McMaster University

Graduate Diploma In Advanced Neonatal Nursing
Program Information

Advanced Neonatal Nursing

The McMaster Graduate Diploma Program in Advanced Neonatal Nursing is a graduate level advanced nursing practice specialty program offered within the Faculty of Health Sciences and sponsored by the Office of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences), HSC 3N10.

The Diploma Program is specifically designed to prepare neonatal nurse practitioners.  The advanced neonatal nursing component has been offered at McMaster University since 1986.  The program has gained national and international recognition as a result of the extensive research that has been an integral part of its planning, development, and evaluation. See:

  • Mitchell, A., et al. (1996). A controlled trial of nurse practitioners in neonatal intensive care.  Pediatrics 98(6):1143 1148.
  • Mitchell, A., et al. (1995). Evaluation of an educational program to prepare neonatal nurse practitioners. Journal of Nursing Education, 34(6): 286 289.
  • Mitchell, A., et al. (1991). Evaluation of graduating neonatal nurse practitioners. Pediatrics, 88(4):789 794.

The Graduate Diploma is available to qualified students as an extension of the M.Sc. degree in the Clinical Health Sciences (Nursing) Program.  The Diploma is also available to qualified individuals who have successfully completed a master's degree with a clinical nursing component.  Graduates are eligible to take the neonatal nurse practitioner certification examination from the National Certification Corporation (NCC) in the United States.


The Graduate Diploma Program is coordinated by Dr. Janet Pinelli, who is a board certified (NCC) neonatal nurse practitioner, Professor in the School of Nursing and Department of Pediatrics.  Faculty resources for the program include:  Master's prepared certified neonatal nurse practitioners; clinical nurse specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, and in pediatric nephrology; neonatal pharmacist and nutritionist; neonatologists and other members of the Department of Pediatrics, including the subspecialties of general surgery, neurosurgery, genetics, nephrology, neurology, cardiology, and gastroenterology.

The educational program utilizes the resources of the McMaster Children's Hospital, Neonatal ICU.  The unit is the regional referral centre for central west Ontario.  It is a state of the art, tertiary care unit with 47 beds and an annual admission rate of 1200 infants.  Learning experiences for the students are enhanced by the multidisciplinary approach to care and by the unit's 18 neonatal nurse practitioners, which is the largest group of neonatal nurse practitioners in any one unit in Canada.  Clinical experiences include attendance at high risk deliveries, and neonatal transport, as well as the care of ill and convalescing premature and term newborns.

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