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Best Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs


As a pediatric nurse practitioner, you will provide an advanced level of nursing care to infants, children, teens, and in some cases, very young adults. Most PNPs work in doctors’ offices, but some work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, emergency departments, and even in schools. On average, PNPs in the US make $100,670 a year, which is a highly competitive salary. If you are considering this career path, you will need to obtain the best possible education. Below, we have ranked the best pediatric nurse practitioner programs in the country to help you make excellent decisions about your future as a PNP.

Degree Options Available to Become a PNP


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Program Cost: The cost associated with obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree ranges from $9370 to $88,340 depending on the school you attend. Online degrees are typically less expensive.

Program Length: The MSN degree takes about two to three years to complete for most PNPs, though this can vary somewhat. Online PNP programs are especially flexible and may afford you more time; some even offer fast-track MSN-PNP programs.

Curriculum: The curriculum focuses heavily on pediatric primary care and mimics much of what doctors learn in medical school. Courses include pediatric pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology, child behavior and development, and more. You will also need to participate in unpaid clinicals, which give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge by working with patients in a hands-on setting such as a hospital or clinic under the direct supervision of a doctor or PNP. The exact number of clinical hours you will need varies from state to state.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Program Cost: The average cost for a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree specifically designed for aspiring PNPs is anywhere from $13,960 to $130,600.

Program Length: You will gain much more knowledge in a DNP-PNP program, which means it will take longer to complete. Assuming you already have your BSN, it will take an additional five to six years to earn your DNP.

Curriculum: The DNP-PNP curriculum focuses heavily on more specialized pediatric care. You will learn how to develop, implement, and uphold policies in healthcare; how to collaborate with others in a practice setting; how to conduct case management; and how to perform differential diagnoses and manage both acute and chronic conditions. You will be required to work with patients in a hands-on setting under the supervision of a doctor or other PNP in order to complete the program, and once again, the specific number of hours you will need can vary from one state to the next.

Following are the 10 Best Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs – 2020


1. University of Washington - Seattle, WA


Program Type

Graduate Certificate Programs: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

DNP Programs: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

2. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA


Program Type

DNP Programs: Pediatric Primary Care (BSN to DNP) & Pediatric Primary Care (MSN to DNP)

3. Yale University - Orange, CT


Program Type

Post-Master's Certificate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

4. Duke University School of Nursing - Durham, NC


Program Type

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care

5. Rush University - Chicago, IL


Program Type

Postgraduate Certificate: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

DNP Programs: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) & Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP)

6. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA


Program Type

Post-Graduate Certificate Programs: Pediatric Acute Care & Pediatric Primary Care

DNP Programs: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care & Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care

7. University of South Florida - Tampa, FL


Program Type

Master of Science in Nursing Program: Pediatric Health Nursing

DNP Program: BS-DNP Pediatric Health

8. Maryville University - St. Louis, MO


Program Type

Post-Master’s Certificate Program, MSN Program & DNP Program: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

9. University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio, TX


Program Type

Post-Graduate Certificate Program & MSN Program: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care

10. Florida International University - Miami, FL


Program Type

Post-Master’s Certificate: Child Nurse Practitioner

MSN Program: BSN to DNP-Child NP

PNP Board Certification


In order to work as a PNP in any state, you will first need to become certified. There are three organizations that provide board certifications, and each one is unique. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) provides the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification, or PPCNP-BC, and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) offers the Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner credential, or CPNP-PC, both of which allow you to serve as children’s primary healthcare provider.

You can also earn the Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner credential, or CPNP-AC, from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) if you are interested in providing more acute care rather than serving as a primary healthcare provider.

CertificationCertifying BodyLink
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (PPCNP-BC) American Nurses Credentialing Center(ANCC)https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications/pediatric-primary-care-nurse-practitioner/
Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC)Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)https://www.pncb.org/cpnp-pc-certification-steps
Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC)Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)https://www.pncb.org/cpnp-ac-certification-steps 


What does PNP Do?


Your PNP duties will vary somewhat depending on the type of specialization you choose, the state in which you work, and the setting in which you work. You will work with children and their families or caregivers to prevent disease, promote good health, and create care plans. This may involve providing childhood immunizations, examining children for timely development, prescribing medications (depending on your state), performing physical examinations for school and for sports, treating a variety of common illnesses, and providing well-child exams at the recommended intervals.

PNP Scope of Practice


Your scope of practice as a PNP may vary depending on the state in which you live. Most PNPs are able to perform many of the same duties as physicians, and in some states, they can even work in their own private practices. You will take medical histories, examine patients, perform in-office procedures, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, create care plans, refer patients to specialists, and more. Limitations on the medications you may prescribe will vary from state to state, as will your ability to perform certain procedures or administer certain medications while children are in your care.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Salary


The average pediatric nurse practitioner salary in the US is $100,670 a year, which is the same as $48.40 an hour or $8,390 a month. Your salary will vary based on numerous factors, including your overall experience level, your education level, the state in which you work, your employer type, your work setting, and much more. As an example, a PNP who has 20 years of experience and who works in his own private practice in a major metropolitan area will likely earn more than someone who only recently entered the workforce and works in a physician’s office in less densely-populated area.

TypeSalary
Hourly$48.40
Monthly$8,390
Annual$100,670


PNP Job Outlook


Your overall job outlook as a PNP is excellent. Between 2016 and 2026, the demand for more specialized healthcare for children and the need for qualified health professionals to provide it will help the nurse practitioner occupation grow some 31% - faster than the growth anticipated for any other healthcare occupation. As technology continues to improve, and as new advances in the healthcare industry offer better-than-ever preventative measures and treatments, PNPs will become increasingly popular among employers.

Important PNP Organizations


1. National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP): The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, or NAPNAP, provides a place for PNPs to network, serve as advocates for each other, and work to help standardize the role of PNPs across the country. By becoming a member, you can gain access to discounts on nursing-related publications, annual conference tickets, and various insurances. You will also gain access to patient education resources and a variety of online continuing education and pharmacology courses.

2. Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP): The Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP) is dedicated to nursing educators who teach nurse practitioner programs of all kinds. Benefits of becoming a member include the ability to network with colleagues nationwide, access to curriculum development resources, support and collaboration for special projects having to do with PNPs, and recognition via numerous AFPNP-specific awards such as the Researcher of the Year, Outstanding Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Educator, and Outstanding Preceptor awards.




Best Nurse Practitioner Schools in Your State