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If you know you want to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, congratulations.  You’ve completed the most difficult part of the NP education process- choosing your nurse practitioner specialty.  Now, you need to find the right NP program for your needs.  There are a number of quality neonatal nurse practitioner programs scattered around the country.  Here are a few that stand out above the rest.

1. The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University tops our list of quality neonatal nurse practitioner programs.  The neonatal NP program at OSU is offered both on campus and online and remains available in the MSN track.  100% of Ohio State University’s neonatal NP program graduates pass the national certification exam upon graduation and all find jobs within three months of graduating from the program.  In-state students enjoy the luxury of having faculty locate clinical opportunities so they aren’t faced with the stress of finding their own clinical preceptors.  Not only does OSU offer an excellent neonatal NP program, they also provide local and international service learning opportunities enhancing the student experience.

2. University of Florida

The University of Florida neonatal nurse practitioner program boasts excellent pass rates on the national certification exam as well as job placement rate post-graduation with both at 100%.  Neonatal NP students at University of Florida complete the program in just 5 semesters full-time.  Most courses are internet based making the education convenient for neonatal NP students.  The drawback?  Clinical hours must be completed in the state of Florida so students must be willing to relocate if they don’t already live in-state.

3. Creighton University

Like our fist two picks, Creighton’s neonatal nurse practitioner program boasts excellent stats.  100% of graduates pass the national NP certification and 100% of Creighton’s neonatal NP program grads find jobs upon graduation.  Students must find their own clinical placements but assistance is available from faculty if necessary.  Creighton University continues to offer its neonatal nurse practitioner education as an MSN program which can be completed in just five semesters full-time.  Most courses are offered in a distance format making the program flexible for working students.

4. Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s efficient neonatal NP program can be completed in just one year full-time or two years part-time.  The speed of education at Northeastern doesn’t compromise the outcomes of student’s educations.  Northeastern neonatal NP program graduates have a 100% pass rate on the national nurse practitioner certification exam.  While job placement post-graduation is not officially tracked, faculty say that Northeastern neonatal NP program graduates don’t have trouble finding jobs, especially if they are willing to move outside the Boston area.  Prospective students should note that two years of NICU nursing experience are required to apply to this top program.

5. Arizona State University

Arizona State University’s neonatal nurse practitioner program stands out among our other picks in that it only offers a DNP level education.  Prospective neonatal NP’s can enter as post-bachelor’s or post-master’s students.  In-state students are in luck at ASU- clinical placements are assigned so they don’t have the stress of finding their own preceptors.  Out-of-state students are responsible for finding their own clinical placements but clinical coordinators are able to offer some assistance.  The hybrid nature of ASU’s neonatal NP program makes it flexible for students from all backgrounds.  The program is almost completely online.  Travel to campus is required 2 to 3 times each semester.  Finally, ASU’s neonatal NP program graduates have a 96% pass rate on the national certification exam.

Regardless of where you ultimately choose to get your neonatal NP education, your future looks bright.  According to nursing experts, 40% of the neonatal nurse practitioner workforce will retire in the next five to ten years giving graduates an even better job outlook.

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