Any Neonatoal NP (NNP) at your units?

  1. Hello everyone -

    Does any of you have have NNPs work in your unit? If so, what is their job like? Do they enjoy it? Do they get stuck with the night shift? I also heard that some NICUs have PNP (peds NP) work in their unit, is this true?

    If there are any NNP's or PNPs that work in NICU, I would love to hear from you about your current situation and job outlook.

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    I've never worked in a unit without NNP's and don't think I would want to!

    In the facilities where I've worked, they functioned much like the residents, only with far more experience. They attended high-risk deliveries to resuscitate and stabilize infants, admitted infants to the NICU or transitional nursery, performed procedures such as intubation, line placement, chest tube placement, provided day to day care (in consultation with the attending physician), went out on transport, and did continuing education for the staff nurses. I saw them as a great resource for the parents, staff nurses and residents. Babies assigned to NNP's versus residents seemed to have a smoother course, as they had a consistent care provider, unlike the residents' babies who were turfed to a new doc every month.

    One unit also had a PNP. She did not attend deliveries or admit critically ill infants, but rather oversaw the care of the more stable newborns and the "feeder-growers" who were preparing for DC. She was our "go-to" person for developmental issues, vaccine questions, breastfeeding problems, minor illnesses (such as ear infections) in our hospitalized babies. We loved her, but she did not like the limitations of the NICU, and left to work in a general peds setting. She was replaced by another NNP, and I always felt that we lost a valuable resource.
  4. by   CapeMaui
    Thanks so much for the feedback Jolie! I'm looking a bit ahead re post-grad work, but am trying to see if NNPs would have a hard time getting a job. NNP's my first choice for my post-grad degree, but some teachers told me that PNP's would have more options down the line, as NNPs are not always in demand :stone I understand that PNP's would have more occupational options, but I just love babies and would prefer to work with them if possible.

    You see, the hospital where I volunteered does not have NNPs anymore. The RNs there told me that their NNPs only got night shifts and so they all left. Currently, that hospital no longer have a budget for NNPs either, so it worked out for the best.

    Does your NNPs work both day and night shift or do you see that they tend to work more nights than days b/c days went to residents?

    Thanks again!
    Last edit by CapeMaui on Jun 28, '04
  5. by   mac23
    My professors had the same concerns so they suggested that I do both pnp and nnp. At my school the differences is only 3 classes. Maybe you could consider doing that? I much rather prefer working with babies also but since it's only a three class difference i thought what the heck....good luck to you.
  6. by   Toby's mum
    I'm rather surprised about the comments concerning NNPs. I was under the impression that NNP's and NICU RNs were in quite a high demand right now. Is this not the case?

    If someone is considering NICU nursing upon graduation, would you still recommend this path given what you see in the field about where this specialty is heading (in other words, will you always have a job somewhere in this specialty)? Many thanks for your comments, Steph
  7. by   Gompers
    Quote from CapeMaui
    Does your NNPs work both day and night shift or do you see that they tend to work more nights than days b/c days went to residents?
    The way my unit works, we have NNPs, residents, fellows, and neonatalogists during day shift. At night, we just have a resident and fellow on the unit with a neonatalogist on call at home.

    Residents and NNPs split the population of the NICU, each team taking a certain percentage of patients upon admission, and oversee those patients through discharge. NICU fellows and neonatalogists oversee both teams. They do similar jobs, but that doesn't mean they're interchangable. At least not on my unit, since they each have their own team of babies. It's actually the residents who have more of a crap job, if you ask me. They have to work 32 hour calls 2-3 times a week, plus be on the unit M-F 8am-4pm if they're not on call and there anyways.

    Our NNPs work full or part time, but are never scheduled for more than 12 hour shifts. We used to have enough NNPs to cover both days and nights, and that was great because the one on nights would only be working a 12 hour shift like the rest of us, so she wasn't supposed to sleep like the docs - as a result, we got tons done on the night shift as far as procedures and educational opportunities. Now that we only have a few, they just work day shift and the fellows cover their babies at night. The residents cover their own kids at night with the supervision of the fellows.

