Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Our Neonatal Nurse Practitioner track will prepare you to provide healthcare to neonates, infants and children up to two years of age. You will attain the specialized knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care and promote wellness for neonates. Why Ohio State? Our students in the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty enjoy the benefits of:

  • Flexibility. You can complete this track full-time or part-time. Based on state authorization eligibility, students may maintain their residence and complete their clinical experiences near where they live. Be sure to review our state authorization requirements to check eligibility in your state.
  • World-Class Faculty. You'll learn from our faculty who are experts in the neonatal field.
  • Best in the Country. Ohio State's online master's programs were ranked #2 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Evidence-based Practice (EBP). EBP is integrated throughout our curriculum and will prepare you to promote the best patient outcomes as an advanced practice nurse.
  • Personal Wellness. As a nurse practitioner, it's not only important to focus on the health of your patients. Our curriculum at Ohio State is committed to integrating personal wellness and promoting clinician wellbeing.

Based on your previous educational experience, you'll enter the program either through the traditional master's, graduate entry, post-master's, BSN to DNP or BSN to PhD.


What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

At the heart of our master's program are active, collaborative relationships between the College of Nursing faculty and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) across the country. As part of the country's most comprehensive health sciences center, our students benefit from access to cutting-edge research and knowledge and interdisciplinary collaboration among healthcare professionals. The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty is offered in a distance-enhanced format that enables students to complete their coursework online with up to four on-campus visits during the last four semesters. We can accommodate full-time and part-time students in the Traditional Master of Science and BSN to DNP programs and full-time students through the Graduate Entry program.

The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty prepares our graduates to provide healthcare to neonates in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient care, as well as care for neonates with acute or chronic health needs and care during patient transport.

Coursework, field experience and research allow our students to acquire the knowledge, values and skills necessary for advanced practice nursing certification. This specialty meets the curriculum guidelines of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and National Association of Neonatal Nurses

Prior to beginning clinical practicum experiences, students must have 24 months of full-time RN work experience in a Level III or IV NICU. Students who do not have two years of this experience at the time of admission may work in a NICU while completing the non-clinical courses. In order to be eligible for neonatal nurse practitioner certification, students must have two years of full-time RN work experience in a NICU within the previous five years.

Stephanie Sykes, DNP, APRN-CNP, NNP-BC
Director, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track

Message from the Director

The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program at The Ohio State University enables our graduates to provide specialized care for neonates and infants up to two years of life with a foundation in evidence-based practice, while offering the flexibility of full and part-time options.


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Allison Kelly
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Jodi Ulloa

Available Degree Programs

This specialty can be completed at a distance through the following programs:

This specialty can be completed on campus through the following programs:


Our graduates are prepared with the skills and competencies to:

  • Assume an advanced practice role as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
  • Apply theory and research to practice with high-risk infants and their families
  • Design, implement and evaluate healthcare strategies for high-risk infants and their families
  • Expand knowledge by identifying research problems, participating in research and engaging in and implementing evidence-based practice
  • Utilize leadership skills for positive change in policies at the local, regional and national level
  • Adapt professionally to the constantly changing healthcare environment
  • Contribute to the advancement of the profession


The following prerequisites are required prior to enrolling in clinical courses:

  • Nursing 7305 Developmental Physiology and Pathophysiology of the High-Risk Neonate
  • Nursing 7302 Advanced Health Assessment of the Neonate
  • Nursing 7303 Advanced Newborn/Infant Pharmacology

Below are the Neonatal Clinical Practicum courses:

  • Nursing 7304 Developmental Care of the High-Risk Neonate and Family
  • Nursing 7308.01 Advanced Practice Nursing: Care of the High-Risk Neonate I
  • Nursing 7308.02 Advanced Practice Nursing: Care of the High-Risk Neonate II
  • Nursing 7308.03 Advanced Practice Nursing: Care of the High-Risk Neonate III

Additional coursework may also be required.

Clinical Courses

Our specialty provides preceptors in a wide variety of geographic locations and clinical sites in Ohio and throughout the country. Clinical experience meets the requirements for eligibility for advanced practice certification set by the National Certification Corporation as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Sixteen to 20 hours per week of precepted clinical practice are required during Nursing 7308 courses.

Distance Enhanced Learning Option

The College of Nursing is proud to provide a distance enhanced learning option for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty. Students in the Traditional MS, Post-Master's and BSN to DNP options will complete coursework online and complete their clinicals near their own community. Graduate Entry students will complete their pre-licensure coursework on campus and then complete their neonatal specific coursework online and specialty clinicals near their own community. All students enrolled in the NNP specialty coursework will be required to attend orientation and three on-campus seminars in Columbus in order to meet program requirements. These campus visits will occur over a two-to-four-day period (during the last four semesters) and enable students to participate in simulations, skills activities and gain valuable experiences essential to starting their career as an NNP. 

The College of Nursing is committed to the recruitment and preparation of culturally diverse nurse practitioners who are qualified to provide culturally competent health care. Distance education programs enable greater access to nursing education for RNs and NPs in areas with shortages of health care providers. State laws require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide online educational instruction in their states. This means that Ohio State online courses and programs must be legally authorized in a state prior to offering courses or programs to students residing there. Please check the status of your state of residence to determine if Ohio State has authorization to offer online courses and programs in your state. If you reside in a state in which Ohio State is authorized to provide online education or is pursuing authorization, to learn more about the distance learning option, email


Nicole Clark
Nicole Clarke, graduate

“With Ohio State’s program, I have ceaseless opportunities for professional involvement and engagement and I have been able to engage in evidence-based practice projects and connect with accomplished leaders and practitioners that has ultimately prepared me for my future as a nurse practitioner.”