Balancing Going to School for NNP and Work

by AnaBanana.RN AnaBanana.RN, RN Member Nurse

Has 3 years experience.


I am interested in becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner. I wanted to know if it is realistic to work full time while also working towards my NNP. Also, I noticed there are a very limited amount of NNP schools out there with only one in California at San Francisco State University. Are most NNP schools online? If so how do you get hands on experience? Also, if you were able to work full time and work towards your NNP how many hours a week on average did you devote towards it and how long did it take you to graduate? Please also mention what school you attended.

Sorry for all the questions, it just seems really hard to find information about becoming a NNP. Thank you for any information you can provide me. ?


Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,019 Posts

There is at least 6-8 of my coworkers that are doing NNP. All of them are working full-time. They take classes online and do clinicals on our unit on some of their days off.


babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 14 years experience. 1,920 Posts

Most NNP schools are online these days, but there are a handful of true brick and mortar ones (I developed a spreadsheet that looks at this kind of thing). If you want a comprehensive list of programs, NANN lists them here: (

As for me, I went to a brick and mortar school on the east coast. I commuted about 2 hours each way for 2 years, going to school part time. I was able to work all the way up until my final practicum, where I was doing 50-60 hours of clinical per week and just couldn't do my RN job at the same time. For the first year with just theory classes, I worked full time. For the second year when I started clinical, I took one vacation day most weeks. I had one full day of theory classes, 2-3 days of clinical, and then 2 days of work. It was exhausting! I remember when we got to December for Winter break that I felt like I was on vacation "just" working my regular 36 hours.

I was able to do a good portion of my clinical write ups during clinical (again, had to be disciplined when all you want to do is chill out) and I spent my "day off" doing regular studying and completing projects.

Would I recommend it? It was nice not to have to take out loans for living expenses and I certainly was able to put things together well about NICU patho, pharm, & management since I was literally living and breathing NICU day after day, but I admit I wasn't always Miss Sunshine, LOL.