Neonatal Nurse Majors

Neonatal nurses care for newborn babies, often in a hospital maternity ward or neonatal intensive care unit. You can gain the training for this specialty through a neonatal nursing degree program, which is typically a graduate-level program. Read on to learn about degree programs, online availability, prerequisites, learning options and curriculum. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Neonatal Nursing Degrees Are Available?

Some schools offer a Master of Science and/or a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAGS) in Neonatal Nursing or Neonatal Health. There are no undergraduate majors available. Neonatal nursing is considered an advanced specialization for registered nurses, preparing them for nurse practitioner roles. Your studies will generally take 1-2 years to complete.

Degree OptionsMaster of Science (MS), advanced study certificate at graduate level, Doctor of Nursing (DNP)
PrerequisitesRegistered nurse with 1-2 years' experience in a NICU (bachelor's degree in nursing preferred), certification in neonatal resuscitation, proof of malpractice insurance
Common CoursesNeonatal pharmacology, health assessment, nursing management, development physiology
Other Requirements Practicums and a nursing residency
Online ProgramsMost schools that offer online programs also require in-person practical experience.

What Are the Prerequisites to Enroll?

Typically, you must be licensed as a registered nurse and have 1-2 years of experience in critical care nursing or in a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). You also must provide proof of malpractice insurance, be certified in neonatal resuscitation, have a current resume and pass a health screening. Most programs also expect you to have a bachelor's degree in nursing, but some will accept students who have a non-nursing degree if they can demonstrate experience in the field by submitting a professional portfolio. You must also be proficient with common computer software such as Microsoft Office.

What Is the Curriculum?

You will take a variety of courses designed to give you a solid foundation in the care of newborns and children up to the age of two, and expertise in relating to your little patients' parents. General topics of study in an advanced nursing program include clinical pharmacology, nursing research, community health, epidemiology and statistical methods. You'll also take specialized neonatal nursing courses in subjects such as the following:

  • Health Assessment of the Neonate and Infant
  • Neonatal Pharmacology
  • Embryology and Development Physiology
  • Neonatal nursing management

You will likely be expected to complete up to three nursing practicums and a nursing residency. If you are already working at a hospital, you may be able to arrange to complete this requirement there.

Is This Program Offered Online?

There are several schools that offer this degree online; however, you will still be expected to complete in-person practical experience requirements. Your adviser can usually assist you in making arrangements. As with most online degree programs, you attend your classes and pass in your homework via the school's website, which may use a course management system such as Moodle or Blackboard. Some programs may require you to have specific software, but the minimum technical requirements are simply a computer with excellent Internet access.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
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  • Kaplan University

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

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  • University of Delaware

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