What Is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) How to Become One

Career Journey

If you're curious about what is nnp or neonatal nurse practitioner and becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) and the world of newborn care nursing, you've come to the right place. As a neonatal nurse practitioner or NNP, you'll play a vital role in providing specialized care to newborns in their most delicate phase.

Aug 24
Dr Disha Patel
Cardiac Anesthesiologist, Shalby Hospital, Ahmedabad
What Is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) How to Become One

This rewarding field involves advanced skills in neonatal care, where NNPs work closely with medical teams to ensure the well-being of premature and critically ill infants. 

In this blog, we will explore what an NNP is, how to become one, and the essential steps to embark on this fulfilling journey of neonatal care.


What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)?

Discovering the world of neonatal care, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse specializing in the care of newborn babies, particularly those facing complex health challenges. 

These skilled professionals are commonly found in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) or specialized newborn nurseries. Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team, including neonatal nurses, neonatologists, and various specialists, NNPs ensure comprehensive care for infants during their critical early days. 

From premature births to congenital defects and infections, NNPs play a pivotal role in assessing, diagnosing, and providing treatments. Their expertise encompasses physical assessments, medical interventions like resuscitation, and procedures such as intubation and catheter placement. 

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs equip aspiring caregivers with the knowledge and skills needed to safeguard these vulnerable newborn lives.


How to Become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

Becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) in India is a rewarding journey that requires dedication and specialized education. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to become a neonatal nurse practitioner:

  1. Educational Foundation: Start by completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a recognized nursing school. This program equips you with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for nursing practice.
  2. Gain Nursing Experience: After obtaining your BSN, work as a registered nurse (RN) to gain practical experience in various healthcare settings. This hands-on experience will provide you with a solid foundation in patient care and medical procedures.
  3. Advanced Education: Pursue further education by enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Look for programs that offer a specialization in neonatal care. These advanced degrees will provide you with in-depth knowledge of neonatal health and the specialized skills required for NNP roles.
  4. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Requirements: Along with the advanced degree, ensure that you meet the specific requirements to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. This typically includes completing a certain number of clinical hours in neonatal care and related coursework.
  5. Certification: Upon completing your advanced education, you'll be eligible to take the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner certification exam. This certification is usually provided by organizations like the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Passing this exam demonstrates your competency in neonatal care and solidifies your expertise in the field.
  6. Clinical Experience: After obtaining certification, gain hands-on clinical experience in neonatal care. This experience is crucial for building your skills and confidence in providing specialized care to newborns.
  7. Job Search and Specialization: Start your career by seeking job opportunities in neonatal care units of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare institutions. Many NNPs choose to specialize in specific areas within neonatal care, such as premature infants, newborns with medical conditions, or neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
  8. Continuing Education: The field of healthcare is ever-evolving. Stay updated with the latest advancements and best practices in neonatal care through continuous professional development and further education.


The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner requirements are a combination of education, experience, and certification. Your commitment to providing compassionate and specialized care to fragile newborns will not only make a positive impact on their lives but also contribute to the healthcare landscape in India.


Roles & Duties of Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) play vital roles in caring for newborns, and their responsibilities vary based on the level of neonatal care they provide. Some common duties of NNPs encompass:

  • NNPs monitor and evaluate essential signs of newborns to ensure their well-being.
  • They proficiently handle advanced equipment such as ventilators and incubators to maintain the neonates' health.
  • NNPs expertly draw blood samples for diagnostic purposes.
  • Initiating and managing IV lines in infants to administer necessary fluids and medications.
  • They offer guidance, support, and education to both patients and their families, particularly about neonatal and postpartum care.
  • In collaboration with medical doctors, NNPs administer medications and ensure accurate dosages.
  • NNPs are skilled in performing procedures like intubation and various diagnostic tests.
  • Ensuring proper feeding methods and fundamental care for newborns.
  • NNPs effectively interact and cooperate with fellow healthcare professionals within the NICU team to ensure comprehensive care.


NNPs contribute significantly to the health and well-being of newborns, utilizing their specialized skills and knowledge to provide the highest quality care possible.


Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Jobs

Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs) are highly sought-after professionals specializing in newborn care. Neonatal nurse practitioner jobs play a vital role in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), hospitals, clinics, and even delivery rooms. 

With a master's or doctoral degree in nursing and specialized training, NNPs assess vital signs, manage equipment, administer medication, and perform procedures like intubation. 

Beyond critical care, NNPs educate families, contribute to research, and even teach. The neonatal nurse practitioner scope of practice is extensive, offering a fulfilling career with flexible neonatal nurse practitioner hours and varied roles in neonatal healthcare.


Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Salary Prospects

Salaries for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs) can differ based on their level of experience, contributing to the variability in neonatal nurse practitioner salary.

Experience LevelAverage Salary Range
Entry Level (1 - 3 Years)₹6,00,000 - ₹7,00,000
Senior Level (8+ Years)₹9,00,000 - ₹10,00,000


You can become a neonatal nurse practitioner by applying to the top nursing colleges in India through Docthub.com.





1. What is the difference between a neonatal nurse and a neonatal nurse practitioner?

A neonatal nurse provides specialized care to newborn infants, while a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) is an advanced practice nurse with the authority to diagnose, treat, and manage a broader range of medical conditions in neonates.


2. Where do neonatal nurse practitioners get paid the most?

The neonatal nurse practitioners get paid the most in Pune followed by Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi.


3. What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)?

A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) is a specialized advanced practice registered nurse who provides advanced care to newborn infants in neonatal units.


4. What is the role of a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

The role of a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) is to provide specialized medical care and treatment to newborn infants, especially those in critical condition, under the guidance of medical doctors.


5. What types of patients do Neonatal Nurse Practitioners care for?

Neonatal Nurse Practitioners care for newborn infants who may have various health conditions including premature babies, those with infections, congenital defects, respiratory issues, and other medical complexities.