It takes 4 years for a person to become a neonatal nurse at the level of a registered nurse. If a person is interested in pursuing his or her studies further, he or she needs 4 additional years for a master's degree to become a nurse-practitioner.
The first step is the acquisition of a nursing degree, which takes 4 years of schooling. This is the most flexible choice regarding career opportunities and will enable the student to become a registered nurse. Alternatively, a person can enroll in a community college or other accredited school to obtain an associate degree which takes 2 to 3 years, or a diploma degree is another option, although it is slowly phasing out in many states. To become a nurse-practitioner, a master's degree is also required which usually takes 4 years to complete, but also allows for specialist training in neonatal nursing while studying for the degree.