The Best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

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Updated November 30, 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

  1. Regis University
  2. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

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.

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.

Explore Popular MSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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

Regis University

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With a Jesuit Catholic tradition, Regis University offers one of the the best CCNE-accredited neonatal nurse practitioner programs students can complete in five semesters.

The 44-credit master of science in nursing (MSN) degree offers an entirely online format, aside from two on-campus visits. Courses include advanced practice procedures for the high-risk infant, health assessments for the neonatal nurse practitioner, and primary care of the child. You also need to complete 630 clinical hours.

This program offers a direct pipeline after graduation to earn a doctor of nursing practice.

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Denver, Colorado
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $937 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's in nursing degree from an accredited school; minimum 2.75 GPA; current RN license; two years of nursing experience in a level III or IV NICU; official transcripts; three letters of recommendation; resume; essay; admission interview;
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 83.33% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $86,621 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$38,208
Out-of-state
$38,208
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,322
Out-of-state
$14,322
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
6,310
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 The Best Online Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Galveston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's School of Nursing, which opened in the 1890s, lets you complete an online neonatal nurse practitioner program on a part-time basis in seven semesters.

The online curriculum explores research and theory, public health principles, public policy, pathophysiology, pharmacological principles and clinical therapeutics, informatics, neonatal health assessments, and professional role and business principles. 

Students must commute to campus 2-3 times per semester. 

  • Program: Master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Galveston, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $302 per credit for Texas residents; $719 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's in nursing degree; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA; resume; official transcripts; personal statement; three references; two years of experience in a level III nursery
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2020/2021): 98.43% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $103,746 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,090
Out-of-state
$20,710
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,552
Out-of-state
$15,397
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,458
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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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