I Want to Become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Specialties NICU


hi all my name is sarah and i am a 23 year old college student. i just finished my freshman year of college, and i am working on my bsn. i have 4 children of my own, and i want to be a neonatal nurse practitioner. i am scared that i won't have what it takes. let me tell you a little bit about myself. as i said i am a 23 year old mom of 4, my oldest is 5 and my baby will be 1 in july. i never thought of working as an nnp or even working in the nicu until my daughter was in the nicu due to premature birth and complications. i then met the most wonderful people ever!! they were awesome!! i love babies, and toddlers. i have such a patient, nurturing and caring personality. i am very sweet, and outgoing at the same time. learning about babies intrigues me, and i love learning new things everyday. does anyone have any suggestions for me or anything? would it be smart for me to see if i can shaddow an nnp here at the nicu in my town? it is a levl 3 nic. am i to old to start this career with 4 kids? i have heard that the program is demanding, but it's what i want to do and i believe that i can do it. "if i can work to save one life, or make one life better, than i've done something good for today. angels go to heaven, and look down on those who were there beside them, and we mourn the one's we lose and we are overjoyed with the one's we didn't." if i can make one life of a baby and their family better, than i've done something worth while. i believe i would make a good nnp, and i will be sure to keep everyone who actually reads this up to date on my progress. it's going to be a long road full of journeys and here i go!:redbeathe


409 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

First - search this forum for a couple of older threads on becoming an NNP. There's a lot of good info in there!

But in a nutshell - here's some basic facts. Most NNP programs will only accept you AFTER you've had at least 2-3 years of clinical experience in a (level 3) NICU as an RN first. While you learn a lot in nursing school, most of it deals with adults. As I'm sure you learned with your daughter - premature / sick babies are a whole different ball game compared to adults (even compared to children). During those years in the NICU as an RN, you will learn tons. The bedside nurses in a NICU are the eyes and ears of the unit. Also during this time, you can see the different roles played out by the bedside RN and the NNP. This would be a great time to shadow an NNP as well (you can also shadow an RN or NNP during school!)

Some NNP programs allow you to go to school part time, that way you can still work shifts as a RN on your unit as well. Check into the programs in your area. There's a nice "stickie" on this forum that lists NNP schools by state.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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