A neonatal nursing degree is obtained by a registered nurse who has earned his or her bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing. A licensed registered nurse can then pursue a job in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), after an internship that will educate them on the care of infants in the NICU.
A neonatal nursing degree is often pursued at colleges and universities, and consists of a set list of prerequisite classes that allow entrance into a nursing program. Once these prerequisites are completed, and an aptitude test is taken, the student may then enter the nursing program and start earning his or her nursing degree. Many of these prerequisite classes can be earned online, which leads many nursing students to believe they can obtain an online nursing degree, or perhaps earn a neonatal nursing degree online.
Because nursing degrees require hands-on practice in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, most nursing degree programs require that the nursing student be on campus, and on-site at the hospitals to complete clinicals that are essential and required for completion of nursing degrees.
Nursing students who wish to become a neonatal nurse can apply for an neonatal nursing externship while still in the nursing program. This allows them to complete an externship in the neonatal intensive care unit, furthering there education and increasing the likelihood of becoming a neonatal nurse after acquiring their neonatal nursing degree.
Nursing degrees can vary in cost from $7,000 to $15,000 total tuition for an associate’s degree in nursing, to $20,000 to $100,000 total tuition for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The cost of tuition highly depends on the school the nursing program resides in, and if the nursing student is paying in-state, or out-of-state tuition. Out of state students tend to pay more than students who live within the state where the college is located.
Job placement for neonatal nurses with a bachelor’s degree is higher than those with an Associate’s degree, as more and more hospitals are trying to acquire something known as Magnet status, which requires a certain (high) percentags of staffed nurses to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or higher.
Neonatal RN to Masters Degree
Many neonatal nurses who wish to pursue a master’s degree in nursing can easily do so online with an online nursing program. This can allow for further job advancement positions, such as management and administration. Nurses who wish to become a neonatal nurse practitioner can also do so by obtaining a master’s degree in nursing.
For nurses wishing to complete an online nursing degree to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, they will have to complete some coursework online, and must also complete a large amount of clinical hours, depending on the master’s program requirements.