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 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. Clinical rotations will be completed through a level III NICU. Level IV NICU experience is not required for NCC exam, therefore will not be guaranteed.
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 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 completing the NNP program on campus. Students completing the program through synchronized Online learning, will be required to find their own clinical placements outside of the Front Range, while working 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.
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 full time 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.