Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Track

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Ranked #2 for Best DNP Program in Texas

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[em]Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)[/em]Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Track

Protect Our Future as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (DNP NNP) track prepares actively practicing RNs for an advanced practice role leading nursing care for infants through the first two years of life. Online DNP NNP graduates possess the holistic skill set necessary to lead change through practice.

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DNP-NNP Admission Requirements

The requirements to apply for the online BSN-DNP NNP program are:

  • BSN from a regionally accredited school of nursing 
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • The equivalent of a minimum (1) year of full-time Level 3 NICU neonatal clinical practice experience (by the first day of class). Experience MUST be current and required within the last five years as a registered nurse in the care of critically ill neonates or infants in critical care inpatient settings.
  • Current unencumbered RN license
  • Complete an acceptable written personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation, as follows: one must be from an immediate supervisor, one must be from a peer nurse, and one must be from an MSN, DNP, or PhD-prepared nurse
  • No GRE or MAT Required

The requirements to apply for the online Post Master's DNP program are:

  • Verification of an unencumbered license to practice as an APRN
  • Master's degree with a major in nursing
  • Cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation as follows: One must be from an immediate supervisor, one must be from a peer nurse and one must be from an MSN, DNP, or PhD-prepared nurse
  • Verification of total clinical hours obtained for the Master's degree
  • Complete a written personal statement
  • Current clinical practice within the last two years
  • Successful completion of graduate-level statistics course with a grade of B or better (must be completed prior to matriculation into the program)

Download a program guide for more information

Two entry options are available:

To learn more about the entry options, download your digital program guide.



75 Credits
Just over 3 years to completion 


Post-Master's DNP

38-75 Credits
2 to 3 years to completion

State Authorization

Applications for the online DNP-NNP program are accepted from the following states:

United States map with authorized states filled in green

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Have more questions? View our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about program eligibility.

DNP-NNP Program Features
  • CCNE-accredited** and U.S. News & World Report ranked program
  • Main coursework is online with on-campus immersions throughout the program
  • Practicum requirement total: 1,125 hours for BSN pathway and 1.000 hours minimum for MSN pathway
  • Courses are 15 weeks, with three terms per year
  • Students learn from nationally recognized faculty
  • Clinical placement support 
  • Total credits: 75 for BSN pathway and 38-75 for MSN pathway
Accreditation & Rankings
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Baylor University is distinguished in healthcare and business, preparing students with the skills and knowledge to stand out in the industry. 

The Louise Herrington School of Nursing is nationally recognized and:

  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Approved by the Texas Board of Nursing
  • Member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Recognized as one of the top educational institutions in the nation, ranking at #76 in National Universities on U.S. News & World Report 2021 list
  • Ranked by as the #10 Best Nursing College in Texas.

Am I Eligible for Baylor's Online DNP-NNP program?

  • Visit our FAQs Page for answers to questions regarding program eligibility.
  • Visit our State Authorization page for a list of states in which we accept applicants for the online BSN to DNP-FNP program.

Clinical Placement Support 

At Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing, we strongly believe in setting our students up for success. That's why we will collaborate with you to identify clinical sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. Additionally, clinical placement sites may be potential locations for future employment opportunities upon graduation. If you already have a placement site or preceptor in mind, we encourage you to refer them to our placement team to secure. Get your DNP-NNP guide for more information.


Securing clinical placement sites and preceptors can be a challenging and tedious undertaking. It is not uncommon for students to contact 400+ sites before a preceptor agrees. That's why at Baylor, we collaborate with online nursing students on the heavy lifting to help identify clinical sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. We'd much rather you focus on:

  • Coursework
  • Developing core competencies
  • Current personal and professional obligations
How Does This Benefit You?

Securing clinical placement sites and preceptors can be a challenging and tedious undertaking. It is not uncommon for students to contact 400+ sites before a preceptor agrees. That's why at Baylor, we collaborate with online nursing students on the heavy lifting to help identify clinical sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. We'd much rather you focus on:

  • Coursework
  • Developing core competencies
  • Current personal and professional obligations
How Does the Clinical Placement Process Work?

Shortly after enrollment, you will be provided with a placement intake form you are required to complete that captures your competencies, experience and placement preferences. Baylor University will collaborate with you to identify a quality placement site and preceptor. While the placement team is securing sites and preceptors, you will be responsible for completing clinical clearance requirements in preparation for placement, including:

  • Drug screening
  • Background check
  • Recommended vaccinations

You will not be permitted to begin your placement rotations without your clearances complete. Once the sites have been approved by the School of Nursing, Baylor University will share the placement site details with you prior to placement.

What is the Placement Experience Like?

During the placement experience, you will have access to faculty and other resources to support you:

  • Faculty will be available to mentor and support you throughout the rotation with specific questions about procedures, patient interactions and general proficiencies.
  • At the end of the placement rotation, you and your preceptor will review requirements, complete surveys and officially end the placement rotation.
  • If you have multiple rotations, you will receive the next preceptor/site details.
What Can I Expect from My Preceptor?

