How to Become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in Louisiana - LA
According to LSU Health, the position of neonatal nurse practitioner was developed in the 1970s as a response to a shortage of physicians who specialized in treating neonates. Today, the neonatal nurse job description in Louisiana usually involves working in hospital nurseries and neonatal critical care units. Students who are interested in neonatal nurse practitioner careers in Louisiana must first obtain a registered nurse license in the state, and then enroll in graduate studies designed specifically to train neonatal nurse practitioners. The majority of NNPs practicing in Louisiana hold a master’s degree, although some may have a doctoral degree.
After graduation, neonatal nurse practitioners in Louisiana must pass a national certification examination before applying for state licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). The Louisiana State Board of Nursing verifies all documentation and certification before granting APRN status.
A website operated by the Kaiser Family Foundation, statehealthfacts.org, states that Louisiana has a much higher than average percentage of preterm births when compared with the rest of the country. In Louisiana, 15.4% of all births are preterm (defined as being born before 37 weeks of pregnancy have passed), whereas in the U.S. just 12.3% of all births are preterm. This necessitates more neonatal nurse practitioners to treat premature infants who may be in need of more advanced health care services.