Would Like To Know More On How To Become A Nicu Nurse Practioner

  1. Hi everyone,
    I am about to start all my pre-req's to go into nursing school. I would like to be a Neonatal Nurse Practioner. I love babies (I'm giving birth to my 1st next sat (hopefully)) . I'm pretty sure I have to full jist of what a Neonatal Nurse Practioner does, but would like more info, also I think I have what i need to do for schooling down but want to make sure. Here is what I understand about the profession at this point:

    Neonatal Nurse Practioner takes care of sick babies and "nurses" them back to health.
    A Nurse Practioner is almost like a doctor in the sense they can have their own patients and practices, perscribe medicines, just less schooling and cant perform surgeries.

    As far as schooling goes the is what I have figured out I'm in for:
    pre-req's to get ADN
    them finish pre-req's for BSN
    work in field for 2 yrs (experience)
    then go back to school and complete pre-req's for MSN in Neonatal
    ...from what I know i will not learn anything "Neonatal" until the masters program unless i am able to get into the NICU field as a BSN or ADN.

    I got all this info by researching it myself and I asked a few nurses (not neonatal) about it and the university. I feel as if there is more I should know. If anyone can tell me more about it I would also appreciate talking with a Neonatal Nurse Practioner.
    Also I would like to know what the annual salary is for a Neonatal Nurse Practioner , I've heard $200k + a yr, is this true?
    fyi, money is not what got me interested in become a Neonatal Nurse Practioner, our baby has borderline Hydrocephalus, the scare made me realize I would love to help other babies and families in need.

    Thanks !
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    About monet86

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 1

    5 Comments

  3. by   cathys01
    I don't know where the $200K figure came from, but from what I've seen, that's WAY off! I make a little less than a new NNP and I'm working as a staff nurse weekend days (with a weekend contract). The big difference is that I only work 36 hours a week (hourly + shift diff + OT) and NNPs work full time salaried, no OT, no shift diff.

    If it's the big money your after, I don't think the NNP will get you that...and certainly not in the $200K range. The practice is completely different than a staff NICU nurse though. They do write orders and perform more of a "physician" function. They don't spend all day at the bedside "nursing" the babies back to health...they do rounds like the docs and write orders and move on to the next baby. Tons of responsibility.

    Hope this helps.
  4. by   EricJRN
    Quote from monet86
    As far as schooling goes the is what I have figured out I'm in for:
    pre-req's to get ADN
    them finish pre-req's for BSN
    work in field for 2 yrs (experience)
    then go back to school and complete pre-req's for MSN in Neonatal
    ...from what I know i will not learn anything "Neonatal" until the masters program unless i am able to get into the NICU field as a BSN or ADN.
    Actually now for NNP programs, your RN experience will need to be in NICU. Here's the order I'd suggest:

    -Tackle the prereqs and the ADN first.

    - Try to get a NICU staff nurse position. Many places will hire you right out of the ADN program, especially if they offer a new grad internship (which leads to permanent employment).

    - While you're gaining the RN experience, you can complete the BSN part-time.

    - After 2-4 years, you should have both the BSN and the required experience to apply to MSN programs.

    Cathy and I are from the same geographic region, but I agree that $200K is far too much to expect - probably about three times (or more) what a new NNP actually makes where we are. I don't even think most neonatologists would break $200K/yr.
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    I don't know where you are, but according to www.choosenursingvermont.org, the average starting salary for a neonatal nursing practitioner is $35.00/hour, which, if I'm correct in my math (oh heaven help us if I am), works out to be $63,000 per year, before taxes, health insurance and all of that good stuff based on a 36 hour work week.

    They did not mention a salaried position on the website, and I'm kinda doubting if my figures are right. I thought it'd be more than that.

    ETA:My math was wrong: It worked out to be $110,250 based on a 36 hour week on 50 weeks.

    I had a feeling I was wrong because the same website said that CRNA starting salary was $35/hr, and I KNEW that $63,000 was a little low for a CRNA.
    Last edit by BabyRN2Be on Oct 16, '06
  6. by   RainDreamer
    I agree with the others in that an NNP starting salary would be closer to $100K than 200. $200K sounds closer to what a neonatologist makes.

    2 years experience is what you need? That seems like so little. I can't imagine feeling comfortable enough after 2 years. But who knows ..... I've only been in the NICU for 7 months. So much to know. So much to learn. So much to see.
  7. by   MegNeoNurse
    Quote from RainDreamer
    2 years experience is what you need? That seems like so little. I can't imagine feeling comfortable enough after 2 years. But who knows ..... I've only been in the NICU for 7 months. So much to know. So much to learn. So much to see.
    The NNP program that I'm interested in has prereqs of 4000 hours in a level III NICU (which is about 2 years give or take depending on FTE) and you earn your MSN and NNP at the same time. But I agree with everyone else, where the heck did 200k/yr fig come from? That is closer to a neo salary or an NNP that is high up in management and has been around for a long time. But truely, if someone is going into the nursing field for the money, they should think real hard about those motives, and consider medical school (haha.)

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