from which you earned the MSN, and possibly review of course syllabi, would be required to make any decisions.
We do not require the GRE or MAT if your undergraduate GPA is 3.5 or above. For applicants who do need to take a graduate admissions test, we urge advance study and preparation for the exam, as well as scheduling for testing well in advance of the admission application deadline.
The NNP curriculum is an online program. Didactic courses are offered using the Blackboard course management system. Faculty use a variety of teaching technologies to facilitate synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. We do require occasional visits to the ODU campus for standardized patient and simulation experiences, usually one (1) weekend a semester.
Students will be required to complete a minimum of 600 clinical practicum hours, primarily in a level III/IV NICU to satisfy MSN degree requirements, as well as NNP certification requirements. The program director will work with each student to identify clinical practice sites, preferably in the student's home community, assuming that there is an NNP available and willing to serve as the student's clinical preceptor. Applicants who want to complete practicum hours at a particular facility are advised to check with NICU leadership to determine their capability of supporting your practicum experience when the time comes.