Neonatal Nurse Practitioner


photo of a nursing student in a labThe Neonatal Nurse Practitioner concentration is designed to prepare the neonatal nurse practitioner student with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide a high level of comprehensive care to ill newborns and their families, patients residing in the neonatal intensive care unit, and high risk infants and children through the age of 2.

The course of study consists of 13 credit hours of core nursing courses with an additional 36 credit hours to complete the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner concentration, pending approval. 

Upon completion of the concentration, students will be eligible to take the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner certification exam offered by the National Certification Corporation.



To be eligible to apply to this graduate nursing concentration, applicants must meet the following criteria:


Be a bachelor prepared nurse, having earned a BSN in nursing from an NLN or CCNE accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for your baccalaureate degree and any subsequent graduate work


Be a Registered Nurse with an unencumbered license, having a minimum of two years full time experience as an RN in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit prior to the start of clinical courses


Apply to Wright State Graduate School.

The application to the Graduate School must contain:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Professional statement (no more than 250 words)

Submit an Application to the College of Nursing and Health Neonatal Nurse Practitioner concentration

The application to the College of Nursing and Health must contain:

  • Resume
  • An essay describing a meaningful clinical situation in which you were involved and how this situation helped heighten your desire to pursue graduate education (no longer than two pages).  Please include a description of your experiences caring for newborns.
  • Two recommendation letters from your current or most recent supervisor or a faculty member of your BSN program or a previous employer

Provide evidence of no criminal history record on file from both a Federal Bureau of Investigation, an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and (if applicable) the state in which you reside for background check. Please be aware that background checks may take up to 30 days to process.  It is in your benefit to complete the background check one month prior to the College of Nursing and Health application deadline. Background checks can be done in the Educational Resource Center at 116 Allyn Hall. The results must be sent to Zane Jacks, College of Nursing and Health, 160 UH, Wright State University, 3640 Col. Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435. Information on the background check can be found here (pdf)

Admission is based on a rolling deadline.

Keep in mind that it takes 2-6 weeks to process an application in the Graduate School. Once all your application materials have been received, you will be contacted to interview with the director of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner concentration. Leadership potential, motivation, ability to express ideas and opinions, view of advanced nursing practice, diversity in work and life experiences with people of different cultures are all factors considered in the essays and interviews.  Compatibility between expressed career goals and program goals is weighted heavily.

Download the Graduate Financial Aid Application


For purposes of student eligibility for certification, all Neonatal Nurse Practitioner required courses must be taken as part of the program of study while in the NNP program or challenged either by examination or demonstration of similar course content in another masters nursing program.  All courses in the concentration can be delivered online in a hybrid format, making the program highly accessible to participants who have complicated work schedules and might not live in proximity to the Dayton, Ohio campus.  Students have the option to take all core courses on campus.

Efforts will be made to meet students' individual goals and to provide experiences in their geographical area.  Clinical courses are supervised by the NNP faculty.  Clinical rotations will take place in Dayton Children’s Hospital, Miami Valley Hospital, Kettering Hospital, selected follow-up clinics, and some laboratory experiences on site at the University of Cincinnati.

All students are required to complete a graduate level statistics course prior to NUR 7005: Nursing Research and Evidence for Practice course.  Students can begin classes summer, fall, or spring.  Individualized plans, including part-time will be developed on admission by the director of the concentration.  Please see sample curriculum plan for a full time student.

Year 1


NUR 7004 Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Practice – 3 credit hours

NUR 7003 Health Policy, Politics and Issues – 2 credit hours

NUR 7002 Information Technology in Health Care – 2 credits hours


NUR 7001 Role Development and Leadership – 2 credit hours

NUR 7102 Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan for Advanced Nursing Practice – 3 credit hours

NUR 7731 Advanced Newborn/Infant Pharmacology – 3 credit hours


NUR 7105 Population Health – 3 credit hours

HLT 7121 Human Genetics and Genomics for Health Professionals – 2 credit hours

NUR 7732  Advanced Neonatal Assessment – 3 credit hours

NUR 7733 Clinical Competencies and Management for NNP Practice I - 6 credit hours

Year 2


NUR 7720 Primary Care to the Age of 2 for the Formerly Ill Child – 2 credit hours

NUR 7005 Nursing Research and Evidence for Practice – 4 credit hours


NUR 7734 Advanced Clinical Competencies and Management for NNP Practice II – 7 credit hours


NUR 7735 Translation of Evidence to Practice and Management for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners III – 7 credits

Course Descriptions

NUR 7001 Role Development and Leadership (2 credit hours): This course focuses on understanding and synthesizing concepts and theories that will facilitate professional role development and leadership in advanced nursing roles.

