Neonatal Nurse Practitioner - page 2

Hello all!! I love AllNurses, and I'm constantly on here reading and reading because I enjoy learning about all the different areas of nursing. However, one area that I have read very little... Read More

  1. by   hellonewyear
    I wanted to bump this thread a bit, and also give a big thank you to everyone for sharing such insightful posts! I, like the OP, am quite eager to hear what the day-to-day role of an NNP comprises. It's nice to read firsthand accounts from those in the field.
  2. by   Proton
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It makes a difference to hear personal accounts!
  3. by   babyCNP
    Hi there, I am a new grad NNP, but also had 5 years experience as a NICU nurse before transitioning into my new role. It seems I ahve chosen a similar username to a frequent poster in here (BabyNP) So for that I am sorry... maybe we can help support the NNP community together. I would love to help anyone thinking about NNP school or going through the experience now. I would like to be more active on AN especially since the NNP community is so underrepresented here from what I can tell nice to meet you all.
  4. by   MrsNICU
    Quote from babyCNP
    Hi there, I am a new grad NNP, but also had 5 years experience as a NICU nurse before transitioning into my new role. It seems I ahve chosen a similar username to a frequent poster in here (BabyNP) So for that I am sorry... maybe we can help support the NNP community together. I would love to help anyone thinking about NNP school or going through the experience now. I would like to be more active on AN especially since the NNP community is so underrepresented here from what I can tell nice to meet you all.
    Hello I am starting an NNP program in the fall and am always interested in hearing about the experiences of others. I worked in a level 3 NICU for almost 5 years and then I did case management for the NICU population for almost 6 and I am now working in a level 2 nursery (because it's really close to home, or would have went back to the level 3) my passion has always been NICU, I am concerned that I have been out of the level 3 environment for so long that I may struggle significantly. I already have a masters degree, but I am nervous about getting back into the class setting. Most of my classes are online but some are in class. Any tips for a starting NNP student will be greatly appreciated[emoji51].
  5. by   babyNP.
    Welcome to allnurses. There are a few nnp posters but usually sporadic. Feel free to take up the torch. I check the forum fairly regularly, although answering the same question time after time gets tiring, so I usually refer to my previous posts. I certainly don't have a monopoly on the role of nnps though, so feel free to add your voice to the conversation
  6. by   babyCNP
    So someone by the name of BabyRN21 messaged me and I spent time typing up a whole response to them but AN won't let me send a PM because I haven't posted enough. I'm sorry! If you see this, babyRN21, please e-mail me at jennamdot@cox.net . I would love to answer your questions! And to MrsNICU, if this is something you really want to do, I believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it! You have level 3 experience, and I bet that a lot of the knowledge would come right back to you
  7. by   victoriam791
    Hi! I am an RN finishing up my bachelors degree. I always figured I would gain my 2 years experience in a NICU and continue with a NNP program. I recently spoke with a geriatric NP I worked with, and she told me she thought the specialty was too narrow and that I would have a lot of difficulty finding a job. This was greatly discouraging to me. Have any of you found this to be the case? She suggested that I broaden my specialty. I have always felt lucky that I knew exactly what I wanted to do "when I grow up", but now I'm not so sure.
  8. by   babyNP.
    Um...does she have any experience with NICU? There is actually a national shortage of NNPs. It's not so hot that you can guarantee a job in your city right off the bat as a new grad unless you live in a large metropolitan area, but trust me, there scores of jobs available.

    End of the day: Do you like babies? I do. Do you like big people? I don't. I would never be happy taking care of the big people, especially in-patient.
  9. by   LizzardRN
    Hi babynp! I am starting on my DNP for NNP this August and I am hoping you might be able to tell me a little about the school process and how it went for you? I am starting to get nervous for the next three years. I have read several of your posts on NNP and found them very informative and helpful so I actually joined this site to hopefully follow you and learn more! I come from a level 3 NICU and have 3.5 years of experience. We do not have NNPs in my NICU so I was not very familiar with the role- I just knew I wanted more autonomy in the NICU setting. NNPs in my area (Kentucky) are difficult to come by and I do not know any! Thank you in advance for any advice/guidance.

    Liz
  10. by   babyNP.
    Hello, welcome to AN and congrats on starting school!

