Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Program of Study
- Required courses for program.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners are prepared to practice across the continuum, providing primary, acute, chronic, and critical care to neonates, infants, and toddlers through age 2 years. Primary focus is on comprehensive care to ill and preterm newborns and their families a variety of acute care and non-acute care settings – primarily inpatient Level I, II, III, or IV neonatal units. NNPs collaborate with neonatologists, pediatric specialists, and other members of the healthcare team regarding the plan of care for the newborn. NNP responsibilities include:
- Obtain health histories and perform comprehensive physical and gestational age assessments.
- Stabilize and transport ill infants to Level IIIIV nurseries via both ground and air transport.
- Perform procedures necessary to aid in identifying a diagnosis (e.g., delivery room resuscitation, umbilical line placement, intubation, thoracentesis, chest tube placement, peripheral arterial line placement, PICC placement).
- Write daily orders for medications, treatments, and tests; evaluates results and revises accordingly.
- Ensure immunizations and health screening tests are performed. Incorporate developmental care in patient care giving.
- Promote family centered care and healthy infant-parent attachment.
- Participate in patient rounds.
- Attend morbidity and mortality rounds and medical conferences within the institution.
- Provide staff education.
Between 2007 and 2012 there was a 23% increase in NICU admissions in the U.S. Currently, there is a national shortage of NNPs that is expected to continue for at least 10 years. Restrictions on pediatric resident hours has increased the need for NNPs.
The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) DNP Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing (CON) was developed to educate and prepare advanced practice neonatal nurses to manage and care for the ill neonate, improving outcomes for the neonate in partnership with their families. This unique perspective is based on the framework of patient and family centered care (PFCC) within Advanced Practice Nursing Education, caring for neonates, infants, and their families through respect, communication and empowerment. This program is highly specialized and clinically focused in order to provide comprehensive, hands-on, culturally competent, as well as evidence-based care.
Students in the NNP program at UIC will explore evidenced-based practice, inter-professional collaboration, quality, safety, health technology, and health policy. They will be guided through their specialty courses by board-certified NNP faculty who offer more than 90 combined years of experience in NICU nursing, as well as nearly 65 combined years as advanced practice nurses.
Clinical practicum site and preceptors are arranged by program faculty. This experience is available at many of the Chicago area neonatal intensive care units as well as other regional neonatal units. Preceptors are all experienced, credentialed, NNPs.
National Certification Corporation (NCC) (http://www.nccwebsite.org/Certification/Exam-detail.aspx?eid=16)
Scope of practice is defined by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), along with education standards and requirements for specialty certification and continuing competency. Individual state nursing boards govern specifics regarding: scope of practice, prescriptive authority, criteria for APRN license maintenance.