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Neonatal NP Major

The neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) major in the Duke MSN Program prepares students to provide nursing care for low- and high-risk neonates and their families in a variety of settings. Coursework includes pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment and diagnostic reasoning across the lifespan, meeting LACE requirements for practice. Emphasis is placed on family-centered, culturally sensitive care. Students receive one-on-one clinical practice experience in diverse settings such as neonatal intensive care units, neonatal transitional care and step-down units, pediatric/neonatal surgery and radiology, pediatric/neonatal transport, and stabilization of the neonate in the delivery room.

NNP graduates are prepared to manage infant caseloads in collaboration with other health care providers, educate families and staff, and conduct research.


  • Expert faculty who are active in clinical practice and research
  • Access to top quality medical library resources
  • 43 credit hours, including 616 clinical hours

Enrollment Options

  • MSN and Post Graduate Certificate

The Neonatal NP program is distance-based. Successful students in this advanced practice program have a strong clinical foundation. The equivalent of two years of full-time clinical practice experience within the last five years as a registered nurse (RN) in the care of critically ill neonates or infants in critical care inpatient settings is required before a student begins clinical courses. Students may enroll in preclinical courses while obtaining the necessary practice experience. At time of application, students must have current Neonatal Resuscitation Provider and Basic Life Support certificates and maintain them throughout the program of study.

Students are encouraged to submit recommendations from mentors or colleagues who can speak to their preparedness for graduate-level education and advanced clinical practice. Recommendations submitted by neonatologists, neonatal unit nurse managers, or neonatal advanced practice nurses (NNP) are required.

Learn more about our curriculum.