    I have posted about my school experiences in my past posts. Do you have a specific question that I can answer?
  11. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from LizzardRN
    NNPs in my area (Kentucky) are difficult to come by and I do not know any!
    What part of Ky are you in? A co-worker has a job lined up when he graduates next April.
  12. by   Xerath
    Thanks to everyone for this thread! I have 3 years experience in level III NICU as a bedside RN. I am seriously considering NP school, and it seems from the comments this is the minimum amount of experience to start thinking about it. I have just recently hit that point where I realized that I am capable of directing care without doing it myself- a surprising revelation since I have been learning my entire time in NICU how to do bedside better and how to be MORE hands on, and in general be as useful as a bedside nurse as possible. As a result of being charge, precepting new hires, and being involved in various process improvement initiatives, I have had the chance to direct care and keep tabs on patients and nurses on more of the unit level. I feel like in my own ways being in these roles, I experience a little of what babyNP described about the satisfaction of putting an order in and seeing a baby get better. The role of our NPs at my hospital very closely resemble what babyNP has described. My first general topic of questions is, how do you NNPs feel about "leaving bedside"? From what I can tell, the job is different so the skills are different, and managing care of many patients necessitates that you cannot do what you order on the baby yourself. I've read on here that being a solid NICU nurse helps you transition to NP, but what happens to all our technical skills? How often do you feel you get to brush up on basic things like IV starts and bottle feeding difficult PO feeders, just to name a few examples. I guess behind these questions, being a "younger" NICU nurse, is whether or not I will retain skills and be able to rightly gain respect as an NP who is an advanced practice nurse, or will I kind of lose touch with bedside for the sake of a related but different role.

    My interest in being an NNP is also driven by the fact that I feel as a bedside nurse I am primarily learning how to carry out orders more efficiently and developing technical skills. I know that experience is the best teacher, but at this point realistically I am not always able to just stand there and learn from NPs and doctors sharing their knowledge during rounds or talking to parents. I would love to learn more about everything so that I can understand what they are thinking about, how they interpret results, and how they make their decisions. This is why I feel going back to school will help me, because it will be a dedicated time to learn something deeper rather than trying to glean information while I have a job to do. Does this sound like I am on the right track, picking NNP?
  13. by   babyNP.
    To be frank, the skills that you describe- IV starts and feeding babies just aren't part of the job description anymore. You don't expect doctors to do those things, right? NNPs are providers in a similar role to a doctor, so we just don't do them. Do you forget how to feed a baby? Probably not, although you probably will lose some of the nuances. You may do "IV" starts if you place PICCs which some NNPs do, but the majority of units have a dedicated RN team to place PICCs because NNPs are needed to be on-call for deliveries. At one of my community sites, I'm actually not allowed to place PICC lines because at times I'm the only provider in-house (the neo goes home after business hours) and I need to be ready to go to a delivery at that hospital or jump in my car to go to another delivery at one of the sister sites.

    The RNs will call me for IV starts when they can't get them or urine cultures and that sort of thing, but because all of my RN experience was at a Level IV, we rarely did our own IVs. The kids either had central lines or poor veins that we saved for the transport team to stick. I joke when they call me nowadays, "well, if you can't get the IV, I doubt I can- but I'll try." I think I've only placed 4-5 IVs in my whole career so far (~9 years). I am down with the urine cultures though. I usually have no problems getting those and they'll call me every so often for that.

    I did feed a couple of babies in the Level II NICU I did every so often in my previous job. Of course the last time I did it they called a code in the Level IV NICU next door so I had to jump up and put the baby in the crib. Lost the NGT in the process- poor little baby (and poor nurse!). I haven't fed a baby since then. No good deed goes unpunished

    I used to think that procedures made an NNP and it made me really nervous to do NNP school since I didn't have much experience with IV starts, but over and over I've found that it's not true. Even though some RNs may think that way, critical thinking is king above everything. A lot of RNs don't know what they don't know.

    I try to remember the workload that RNs have and whenever possible, ease the workload as long as it doesn't have a conflict of interest for the baby. It's not always possible, but that's one way to stay in touch. You'll find that the NNP role is a great bridge between nursing and medicine because you'll pick up on things that aren't right that the neo won't necessarily pick up on. Like a baby that needs to be on servo mode in the incubator- too small to go to air mode but it's usually RN driven when to switch and the baby isn't gaining weight and no one can figure out why. The neos don't have the nursing background that you do and thus you'll be able to pick up on some of the little things more easily which can make a big difference to the baby's care.

    hope that helps. best of luck to whatever you decide.

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