The Best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs


Updated February 20, 2023

Neonatal nurse practitioners care for newborn babies, so play a vital role in healthy outcomes. Learn about the best online neonatal nurse practitioner programs.
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Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) help ensure healthy outcomes for newborns. This guide to the best online NNP programs describes how you can advance your nursing career and make a difference in infants' lives. Explore these programs, learn how to apply, and what to consider when making your decision.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

At a Glance: The Top Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

Learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program, or, go straight to our full ranking of the best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs.

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How do Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs Work?

During your online neonatal nurse practitioner program, you take core nurse practitioner courses, such as using evidence-based practices and basic pharmacology. You also complete specialized courses in neonatal care, such as assessment of neonates and neonatal physiology, and clinical hours in a neonatal setting.

If you attend an NNP program online, you will still need to complete clinicals in person. While most schools provide some assistance or advice, you are responsible for finding an appropriate placement. Some online neonatal nurse practitioner programs require some on-campus components.

Classes in an online neonatal nurse practitioner program may be asynchronous (you can do classwork and participate in discussions at any time), synchronous (all students attend classes and discussion together in real time), or a combination based on the program.

Applying to an Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

Most online neonatal nurse practitioner programs require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree and a current and unencumbered RN (registered nurse) license. However, some programs offer experienced nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) an RN-to-MSN bridge program where students also earn a BSN.

Most NNP programs require or strongly prefer students with at least one year of work as an RN, preferably in a neonatal or related setting.

  • Admission Materials

    Undergraduate transcript, at least two references, resume or CV, application with an essay or personal statement on why you want to become an NNP
  • GPA Requirement

    Most programs recommend at least a 3.0 GPA with a 3.0 grade in undergraduate statistics. However, if your grades are borderline, talk to the admission staff, since other factors in your background or experience may outweigh your GPA.
  • Other Requirement

    Depending on the program, you may need an RN license for the state where the program is located.

Why is Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program Accreditation Important?

Program accreditation is vital since it's a strong indicator of program quality. Our guide only features accredited NNP programs. Accreditation is a rigorous process in which nursing education experts review various aspects of a program, including curriculum and faculty, to determine if it meets industry standards. The goal is to determine that graduates of the program are prepared to practice safely as NNPs.

The board that certifies neonatal nurse practitioners requires all applicants to graduate from an accredited program. Furthermore, accredited programs rarely accept transfer credits from an unaccredited school.

Learn More About the Best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs & Schools

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 The Best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Galveston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners can complete UTMB's neonatal nurse practitioner program in seven semesters. The program prepares enrollees for the National Certification Corporation exam.

Online learners attend labs 2-3 days a week, practicing nursing through simulated casework. Students learn in peer groups and during local clinical experiences. The curriculum includes 12 courses on theory and research, public policy, and pathophysiology. Degree-seekers also study pharmacological principles and informatics.

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

Regis University

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students pursuing Regis' online neonatal nurse practitioner program can graduate in five semesters. The 44-credit program covers topics like genetics and embryology, primary care for high-risk infants, and clinical management of neonates.

The program prepares students for a doctor of nursing practice program. Learners must complete 630 supervised clinical hours at their workplace. New cohorts begin every August.

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

How long does it take to complete an NNP program?

Whether you attend an NNP program online or on campus, most programs take approximately two years to complete. If you attend on a part-time basis or through an RN-to-MSN bridge program, it will take longer, typically three years.

How do online neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) programs work?

Attending an NNP program online is similar to attending an on-campus program. Online and on-campus students receive the same diploma, complete a similar curriculum, participate in discussions, and attend clinical hours.

The main difference is that online students are typically responsible for finding their own clinical placements close to their residence. On-campus students may be placed by the program or receive additional assistance.

What does a neonatal nurse practitioner do on a daily basis?

Neonatal nurse practitioners mostly work in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and provide care for newborns who are premature or have other risk factors.

They assess infants and prescribe treatments and carry out some procedures, such as intubation or line placement for oxygen, nutrition, or medications. They also educate families and help the patient and infant to bond.

Are neonatal nurse practitioners in demand?

Neonatal nurse practitioners, like nurse practitioners in general, are in demand, especially in hospitals and birthing centers with NICUs. They may be especially in demand in hospitals actively seeking to lower their infant mortality rates.

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