Play a Critical Role in Providing Health Care to High-Risk Infants with a Master’s Degree in Nursing

A nursing student using a stethoscope

Play a Critical Role in Providing Health Care to High-Risk Infants with a Master’s Degree in Nursing

Neonatal specialists are in demand playing a critical role in providing care to the growing high-risk infant population. Our neonatal nurse practitioner program provides unparalleled training for BSN prepared nurses with NICU experience. Continue to work while pursuing one of the professions most rewarding specializations.
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Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master)

Degree Overview

For those who possess a BSN and at least two years as a nurse in an intensive care nursery (Level III or IV NICU), Regis University offers the Master of Science in Nursing with a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) emphasis. This highly specialized field is increasingly in need of qualified professionals, ready to give their knowledge and care to families and their newest additions.

This NNP program combines advanced knowledge in nursing theory, health care policy, ethics and leadership related to the role of the advanced practice nurse with intensive courses reflecting the unique learning needs of the NNP - including clinical management of the high-risk newborn as well as diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. 

If your goals as a nurse don't stop with the basics, come and explore the rewards and challenges of a career as a neonatal nurse practitioner.

Degree:  Graduates are awarded the Master of Science in Nursing with a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialization and are eligible to take the National Certification Corporation (NCC) examination.

Format: The program is offered in two formats; on-campus classes taught on our North West campus in Denver, Colorado, OR online synchronized classes where students connect via technology to the on-campus class in real-time from a distance. 

Courses meet one time per week on Wednesday's from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MST, with additional time for clinical hours in semesters 2, 4 and 5. All students regardless of campus-based or online format are required to attend two on-campus intensives in the second and forth semester lasting 2-3 days each.  

Length of Program: The program is completed in two years (five semesters, beginning in the fall and ending in the summer).

Clinical: NNP students complete a total of 625 hours of mentored clinical time in the program. 105 hours are completed in the second and fourth semesters, and 415 hours are completed in the final semester. Preceptors are NNPs, although an MD/DO who is board certified in neonatology may be considered in special circumstances. Students may do clinical time in their place of employment, but clinical time must be separate from paid work time. 

Clinicals in the second and fourth semesters (each 105 hours) are typically done one full day each week, starting in the second or third week of the semester, and may not always be consecutive weeks. A typical clinical schedule includes eight 12-hour shifts and one 9-hour shift throughout the sixteen week semester. Students may continue working during this time but priority needs to be given to clinical hours and Wednesday class time so flexibility is needed. 

The final semester includes 415 hours of preceptored clinical time and hours are usually done during the week. Given the intensity of the final semester, students should not plan to work full-time during this semester. If working, hours should be done on weekends.  

Regis University and our Clinical Coordinator typically arrange preceptorships for students in Colorado. Students doing preceptorship outside of Colorado will need to arrange for clinical placements independently and work closely with us to establish site contracts.

Service Learning: Service learning provides our students with time to explore topics of service, social justice, Jesuit values, and civic engagement through reflection, readings, dialogue, and other learning activities. A total of 20 hours is devoted to service learning for our NNP students. Hours are completed in the form of reflection, readings, in-class activities and community involvement.

Why Service Learning? "The measure of a Jesuit University lies not in what our students do but in whom they become and the responsibility they exercise toward their neighbor and the world." Father Peter Hans Kolvenback, SJ

Interested in earning your NNP and your DNP?  We also offer that option. Once you complete the NNP you can seamlessly progress into the DNP program. The increasing complexity of patient care, the volume of knowledge available today, and the very important need for the profession of nursing to help guide the future of health care policy and practice means that it’s critical for nurses to advance beyond the master’s level. The DNP program is completed 100% online. DNP Program Details

Excellence Recognized

Loretto Heights School of Nursing was recognized by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) for "creating an environment that fosters superior leadership skills in neonatal nursing practice."

Many students have been published in national neonatal journals, and many of our faculty are national recognized as well. 

Pamela Heaberlin, Regis University NNP Program affiliate faculty, received the NNP Excellence in Practice Award. Pam was also elected to the NANN Board of Directors and will begin her term in January. Pam teaches Pathophysiology to Regis University NNPs and also serves as clinical faculty for Regis University.

Susan Meier, Regis University NNP Program affiliate faculty, has served on the NANNP Board of Directors — the NANN organization for NNPs.

Carol Wallman, Regis University DNP student and affiliate faculty in the NNP program, was a Colorado Nightingale Award recipient for 2016 and awarded the NANN 2013 Clinical Abstract of the Year award. She presented an abstract to NANN on the competency program, skills day, and simulation that she developed for the neonatal nurse practitioners at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Carol Wallman was also the Nightingale recipient in 2015 from the Colorado Nurses Foundation. 

