Pediatric vs Neonatal NP?

Nursing Students NP Students



I'm currently a NICU nurse and LOVE it, and I want to further my career to become an NP. My ultimate goal is to work with NICU-grads in a neonatal follow up program, but I wanted to know if pediatric NPs can work in these follow-up outpatient programs or if they are mostly NNPs? I've decided against Neonatal NP because shift work just is not for me and I do not want to limit myself to the acute care setting. I'd love to do acute care AND primary so I have many options. Still looking at programs. Does anyone know if pediatric NPs can work in neonatal programs or still work with the neonatal population? Thanks!


I'm neither a NNP nor a PNP, but I have done a lot of investigating and can share what I've found.

It seems fairly unlikely that you'll be able to work full-time in a developmental follow-up clinic with NICU grads. The ones I've seen are generally run by neonatology practices (since they already know the kids), and usually only run once or twice a week, if that. The neonatologists who cover the NICU just have the occasional follow-up clinic integrated into their schedule. Since they're often run by neonatology groups, it's more likely that you'd be able to get a job working in that role if you had already put in your time and worked for a neonatology practice as an NNP; even then, you'd probably still have to do some standard NNP shifts in order to be full-time. I've never heard of a stand-alone developmental follow-up clinic with it's own staff that runs every business day. It isn't impossible, but it also doesn't appear to be very common.

Realize that Post-Partum Well Baby units are covered by peds practices, not neonatology practices. If you work for one of these peds practices, your job may include rounding on well babies in the post-partum unit of the hospital. In some practices, you go to the hospital to do 'well baby assessments' in the morning, then come back to the clinic to see patients in the afternoon. It's possible that you could try to negotiate with a peds practice to to spend a larger majority of your time doing 'well baby assessments' at the hospital. Some PNPs kind of hate that aspect of the job, so you might find some other PNPs who are willing to trade the time/responsibility.

You may also consider working in specialty practices/clinics that see a lot NICU grads (short gut programs, CP programs, congenital cardiac, etc.)

In order to be marketable as a PNP, you'll probably have to reconcile only spending a fraction of your time with the infants and neonates.

Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

I've seen positions for developmental pediatrics clinics (they round in NICU and then follow the patients after D/C) - they were looking for primary care (I think) PNPs. Not neonatal NPs.

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