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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Current, unencumbered license as a registered nurse (RN)
- Baccalaureate degree in nursing or related science field from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average;
- Three letters of recommendation, with at least one from a former faculty member;
- A written statement that addresses the applicant's career goals and reasons for seeking certification as a neonatal nurse practitioner;
- Completion of undergraduate courses in statistics and health/physical assessment;
- Two (2) years recent clinical practice experience working in a NICU. Note: Applicants applying for part-time study will be considered for admission with only 1 year of NICU experience, with the expectation that they will continue employment in the NICU during the 1st year enrolled in the program to obtain the second year of clinical experience needed.
The part-time course load is approximately 5-6 credits per semester, and the full-time course load is 9-11 credits per semester. Click on the link for the NNP curriculum (note: part-time schedule indicated by colored text). For students choosing a part-time schedule, we recommend a transition to full-time study after the first two years when you have completed all core courses. Full-time study once you begin clinical practicums will allow you to dedicate critical time to developing your clinical practice skills, and is consistent with requirements in all of our other advanced practice programs.
Up to 12 credits of graduate level coursework completed at another accredited institution may be considered for transfer if those credits were not part of a previously conferred degree. Transfer credits may include only coursework for which grades of B or higher are earned. No credits may be transferred if they are older than eight years. Students who wish to transfer allowable credits must submit a special request for evaluation of transfer credits to the graduate program director. Any transfer credit requests should be submitted to the program director within two weeks of notification of admission to the program.
We do not require the GRE or MAT if your undergraduate GPA is 3.5 or above. For applicants who do need to take a graduate admissions test, we urge advance study and preparation for the exam, as well as scheduling for testing well in advance of the admission application deadline.
The NNP curriculum is an online program. Didactic courses are offered using the Canvas course management system. Faculty use a variety of teaching technologies to facilitate synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. We do require occasional visits to the ODU campus for standardized patient and simulation experiences, usually one (1) weekend a semester.
Students will be required to complete a minimum of 600 clinical practicum hours, primarily in a level III/IV NICU to satisfy MSN degree requirements, as well as NNP certification requirements. The program director will work with each student to identify clinical practice sites, preferably in the student's home community, assuming that there is an NNP available and willing to serve as the student's clinical preceptor. Applicants who want to complete practicum hours at a particular facility are advised to check with NICU leadership to determine their capability of supporting your practicum experience when the time comes.