5 Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner Programs


Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

As a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner, you’ll be dealing with the most physically and emotionally vulnerable patient population there is—and also one of the most medically complex. Pediatric oncology NP programs are designed to impart skills and competencies that will help you rise to meet both these challenges. Have you been wondering, “What pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs are currently available?” The guide below will introduce you to 5 pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs that are among the very best.



Top 3 Benefits Of Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner Programs


No question about it—pediatric oncology is a tough field. However, graduating from a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner program will allow you to hone your clinical and psychosocial skills in a way that few other specialization programs can touch, and you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re prepared to help families through the toughest time in their lives. Here are some other benefits of pursuing a specialty in pediatric oncology nursing.

Benefit #1: CPHON certification

While enrolling in a specialized oncology curriculum designed for pediatric NPs is not a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) exam, these programs will give you hands-on experience with the subject areas covered by the exam. Colleagues, families, and prospective employers all recognize that a CPHON credential signifies a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner who’s tops in their field.

Benefit #2: Salary

On average, pediatric nurse practitioners specializing in oncology earn $129,120 a year, 4 percent more than NPs throughout the U.S. who haven’t pursued a specialization and who earn $124,680 annually. Pediatric oncology NP salaries differ widely from location to location, so in many states, that differential can be even broader. In California, pediatric oncology NPs make 31 percent more than NPs without a specialization; in New York State, they make 18 percent more; and in Hawaii, they make 7 percent more. Pediatric oncology NPs with more experience can generally negotiate higher salaries.

Benefit #3: Employment opportunities

Demand for pediatric oncology NPs is high. While more than 22 percent of the U.S. population is under 18, pediatric nurse practitioners comprise less than 8 percent of the NP workforce. Though the overall incidence of childhood cancers has increased by 0.5 percent per year in the past 16 years, few pediatric NPs have expertise in oncology. Employers recognize there’s a tremendous unfulfilled need for pediatric NPs with expertise in managing children with cancer. As a pediatric oncology NP, chances are you’ll have your choice of jobs.


What Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Currently Available?


(The following 5 pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs are currently available. The list includes college programs, certificates, fellowships, and residency training programs.)


1. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA


Program Type: MSN (Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - Oncology Concentration)


The Pediatric Acute Care Practitioner track affiliated with University of Pennsylvania’s Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) program includes a 12-credit Oncology concentration, the first of its kind in the nation. Lecture courses are taught at UPenn’s campus in Philadelphia, and clinical rotations are scheduled at pediatric oncology inpatient and outpatient facilities throughout the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. The curriculum is also taught as a post-graduate APRN certificate.

Classes begin in August. You can stagger coursework to graduate in one, two, or three years. You must have a BSN from an accredited nursing program to apply. This program is only open to applicants with at least one year of professional experience in a pediatric acute care oncology practice setting.


2. Columbia University - New York, NY


Program Type: DNP (Sub-Specialty)


Columbia University’s Oncology Nurse Practitioner Program is offered in conjunction with its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This 7- to 8-credit pediatric oncology nurse practitioner program consists of three lecture courses and one immersive practicum in addition to core DNP coursework. Courses are taught at Columbia University’s campus in New York City, and practicums are scheduled at pediatric oncology units and clinics throughout the Greater New York City Metropolitan Area. This program is only available to applicants who hold New York State registered nurse licensure and are graduates of an accredited Bachelor’s of Science (BSN) or MSN program.


3. Yale University - New Haven, CT


Program Type: MSN (Oncology Concentration)


Strictly speaking, Yale University’s MSN oncology concentration is not a pediatric oncology NP program. Candidates in Yale University’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care tracks can pursue the oncology concentration as part of their MSN education, but they must obtain special permission first. (Typically, the concentration is reserved for students in the Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks.)

Three lecture courses focus primarily on the care of adults with cancer, but the two practicums can be arranged at pediatric oncology hospitals and clinics throughout the Greater New York City Metropolitan Area. Lecture courses are taught at the university’s campus in New Haven.


4. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - New York, NY


Program Type: Advanced Practice Provider (NP/PA) Oncology Fellowship


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center may be the world’s most prestigious cancer treatment hospital and research institute. Its Pediatric Hematology/Oncology subspecialty track is offered in conjunction with its 12-month Advanced Practice Provider (NP/PA) Oncology Fellowship. This fellowship is available to MSN-prepared pediatric acute care nurse practitioners and pediatric primary care nurse practitioners.