Regis University NNP students have been selected to present case studies at the Neonatal Advanced Practice Forum in Washington, D.C. in recent years.

Cathy Witt, coordinator of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, received the NANN 2012 Leadership Award. This award recognizes superior leadership skills and consistent excellence in practice. She was honored for her work as editor of the NANN Journal and her leadership at Regis. Cathy is also a past president of NANN and NCC.

Accreditation

Listed below are the required courses for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science (MS) in Nursing program at Regis University. The total degree requires 43 semester hours.

Prerequisite
MT 270 Introduction to Statistics (or MT 274) (3 semester hours)
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Core Courses
NR 600 Advanced Nursing Practice: Leadership and Theoretical Frameworks (3 semester hours)
NR 602 Advanced Application of Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3 semester hours)
HCE 604 Ethics for Nurse Leaders (3 semester hours)
NR 605 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan (3 semester hours)
NR 607 Advanced Pharmacology for Advanced Practice (3 semester hours)
NR 608 Health Care Policy and Issues in Practice (3 semester hours)
NR 614 Foundations of Financial Management for Nursing Leaders (3 semester hours)
NR 651 Professional Integration (3 semester hours)
NR 699 Comprehensive Evaluation, Master of Science (0 semester hours)
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Emphasis Courses
NR 652 Health Assessment for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (4 semester hours)
NR 653 Genetics and Embryology for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (3 semester hours)
NR 654 Advanced Practice Procedures for the High Risk Infant (2 semester hours)
NR 656 Management of the High Risk Newborn (5 semester hours)
NR 657 Clinical Integration for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (5 semester hour)

A thesis option is available. Students electing the thesis option complete an additional six semester hours (49 semester hours total) for this degree.

Please note that recent course requirement updates may not be reflected in the list above. For further information contact the Office of Admissions at 303.458.4344.

Accreditation

Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science degree in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at Regis University’s Loretto Heights School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


May 2016-April 2017

Tuition (per semester hour) $750
University Fees
Lab Fee (one time only) $300
Procedures Lab Fee (one time only) $500
Graduation Application Fee $50
Parking Varies Learn More

Additional costs may be incurred based on individual and program specific needs. Some costs are controlled by external vendors and are subject to change without notice. A complete list of all program specific requirements is provided to admitted students prior to the start date. The following list gives you an estimate of additional expenses but may not be inclusive of all needs. Students may need uniforms, and/or lab equipment. Costs may be incurred for travel to practicums/clinicals or service learning. Expenses for books will be incurred, as well as potential costs for required technology not already owned. All campus-based nursing students are required to have a laptop for access to web-based content during class. Please click here for hardware and software requirements.

Other anticipated costs  Estimated Cost
Application Fee (NusingCAS) $70
Complio®/Compliance Tracking Annual Fee
$22
Background Check and Drug Screen $57
My Clinical Exchange
$36.50
Basic Life Support Certification
Varies
Vaccinations Varies
Physical Exam Varies
Proof of Health Insurance
TYPHON (software tracking system) (one time only) $80

*Students who elect the University-sponsored health insurance are enrolled for the entire year and cannot drop mid-year without a change of life exception. Only students who are enrolled in programs that require health insurance are eligible for the University-sponsored plan.

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

FAQS

What is the application deadline?
The priority application deadline is July 15, 2017, for the August 2017 program. You must submit all application materials by this deadline to be considered for admission. Applications are reviewed as they are completed so it's best to submit your application sooner than later. The program starts in the fall of every year.

What are the prerequisites for the program?
You must meet the admissions requirements which include a current unencumbered RN license, a BSN from a regionally accredited institution, and a cumulative GPA above 2.75 and two years of level three or four NICU experience. You must also submit all application materials before the deadline. Applications are completed via the NursingCAS application system. 

How long does it take to complete the program?
Students take approximately 2 years to complete the coursework. The program starts in the Fall semester and students continue with courses through Fall, Spring and the Summer semester for the first year, and then the Fall and Spring semester of the second year.  

When do the classes meet?
Courses meet one day per week from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. MST (Wednesday) either on our North West Denver campus, or online. All students regardless of campus-based or online format are required to attend two on-campus intensives in the second and forth semester lasting 2-3 days each.

Is the program offered online?
Yes. The program is offered in two formats; on-campus classes taught on our North West campus in Denver, Colorado, OR online synchronized classes where students connect via technology to the on-campus class in real-time from a distance. All students regardless of campus-based or online format are required to attend two on-campus intensives in the second and fourth semester.

When do I attend clinicals?
The clinical component of the NNP program begins in the second semester. Clinical schedules are arranged by the individual student in collaboration with the Clinical Support Unit and are variable throughout the week. Student flexibility is essential in meeting clinical requirements.