NUR 7002 Information Technology in Health Care (2 credit hours): This course focuses on the theoretical basis of nursing and health care informatics. The model of data, information and knowledge is used to explore the basis of nursing informatics within health care. Strategies are examined for dissemination, access, retrieval and evaluation of information for professionals and consumers of health care

NUR 7003 Health Policy, Politics and Issues (2 credit hours): Critical analysis of public policies and issues affecting nursing and health care delivery. Encompasses economic, political, social, technological, ethical and legal influences on consumers and health care providers from a global perspective.

NUR 7004 Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Practice (3 credit hours): Analysis of nursing and other selected concepts, models, and theories as related to nursing practice, administration, and education in development and application of nursing science

NUR 7005 Nursing Research and Evidence for Practice (4 credit hours): Critical analysis of the components, methodology, and state of the art of research for nursing to plan change for best practice.

NUR 7102 Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 credit hours): An in-depth scientific knowledge base is explored relevant to selected pathophysiological states across the lifespan confronted by graduate nurses. This course provides a basis for the foundation of clinical decisions related to selected diagnostic tests and the initiation of therapeutic regimens. Pathophysiology is correlated to clinical diagnoses and management.

NUR 7105 Population Health (3 credit hours): This course synthesizes methods of population assessment and planning to construct population-appropriate interventions for health care delivery systems. The focus is on safe, quality, and culturally-appropriate advanced nurse practice activities to meet emerging world needs.

HLT 7121 Human Genetics and Genomics for Health Professionals (3 credit hours): This course presents focuses on the advanced study of human genetics and genomics with implications for health care professionals.   Describes mechanisms of inheritance and genetic diseases so that health professionals can recognize possible genetic or genomic abnormalities and make appropriate referrals, participate in genetic counseling, and consider ethical and legal implications.

NUR 7720 Primary Care to the Age of 2 for the Formerly Ill Child (2 credit hours):  This course is for students enrolled in the neonatal nurse practitioner concentration in the MS in Nursing Program.  The focus of this course is on the growth and development of former preterm and critically ill infants and the impact of morbidity that originated in the newborn period.  Differential diagnosis and treatment plans will be directed towards achieving the highest level of wellness obtainable.

NUR 7731 Advanced Newborn and Infant Pharmacology (3 credit hours):  This course addresses the principles of pharmacology as applied to the child from birth to the age of 2. Common druge therapies across a wide array of classes for use in the NICU or those whose clinical condition originated in the neonatal period are discussed as well as novel, innovative, experimental treatment protocols, use of off-label medications, and therapeutic drug testing. The legal, ethical, and financial constraints relative to prescriptive authority of the neonatal nurse practitioner are presented.

NUR 7732 Advanced Neonatal Assessment (3 credit hours):  This course allows the NNP student to have an immersive experience in the identification of normal and abnormal findings in the neonate. Course content is provided with a comprehensive view of fetal assessment, maternal wellbeing, and family dynamics. Opportunity will be offered to evaluate perinatal histories, perform developmental and physical exams, evaluate diagnostic and laboratory findings, and identify areas for referral. Students will learn to write comprehensive history and physicals using standard nomenclature.

NUR 7733 Clinical Competencies and Management for the NNP Practice I (6 credit hours):  The clinical focus is on beginning clinical competencies in the neonatal intensive care unit. This course begins the study of embryology, neonatal pathophysiology, and management of disease process. Students will learn a new role as a member of an interprofessional team, the use of documentation systems, patient rounds, patient management, database development, discharge planning, x-ray interpretation, and the provision of culturally competent care.

NUR 7734 Advanced Clinical Competencies and Management for NNP Practice II (7 credit hours):  The clinical focus of this course is on continuing clinical competencies for the nurse practitioner in the Level III/IV neonatal intensive care unit. The course continues the exploration of embryology, neonatal pathophysiology, and management of the disease process. Students will apply current management strategies and will utilize best evidence to provide a high level of care for infants and their families.

NUR 7735 Translation of Evidence to Practice and Management for Neonatal Practitioners III (7 credit hours):  Students will be asked to build upon prior learning, caring for ill newborns/infants and their families. Complex cases and multiple patient scenarios will be stressed. Application of research findings, leadership on the interprofessional team, planning and execution of complicated discharge, and innovations in care are all essential competencies.

Contact Information

Concentration Contact:

Deb Poling PhD, FNP-BC, CNE
Title: Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs

Phone: (937) 775-4684
Fax: (937) 775-4571

Stacey Callahan, B.A.
Title: Program Coordinator

Phone: (937) 775-3954
Fax: (937) 775-4571

General Contact Information:

Graduate School:

Wright State University
3640 Col. Glenn Highway
Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Dayton, OH  45435
937 775-2976

College of Nursing and Health
(937) 775-3131
Fax: (937) 775-4571