Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | October 3, 2023
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Job Description
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners provide care and services to high-risk newborns and infants.

This post provides detailed information on the neonatal nurse practitioner job description, including key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the neonatal nurse practitioner role by most recruiters/employers.

What Does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Do?

Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP) specialize in providing primary, acute, chronic, as well as critical care to neonates, infants, and toddlers.

They work in Hospitals, clinical settings, etc. with neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and perform clinically indicated advanced diagnostic and therapeutic invasive procedures.

They apply independent judgment, communication, and collaboration with other health care members to manage and provide patient care activities for a group of patients and their significant others.

They provide primary health care and emergency services to high-risk newborns and infants; and also obtain history; perform physical exams, interpret lab results, radiographic, and clinical data to assist in developing an individualized plan of care for each infant under the supervision of a physician.

The neonatal nurse practitioner job description entails performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in adherence to protocols and policies consistent with the applicable State Board of Nurse Examiners.

It also involves collaborating with nursing and allied health staff to help in providing family teaching and coordinating discharge planning.

Neonatal nurse practitioners obtain history, perform physical exams, and interpret lab, radiographic, and clinical data to assist in developing an individualized plan of care for each infant under the supervision physician.

Their role also involves collaborating with nursing and allied health staff to help in providing family teaching and coordinating discharge planning.

They also provide support as well as information regarding the infant’s condition, progress, and plan for care to parents/family, referring and consulting physician.

The neonatal nurse practitioner work description also entails coordinating plan of care and procedure with the patient’s primary nurse, and regularly perform high level invasive procedures such as umbilical line placement.

It includes participating in determining conditions, resources, and policies basic to quality health care of the high-risk newborn in the NICU.

The nurse practitioner undertakes collaborative and independent research and publication to contribute to the body of medical and nursing knowledge through research.

He/she maintains clinical competency and stays abreast of current trends and developments in neonatal nursing and related medical progress through continuing education and review of the literature.

To work as a neonatal nurse practitioner, you require a minimum of Master’s degree in Nursing from an accredited college or university with Neonatal Nurse Practitioner certification, as well as a RN License.

To excel in this career, neonatal nurse practitioners must demonstrate strong writing skills and be proficient in medical terminology.

Basic computer skills for data entry and database management are encouraged; and they should be willing to work a flexibility schedule.

The ability to work independently and resolve problems by using judgment, investigation, and logical reasoning is also critical for success.

It is also important that they maintain professionalism and confidentiality in performing their duties.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The neonatal nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse; he/she is part of the interdisciplinary team.

He/she performs various functions providing necessary patient care to infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

The major duties, tasks, obligations, and responsibility that make up the job description of a neonatal nurse practitioner are given in the example below:

  • Elicits, records, and interprets complete patient health history, including past medical, obstetrical, family, and psychosocial information
  • Plans and documents a course of management derived from performing a comprehensive physical assessment of the newborn/infant, as well as applying interpretations from laboratory, radiographic and clinical data
  • Discusses the treatment plan with Neonatology Faculty, Fellows, and Consultants
  • Performs complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures on infants
  • Records and dictates interim, discharge, and transfer summaries
  • Initiates emergency assessment and treatment
  • Diagnoses medical and surgical problems of the newborn and prescribe treatment
  • Records patient data and tentative conclusions from prescribed treatment for review by the attending physician
  • Performs routine medical and surgical procedures, including admission examinations of the newborn
  • Provides patient education and counselling to family and significant others regarding health care plans and procedures
  • Follows written protocols in ordering medications, treatments, and tests
  • Provides education to students, interns, residents, and staff in complex techniques and procedure which are unique to the newborn
  • Promotes a customer friendly environment and provides superior service to patients, students, faculty, and employees
  • Refers neonates where applicable and participates in neonatal transports from referral hospital by ground and/or air
  • Utilizes her expertise outside the hospital system to serve as a resource center and provides community service.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge for Career Success

Employers looking to hire for the position of neonatal nurse practitioner commonly give a set of requirements that prospective candidates must meet to be invited to an interview to discuss the vacant position further.

These requirements, which include skills, abilities, and knowledge, are what neonatal nurse practitioners should have to be effective in performing the obligations, objectives, and purpose of the role, and to succeed in the career.

Here they are:

  • Educational requirement: A minimum of Master’s degree in Nursing from an accredited college or university with Neonatal Nurse Practitioner certification
  • Certification: Neonatal nurse practitioners must possess a current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS/BCLS certification and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification, or Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP) certification
  • License: They must possess a current Registered Nursing license in the applicable state
  • Experience: Pediatric or neonatal nursing experience and at least 2 years experience in a level III NICU position. However, not all organizations require a level III NICU experience
  • Knowledge: They must possess clinical knowledge and expertise in management of critically ill neonates including: resuscitation and stabilization, admission and triage
  • They should possess proficient technical skills in intubation, umbilical line catheterization, chest tube placement. Should be able to developing individualized plan of care and knowledge of ongoing management of critical neonates including: management of resp/ventilator, fluids and electrolytes, infection, cardiovascular
  • A comprehensive understanding of common neonatal disease processes, including identification and treatment, clinical procedural and physical examination is essential
  • Sound judgment skills – The work of NNP consistently exercises a high degree of discretion and independent judgment in analyzing, interpreting, and making inferences from comprehensive physical assessment of the newborn/infant, as well as from laboratory, radiographic, and clinical reports
  • Leadership skills: These are essential to the NNP for influencing the nursing staff and improving practice standards
  • Coaching skills: This skill is important for teaching and counselling parents/caregivers as well as the nursing staff regarding health care plans and procedures, as well as techniques particular to new born
  • Collaborative skills: Neonatal nurse practitioner are a part of an interdisciplinary team, hence they require this skill to work collaboratively with other nurses and allied healthcare professionals in providing patient care to infants
  • Computer skills: They require a strong knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and database management systems that will aid them on the job
  • Communication skills: They require effective writing and oral communication skills to provide education and counselling to parents and care-givers
  • Interpersonal skills: Neonatal nurse practitioners require this skill for establishing rapport and building relationship with mothers whose infants are in NICU, as well as other nursing staff.


Employers recruiting for the position of neonatal nurse practitioner will find this post and the sample job description it contains helpful in making a good description for the vacant position.

This post is also useful to individuals interested in becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner to learn the duties and responsibilities of the role and the requirements to achieving success in the career.

Did this article help improve your knowledge of what neonatal nurse practitioners do? Please, leave a comment in the box below. You may also share your job description if you work as a neonatal nurse practitioner.