Is working as an RN in the NICU while in school a requirement/expectation?
No. While many of our students do work while in the program, it is not a requirement. Students do not have to work while in the program but must have two years of recent experience as a nurse (RN) in a NICU or PICU setting.

How much does the program cost?
Based on the current tuition rates, the entire program would cost approximately $32,250.

What if I have not taken a statistics course?
You are eligible to apply, but admitted students must have a completed statistics course prior to taking NR 602 in the program. Regis University offers several statistics courses, and offers one specific to healthcare professionals (MT 274 Statistics for Health Professionals). We allow students to enroll in these courses as a non-degree seeking student. Additionally the course can be taken at any regionally accredited college or University including community colleges. For those in the Colorado area looking at the community college offerings, MAT 135 Introduction to Statistics will fulfill this requirement.

If you're interested in enrolling in this course at Regis University, complete the 'Non Degree Application' and contact your admission counselor to register.  

Do you require an academic reference from a college instructor?
No. We require three letters of reference on the forms provided in the application. One reference must be from your current employer or supervisor and the other two can be either professional or academic. 

Are students required to have laptops for the NNP program?
We recommend all students have either a laptop or desktop computer access. 

Expected technical specifications for the laptop include the following:

HARDWARE

  • Recommended screen size: 13 inches or greater
  • Required Wi-fi compatible
  • Required Operating system: Windows: XP or higher, Mac: OS X 1o.5.8 or higher
  • Required memory: minimum 1GB
  • Required hard disk space: minimum 60GB
  • Required battery: minimum two hour life, recommended four hours or higher
  • Recommended backup battery: minimum two hour life, recommended four hours or higher

  • SOFTWARE
  • MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint (recommend MS Office)
  • Browser: most recent version of IE, Firefox, Safari or Chrome
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser
  • Adobe Reader, Flash, APA template
  • How to Apply

    The application opens January 1, 2017, for the August 2017 NNP program. The application deadline is July 15, 2017. You must submit all application materials by this deadline to be considered for admission.

    All applicants must apply through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS). Review the NursingCAS site and the information below for details on how to apply. All application materials are sent to NursingCAS directly. Your application must be submitted to NursingCAS by the deadline date.

    It is in the applicant’s best interest to initiate the application no less than a month prior to the application deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant to plan ahead to ensure that all parts of the application arrive by the specified deadline and to monitor their application status to ensure that all parts of the application arrive on time (transcripts and letters of recommendation, along with all other components of the application).

    Application Opens: January 1, 2017
    Application Deadline: July 15, 2017
    Program Start Date: August 30, 2017

    1. Submit the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) application online at www.nursingcas.org.  Select the 'Hybrid' option in the first drop down menu. 
    2. Submit three recommendation forms directly through NursingCAS. Select professional and/or academic references that can address your academic, professional, and leadership potential. One recommendation must be from your current employer or supervisor. The recommendation forms provided must be used. 
    3. Submit (upload) a one-page typewritten statement (double-spaced) that addresses the essay question per the NursingCAS application instructions.
    4. Submit (upload) a current resume noting professional and volunteer experiences and relevant healthcare certifications.
    5. Request official university and/or college transcripts to be sent directly to NursingCAS. Official transcripts should not to be sent directly to Regis University. Arrange for NursingCAS to receive a separate official transcript from each regionally accredited U.S. university and/or college you attended. NursingCAS will not verify your application until all official transcripts and other required materials are received. See NursingCAS for Transcript Request Forms. 
    6. A personal interview may be required.

    Materials in support of an application for admission become the property of Regis University and will not be provided or returned to an applicant.

    ELIGIBILITY

    • A nursing baccalaureate degree from a NLNAC or AACN-CCNE accredited program.
    • Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale.
    • A grade of "C" or better in all undergraduate nursing courses. 
    • An active, unrestricted or unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license in the state in which the student’s clinical/practicum experience will be completed.
    • Two years of recent clinical practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in a Level III or IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification.
    • Completion of a statistics course with a grade of “C” or better (may be taken after admission, but prior to NR 602).
    • Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for health care professionals certification.
    • Eligibility for this program is pending the successful completion of a drug screening and a criminal background check. For a complete list of Disqualifying Offenses, click here.
    • A complete health history and physical examination record indicating that the student is physically able to meet the objectives of the program, and is appropriately immunized is required after admission to the program.
    • If English is not your native/first language, you must meet the following language proficiency requirement:
      • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet-based: Minimum score of 82 (24 Writing, 20 Speaking, 22 Reading, 16 Listening), Computer-based: Minimum score of 213. Regis University's TOEFL code is 4656.
      • Applicants that have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited US institution do not need to provide a TOEFL score.

      RANKING

      • The NNP program has a competitive admissions process where students are selected based on a number of factors, including cumulative GPA, current resume, three recommendation forms, work experience, and the personal statement. A personal interview may be required.