Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs
If you are trying to find the perfect place to be in the nursing profession, you need to think about the kinds of patients you want to work with. Emergency room patients often need a much different set of care than elderly patients in the geriatric ward, and your work as a nurse will reflect the kinds of patients you have. If you want to work with newborns and infants on a daily basis, you may want to explore some of the neonatal nurse practitioner programs available to you. Here is a look at the education you will have to go through to become a neonatal nurse.
The Levels of Neonatal Nursing
Neonatal nursing is broken down into several levels, with each level involving the care of a certain type of infant or newborn. Neonatal nursing levels are categorized as follows:
- Level I: This is the level for newborns without health problems. Since most newborns now sleep in the same room with their mothers, this sector of neonatal nursing is in low demand at the moment.
- Level II: This is the level for premature and sick infants that need to spend in a few days in the hospital before being released to the parents. This is the most common level of neonatal nursing and the one in highest demand at this time.
- Level III: This is the intensive care unit, which is reserved for the most severe medical cases. Infants at this level must be monitored around the clock, so neonatal nurses are in constant demand here. These positions are reserved for practitioners with the most experience in the field.
The neonatal nurse practitioner programs that you choose will reflect the level of work you want to be involved in. You will need to pursue the same degree regardless of what level you decide to be a part of, but the classes you take in your degree will vary based on your goals. Neonatal nurse practitioners in level III tend to make the most money because they have such intense job duties, but you can make good money no matter where you end up working. Think about all of this before you settle into a degree program because it will make a big difference in your training.
Common Courses in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs
Ever neonatal nurse degree program is a little different, so it is hard to predict the exact curriculum you will have to go through. Some common courses in this kind of degree include:
- Advanced Assessment and Diagnosis of Newborns/Infants
- Advanced Assessment of the Newborn/Infant Practicum
- Advanced Neonatal Nursing Management
- Advanced Neonatal Nursing Management II: Acute and Chronically
- Advanced Neonatal Nursing Practicum
- Advanced Neonatal Nursing Practicum Residency
- Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics for Newborns/Infants
- Advanced Practice Nursing Roles
- Developmental Physiology of the Fetus/Newborn
- Health Care Systems, Policy and Management
- Pathophysiology of Newborn/Infant
- Scientific Inquiry for Advanced Nursing Practice
- Servant Leadership and Advanced Practice Nursing
These classes will mainly occur at the master’s level, as your bachelor’s degree will be comprised of general courses to help you become an RN. You can contact a school you are interested in for more information about the specific courses you will have to go through.
How Neonatal Nurse Degree Programs Impact Salary Levels
The neonatal nurse practitioner program you choose to enroll in may have an impact on your salary in this field. As a whole, higher education will lead to higher paying jobs. That is not always the case though because there are many factors that can influence your neonatal nurse practitioner salary. Here is a look at how salaries vary by degree in the US:
- Associate Degree Nursing: $54,000 per year
- Associate of Science in Nursing: $51,244 per year
- Bachelor of Arts in Nursing: $55,000 per year
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: $55,839 per year
- Master of Science in Nursing: $72,625 per year
- Doctor of Medicine: $133,250 per year
If you were to go through a PhD program in neonatal nursing, you would have the opportunity to make well over $100,000 a year. That is just something to keep in mind when choosing the right degree program for you. As long as you plan properly early on, you should be able to obtain the education you need for the career of your dreams.