    Just how we work.
  8. by   mac23
    I wouldn't change anything about my decision. There are jobs out there you might have to consider relocating but there are jobs out there and you also have to consider what role you'll play at the facility you are in. Where I used to work the NNP's couldn't really make any decisions so they all left but at my current job they function much differently than what I saw at my old job.

    Quote from Toby's mum
    I'm rather surprised about the comments concerning NNPs. I was under the impression that NNP's and NICU RNs were in quite a high demand right now. Is this not the case?

    If someone is considering NICU nursing upon graduation, would you still recommend this path given what you see in the field about where this specialty is heading (in other words, will you always have a job somewhere in this specialty)? Many thanks for your comments, Steph
  9. by   BittyBabyGrower
    Our NP's have to be NNP's to work in the unit..PNP's can only work in the nursery.

    We used to have enough NNP's to cover day and night too, but they have drifted off as our NNP's aren't really treated all that well. They get dumped on pretty regularly because we don't have enough residents.

    They work 12 hour shifts, but always seem to be there longer. I can't imagine working in a unit without them though!
  10. by   NICU RN wannaB
    [QUOTE=Jolie]I've never worked in a unit without NNP's and don't think I would want to!

    QUOTE]

    What would be the difference as far as schooling from an NNP and an RN and do you need a BSN, ADN, or MSN to be an NNP
  11. by   Toby's mum
    [QUOTE=NICU RN wannaB]
    Quote from Jolie
    I've never worked in a unit without NNP's and don't think I would want to!

    QUOTE]

    What would be the difference as far as schooling from an NNP and an RN and do you need a BSN, ADN, or MSN to be an NNP

    I believe most NICU's prefer you to have your MSN/NNP. The NNP is at the master's level from what I understand.
  12. by   CapeMaui
    Thanks Everyone, for all of your replies!! I have a few more questions:

    Mac23 - what school do you go to? That's a great idea, do you know if most schools let you do that? Also, does this mean you'll get to sit on 2 boards and get 2 MS degrees? Are you currently going for your NNPs as well? In your unit, does your NNPs pretty much fxn independently?

    Toby's Mum - from what I can tell, they have a real shortage of RNs but not NNPs, but that's just at the hospitals I've seen. I think you can always get a job in the NICU if you have experience.

    Gompers - thanks so much for the detailed info! how many NNPs does your unit have? and if you don't mind me asking, what hospital is that? It sounds like a really wonderful set up!

    NICU_Rn_WannaB - NNPs are definitely Master prepared, you'll need your BSN and then go for the MSN to become a NNP.

    If you have NNPs on your unit, can you tell me how many and what's the ratio of NNP to the Neonatologist?

    Thanks again!
    Last edit by CapeMaui on Jun 30, '04
  13. by   nekhismom
    My first place had NNP's and I loved that. It was a great environment. My current place does not have NNP's, and it's not that great. I really enjoyed having the NNP's.
  14. by   katrina4
    CapeMaui
    Great question...I actually had the same concerns. I am applying to an advanced BSN course (I have a bachelors/masters in another field) with the intent of eventually going on for my MSN. I have always been interested in the NICU and being an NNP. My main problem is that there are no NNP programs in Pittsburgh and I am not willing to relocate my family.
    My friend is a PNP and she has said that while there definitely are more opportunities for PNPs, there are many more PNPs than NNPs in our area (maybe because we don't have a NNP program) and therefore the supply/demand equals itself out. But she did tell me that when she worked in the NICU as an RN, most of the NNPs worked the night/weekend shifts.
    You might want to try calling the hospials or even checking their job postings. I have found by looking at job postings that some of the NICUs around here require their applicants to be CRNPs, but not necessarily NNPs. But as a previous posting stated, maybe these NPs don't have quite the same roles as a NNP.
    One other thought. I have looked into a NNP program at Penn State. They require 3 years of experience in a NICU as an RN before applying to the program. I don't think most PNP programs require this level of expereince.

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