Your preceptor is your on-site role model and will help you develop as a nurse during your clinical rotation. They will:

  • Bridge the gap between theory and actual practice
  • Orient you to the practice setting (key personnel, organization, and institutional policies)
  • Help you plan clinical assignments
  • Provide one-on-one supervision and daily feedback
  • Review and co-sign all documentation in the clinical records

DNP NNP Curriculum At-A-Glance

The program focuses on high-risk neonates and their families through a curriculum that delivers in-depth knowledge of neonatal nursing theory, assessment, research utilization, critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, patient management, program planning and systems management.

Important Dates

Next Application Deadline: Now accepting applications. Seating is limited

Next Start Date: September 5th, 2023

NUR 5360: Embryology and Developmental Physiology

This course is designed to provide the student with a greater depth of understanding of developmental physiology of the fetus and neonate. Principles of growth and development, physiologic maturation of organ systems, birth physiology, and transition to extrauterine life through early infancy will be covered. Adaptation of physiologic stress and alterations from normal will also be addressed.

NUR 5365: Advanced Neonatal Nursing Management I: High-Risk & Critically Ill Newborns/Infants

Theoretical and practical knowledge needed for advanced practice neonatal nurses (APNN) to manage the health care needs of culturally diverse newborns/infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Content focuses on stabilization, management and evaluation of high-risk and critically ill newborns/infants and their families. Responsibilities of the APNN in perinatal-neonatal health care policy and delivery systems management are also emphasized.

NUR 6300: Post NICU Graduate

This course provides an overview of the care of the NICU graduate: the infant after NICU discharge through two years of life. The course focuses on parent and family transitions, the care of infants post-discharge, growth and development, immunizations, wellness visits, acute care visits, special considerations for those with long-term complications, and consulting services.

Baylor Nursing By The Numbers

90% of clinical placement sites provided to DNP students were within 125 miles of their home.


100% certification pass rate for FNP and Nurse-Midwifery graduates.


Baylor University is ranked higher than 94% of Best Colleges in the Nation in 2021 - U.S. News and World Report .


Baylor’s DNP program is ranked higher than 88% of the Best DNP Programs in Texas in 2021 -

Why Nurses Choose Baylor

expert faculty
Expert Faculty
At the heart of our school is an exceptional faculty, they are: researchers, authors, winners of countless awards, presidents of national organizations, and experts in their specialties.

1:1 support
1:1 Support
Our dedicated student advisors and faculty are always accessible and focused on the needs of their students. We are here to guide students through their education and beyond.

academic excellence
Academic Excellence
With more than 176 years of educational excellence, Baylor University is an R1 research institution. U.S. News & World Report ranks Baylor University as one of the Best Graduate Schools for DNP in 2022.

optimal pathway
Optimal Pathway
Baylor’s online DNP has 5 distinct clinical tracks to choose from, ensuring our nurses are wholly prepared for their specific certification exams and ideal careers.

Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to complete the online DNP program?

Students typically complete the DNP program in the following timeframe. Please note that actual length to program completion will vary depending on the student's background and selected track.

  • BSN holders typically complete our DNP program in three (3) years and four (4) months, skipping the Master’s degree program entirely
  • MSN holders typically complete our DNP program in 18 to 24 months
Why Get a DNP Instead of an MSN?

A Doctor of Nursing Practice is the optimal pathway for registered nurses who are seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice. As a terminal degree, a DNP degree is the highest level of education in the field and represents the most advanced nursing degree available. There is no further opportunity for educational advancement within this profession. Graduates of Baylor’s online DNP program are prepared as exemplary nursing leaders and visionary nurses who can actively shape and improve patient outcomes, policy, processes and the future of nursing.

DNPs earn a higher average salary than an MSN (on average) and have more overall options for career goals. Many DNP graduates enter into positions with more responsibility to care for both individual and population health needs as nursing team leads and other expanded roles. The career outlook for DNPs is anticipated to be very strong as the AACN is advocating to require a DNP for all APRN roles by the year 2025.

Is financial aid available to online students?

A variety of financial aid is available to online students. Find more information on our Tuition & Financial Aid page.

Which practitioner degree disciplines may be eligible to transfer to the online DNP program?

The following practitioner degree disciplines may be eligible to transfer to the online DNP programs:

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Do I qualify for the online DNP program as a Post-Graduate Candidate?

You must have completed your MSN in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Board Certification. Additional documents or experience may be required - download your course guide to learn more.

Can I work while in the DNP program?

Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing understands the needs and challenges of busy RNs. Our online coursework allows you to balance your career with your other commitments.

Why Get a DNP Instead of an MSN?

Earning a DNP degree now puts you ahead of the curve. Steps are currently being taken to transition to the DNP degree as the standard for entry-level advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). While the profession is not quite there yet, the DNP is a terminal degree that prepares nurses for leadership, given the constantly changing demands of a complex U.S. healthcare system.

According to AANC, nurses desiring an APRN education with a choice between a DNP or a master's level preparation would find it far more cost effective to spend the additional time for the DNP and be prepared for future practice. And according to a 2019 Medscape survey, DNP-prepared APRNs make an average of 5% more than MSN-prepared APRNs. Additionally, "Job opportunities are far greater, and it provides you with the knowledge and expertise to have a seat at the board table," according to Angela Renee Stewart, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP, TTS, Clinical Assistant Professor at Baylor University, Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

Get My DNP-NNP Course Guide

The Baylor University Online Experience

Find out why Baylor University’s Online DNP degree program is the best choice for registered nurses seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice: