5 Best Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs in California (Online & Campus) – 2024


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Children are physiologically different from grownups. They get ill more quickly and recover faster. Hence, the healthcare interventions they require are significantly different from the medical care that helps ailing adults. As a graduate of one of the pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California, you’ll acquire skills that will enable you to meet the health-related needs of children under 18. The job outlook for pediatric nurse practitioners is bright; in the next 10 years, employment opportunities are expected to grow by 55.49 percent. And on average pediatric nurse practitioners earn $156,040 annually. Stay on this page to learn about the 5 best pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California for 2024.


FOLLOWING ARE THE 5 BEST PEDIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS IN CALIFORNIA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024

(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 5 best campus-based and online Pediatric Nurse Practitioner programs in California.)


1. University of California-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master's Certificate

MSN Concentrations: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

Post-Master’s Certificate Concentrations: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care


About the School: If you are someone who is passionate about caring for the little ones, then becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner will be the best-suited career option. University of California-San Francisco offers one of the best pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California that prepares advanced practice nurses for specialized pediatric care. Offered as an MS and post-master’s certificate, over here, you can choose from two tracks, either acute or primary care based on your career goals and interest. Regardless of the path or track you choose, this nursing school prepares you with a strong knowledge base through excellent training and pathbreaking research activities.

MSN Program Details: Meant for RNs who are keen on pursuing a career in pediatrics, this MSN-pediatric nurse practitioner program in California is a two-year coursework. The program is offered with two options; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care. While acute care trains you for critical care of infants, children, and young adults, the primary care program focuses on the health improvement of patients from infancy to young adulthood. Both tracks emphasize health equity and the care of diverse populations, including the underserved patient populations.

Regardless of the track you choose, the curriculum incorporates clinical training with basic clinical experiences in the first year, followed by more advanced experiences either in a critical care or primary care setting, based on the track you choose. The core courses that are common to both tracks, educate you on advanced physiology, advanced health assessment, nursing research, evidence-based practice, and population health. To graduate from either of the tracks, you must complete around 64 credits in didactic and clinical courses.

To be eligible for admission into either of these pediatric NP tracks, you must have a BSN with an active RN license. Also, having relevant work experience and fluency in Spanish is highly recommended to enhance your chances of admission.

Post-Master's Certificate Program Details: One of the well-known pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California, this post-master’s certificate is ideal for students who already have an MSN. Here, you can either choose to complete your pediatric NP training in acute or primary care, based on your interests. Most students complete this program in four to eight quarters. In addition to the specialty-specific courses, students go through clinical training at the college’s various partner sites. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam in your chosen area of pediatric care.


2. Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

MSN Concentrations: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner–Primary Care

Post-Master’s Certificate Concentrations: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner–Primary Care


About the School: Azusa Pacific University is counted as one of the best pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California because of the excellent quality of education it offers. Grounded in Christian values, here pediatric nurse practitioner training prepares graduates that demonstrate professional competence along with spirituality, compassion, and cultural sensitivity. The college offers two pathways, an MSN and a post-master’s certificate. Regardless of the path you enter, you will be able to use critical thinking and clinical reasoning to improve health outcomes.

Besides, the college is a military-friendly school, so if you come from a defense background you can expect to receive support in terms of funding and guidance at every step of your college life.

MSN Program Details: This PNP program in California is open to BSN graduates who are keen on advancing their nursing careers in advanced pediatric care. The curriculum is a 44-50 credit coursework that takes two years to complete. The coursework starts with basic academic courses in bioethics & healthcare policy, spiritual concepts in healthcare, and research & theory in advanced practice nursing. The program then progresses to advanced practice core and specialty-specific courses. Towards the end of the program, you will demonstrate your specialized knowledge by the application of concepts to real-world practice.

To fulfill the admission requirements for this program, firstly you must have an active RN license. Also, the college requires you to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for your undergraduate degree. Also, you are required to submit a resume, two letters of reference, and a personal goals statement.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details: Another of the PNP programs in California that leads to a certification in advanced pediatric nursing is APU’s post-master’s certificate program. This program is designed for working students and offers classes in the evenings. Also, to enhance flexibility, students can opt to enroll part-time and take classes during the summer. The coursework comprises 33 to 37 credits and is offered at the main Azusa campus. Open to students with an MSN, you may receive transfer credits for the previously completed master’s coursework.


3. University of California - Los Angeles, CA


Programs Offered: MSN

MSN Concentrations: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Combined Pediatric Primary Care-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner


About the School: Whether you are aspiring to enter the field of acute or primary pediatric care, at the University of California, you have an option of specializing in either one of the areas of pediatrics or both through a dual degree. Out of all the pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California, the dual curriculum uniquely positions you to explore diverse career opportunities in a variety of health care settings. At the University of California, no matter the option you choose, you will go through a rigorous curriculum under the guidance of its exceptional faculty, most of whom are nationally and internationally recognized.

What’s more, University of California has been ranked among the top universities in several categories as per the U.S. News & World Report. This indicates that the college offers a conducive learning environment and is committed to student success.

MSN Program Details: While the MSN acute care track prepares you for the critical care of patients from infancy to 21 years of age, the primary care track trains you for the management of chronic health conditions. On the other hand, the dual track prepares you to treat patients with both, acute as well as chronic illnesses.

Depending on the track you choose, you must complete anywhere from 69 to 88 credits, with the primary track having the least credits and the dual track requiring the greatest number of credits. For the primary care track, you must complete 720 clinical hours, whereas the acute care track requires completing 840 credits. The dual track combines 620 clinical hours of primary care with 660 hours in acute care, requiring you to complete a total of 1280 hours of clinical training.

Regardless of the track you choose, you will complete MSN core courses, followed by specialty-specific courses, and finally, complete the practicum courses towards the end of the program. Some of the courses you take include health promotion & assessment, research design, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and the assessment and management in pediatric primary care and acute care.


4. Loma Linda University - Loma Linda, CA


Programs Offered: BSN-to-DNP

BSN-to-DNP Concentrations: Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


About the School: Are you a registered nurse who enjoys time with newborns and children? If so, you should consider taking the next step toward becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. Loma Linda University offers two pediatric nurse practitioner programs in California that train you at the highest level of pediatric care.

This nursing school was started in 1905, and ever since it has helped improve the state’s healthcare by producing committed nursing professionals who emphasize the holistic care of their patient population. The school focuses on hands-on learning and ensures PNP students leave the college with ample clinical training.

Also, if you are seeking online PNP programs in California, then here you can complete most of your courses online, in an asynchronous format.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details: This BSN to DNP program takes your BSN straight to the doctoral level. To be eligible to apply either to the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner track, you must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your nursing courses. Also, you must have an active RN application.

This BSN to DNP pediatric nurse practitioner program in California, regardless of the track requires completing 117 credits. The core courses common to both tracks train you in advanced role development, evidence-based practice, health policy, health systems finance, and leadership. Also, you take courses in ethics & health disparities, social determinants of health, and the health care systems leadership.

Additionally, you are required to take concentration-specific courses in either the management of chronic illnesses or acute health conditions, based on whether you choose to enroll in the primary care or acute care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. Finally, the coursework ends with a DNP project where you must synthesize the newly acquired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner knowledge.


5. California State University Long Beach - Long Beach, CA


Programs Offered: MSN and Graduate Certificate

MSN Concentrations: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


About the School: California State University Long Beach must be on your shortlist, especially if you are keen on enrolling in one of the best pediatric nurse practitioner schools in California. With over 50 years of experience in training competent nurses, the school’s nationally acclaimed faculty is known to be supportive at every step of your journey to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Furthermore, the school offers vast resources in terms of a well-equipped library, support groups, and social organizations, where PNP students can get involved and enhance the learning process. Besides, the school understands that students' career goals vary and therefore it offers a broad range of elective courses from various other departments in the university.

MSN Program Details: This pediatric nurse practitioner program in California requires completing around 47 credits. To be eligible for admission, you must have bachelor’s degree, preferably a BSN, however, even a non-nursing bachelor’s degree may be considered if it is in a related field. Designed to train you in the primary care of infants, children, and young adults, you are required to complete core courses, followed by specialty-specific courses and clinical courses. Upon completion of this program, you will be able to treat and manage pediatric conditions and disorders. Also, you will gain skills to manage professional issues and conduct nursing research.

Graduate Certificate Program Details: To be eligible for this PNP program in California, you must either be a graduate of an MSN program or currently enrolled in one. This graduate certificate coursework requires the completion of 21 credits in theory and clinical courses. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam to become a certified pediatric primary care nurse practitioner.


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY



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