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Im 17 years old and I have applied for UCA. I eventually want to be a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. But Im confused on how to go about getting there. If I go in for the BSN program, how do I get my RN? And then later on I want to go for my MSN then eventually get to Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Does anyone have any advice or personal stories on how you went about getting yours? At this point anything will help.


Specializes in NICU. Has 3+ years experience.

When you complete the BSN program you will sit for the NCLEX - passing this test will make you a RN (Registered Nurse).

Once you have your RN you will need to obtain a job in a NICU, as most (if not all) NNP programs require a minimum of 2 year years in the NICU before being accepted into a NNP program. The NNP program is a Master's degree so it would not be necessary to get a MSN and then go to school for the NNP.

I'm not an NNP so someone who is could give you better info, but I know that there has been talk of requiring a DNP (Doctorate) for Nurse Practitioners. I'm not sure if that is by state requirement or specialty so hopefully someone else could chime in on that.

Hope that helps some. Good luck! :)

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Moved to pre nursing for more responses

I don't know how competitive it is in your area but once you finished all your prereqs (1-2 years) you could apply to BSN programs. BSN program competitiveness ( really good GPA and possible test score) varies from area to area but you could also look into adn programs too if you are not too competitive and worry about the financial part. Adn programs are on the cheaper side while BSN programs are somewhat more expensive.

I too have also read on the internet about how in the near future those wanting to pursue being a NP would have to have a doctorates in nursing not a masters. I haven't caught the exact year either this would be implemented. but just know that after your BSN degree you would have to continue your education to masters and possibly doctorates if it is required when the time comes.

NP will require a doctorate by 2015.

You will need to get your BSN-RN first. Then you will have to work a minimum of two years in a neonatal situation. Some DNP programs may require a MSN before entering their DNP program. Some schools will allow you to go straight from your BSN in to the DNP program.

The least amount of time this will take is 8 years: 4 for your BSN, 2 for the work experience, and 2 for the DNP. Of course, this could stretch out much longer if you run into wait lists, fail the NCLEX a couple times, or have a hard time finding a job.

I wouldn't worry about the DNP until you're getting close to finishing up your second year of working as an RN. Who knows where you will be in 6 years, or what field. You may not be in nursing, or you may be living across the country. Just keep in mind that your grades will be considered when applying to DNP programs, so do your best now.