How long does it take to be a Neonatal Nurse?

A Neonatal Nurse is a person whose purpose is to care for babies at the moment of their arrival in this world. They are able to assist newborns, that is, from those who are healthy to those who present a health problem.

To do so, they must be perfectly instructed, that is to say, go through a rigorous educational process, which will allow them to perform their job efficiently.

This process requires a certain amount of time, which we will explain in detail below.

Process required to become a Neonatal Nurse

In order for a person to become a Neonatal Nurse, he or she must complete a series of necessary and mandatory steps.

  • Obtain an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or have a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN).
  • Hold a registered nurse (RN) license.
  • Meet licensure requirements in the state where they will practice.
  • Become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
  • Earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

This is a necessary step that all Neonatal Nurses must complete in order to obtain their RN license in the state where they will practice.

This is because some employers prefer to hire nurses who have their RN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Obtaining a nursing degree (ADN) will allow you to have a pathway to licensure as a registered nurse and will also allow you to take the NCLEX-RN.

The NCLEX-RN, called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), is usually a necessary step for registered nurses to complete in order to determine if they are qualified to practice.

This NCLEX-RN step is usually completed within one month of graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

The time it usually takes to obtain the ADN is about two years.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

As with obtaining an ADN, the same is true if you wish to obtain a BSN degree, since obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will ensure you have better job stability, which will lead to better pay.

Individuals wishing to complete this step must study for a period of about four years. Once obtained, they should be able to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

Registered Nurse (RN) License

To be a Neonatal Nurse, it is necessary to have different skills to be able to have a good performance in certain conditions presented in newborns (genetic disorders, premature babies, infections and others).

In order to be able to face these situations, it is necessary to have certain valid registered nurse (RN) licenses, to permanently carry out studies in order to meet the requirements of the so-called State Board of Nursing.

This board has the role of overseeing the administrative aspects of nursing licensure in each state in the United States.

There are several organizations in the U.S. that will certify you to become a Registered Nurse (RNC), which will allow you to work as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse.

To achieve all this, it will be necessary to have an active RN license and also to have two years of work experience as a registered nurse (RN) and of course a good score on the exam.

Master’s Degree in Nursing Sciences (MSN)

With regard to the so-called MSNs or doctorates with specialization in neonatology, it can be said that they are completed in a period of two to four years.


As you can see, the time it takes to become a Neonatal Nurse will depend on what you want to achieve from the work point of view and your aspirations as a professional. Keeping in mind that the more certifications you have, the better opportunities you will have in your career.

It requires an approximate time that can vary from two to four years of schooling.

Marlene J. Shockley

My name is Marlene J. Shockley, and I am a Registered Nurse (RN). I have always been interested in helping people and Nursing seemed like the perfect career for me. After completing my Nursing Degree, I worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home health care. I have also had the opportunity to work as a Travelling Nurse, which has allowed me to see different parts of the country and meet new people. No matter where I am working, I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and helping them through whatever medical challenges they may be facing.