With didactic education, professional presentations, clinical skills practicums, simulation experiences, and rotations through medical, surgical, and consultative services, this may be the most comprehensive of the available pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs. Fellows will follow pediatric outpatients with sarcomas, neuro-blastomas, and hematologic malignancies, as well as pediatric surgery inpatients and outpatients and pediatric cell transplant and cellular therapies inpatients and outpatients. The fellowship concludes with an 18-week rotation through your choice of specialization area.


5. Texas Children's Hospital - Houston, TX


Program Type: Hematology/Oncology Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship


Texas Children’s Hospital is the largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. The hospital’s contribution to pediatric oncology NP programs is a three-month Hematology-Oncology and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Training and Fellowship that’s open to family nurse practitioners as well as to primary care and acute care pediatric nurse practitioners. The fellowship begins in July.

Fellows will do hands-on patient assessments, care management, and follow-up during rotations through leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumor, neuro-oncology, late effects, hematology, inpatient general hematology/oncology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplant units. Didactic education will consist of a weekly lecture and seminar series. Fellows will also be able to attend tumor boards, physician grand rounds, nursing rounds, and clinical pathology conferences.


Where Do Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners Mostly Work?


Pediatric oncology nurse practitioners provide care across a broad spectrum of practice settings, including private practices, hospitals and medical centers, hospices, and patients’ homes.

Work Setting #1: Hospitals

Pediatric oncology NPs tend to work as case managers in hospital settings, managing a team of primary nurse caregivers. If invasive procedures like port or deep line insertions are called for, pediatric oncology NPs will often be the ones to do them. They will frequently prescribe whatever medications are necessary outside of chemotherapy protocols. Graduates of pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs also play a key role in helping patients understand the disease process and treatment options in an age-appropriate manner. They provide that type of education and support for patients’ families as well.

Work Setting #2: Private practices

The type of care pediatric oncology NPs provide in private practice will depend upon the nurse practitioner’s scope of practice in the state where that practice is located. In rural states where NPs have full practice authority, pediatric oncology NPs working in private practices may be the first to recognize cancer symptoms and make the appropriate specialist referrals. In private practices where pediatric oncology NPs work under the supervision of physicians, they will aid physician workloads, manage pain and other adverse symptoms and side effects, and provide education to patients and their loved ones.

Work Setting #3: Hospices

Pediatric oncology NPs act as case managers in hospice settings, reviewing primary caretakers’ notes and ensuring patients get the care they need. They also do the hands-on assessments that are necessary to determine insurance certifications. One of a pediatric oncology NP’s most essential care contributions involves acting as a conduit between patients’ family members and members of the patient’s hospice care team.


Starting Salary For Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners


When they start in the field, pediatric oncology nurse practitioners can expect to earn $90,450 annually, equivalent to $43.49 an hour, $1,739 a week, or $7,540 a month.

Hourly $43.49
Weekly $1,739
Monthly $7,540
Annual $90,450
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)


Average Salary For Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners


After some years of experience, pediatric oncology nurse practitioners earn salaries that average $62.08 an hour, $2,483 a week, $10,760 a month, or $129,120 annually. This is 43 percent more than they make when they first start out.

Hourly $62.08
Weekly $2,483
Monthly $10,760
Annual $129,120
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)


My Final Thoughts


This article comprehensively answers the question, “What pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs are currently available?” When you graduate from one of these 5 pediatric oncology nurse practitioner programs, you will be prepared for this challenging yet highly gratifying career. You’re likely to see many more pediatric oncology NP programs established in the years to come.


Frequently Asked Questions Answered


1. On Average, How Much Do Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Hour?

Pediatric oncology nurse practitioners can expect an average of $62.08 per hour.

Salary Per Hour
$62.08


2. On Average, How Much Do Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Week?

On a weekly basis, pediatric oncology nurse practitioners earn $2,483 on average.

Salary Per Week
$2,483


3. On Average, How Much Do Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Month?

Pediatric oncology nurse practitioners average $10,760 every month.

Salary Per Month
$10,760


4. On Average, How Much Do Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Year?

As a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner, you’ll earn $129,120 a year on average.

Salary Per Year
$129,120


5. What Are The 10 Highest Paying States For Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners?

The salaries of pediatric oncology nurse practitioners follow a predictable pattern. California is the highest-paying state with an average salary of $163,760 or 27 percent more than the average pediatric oncology NP salary throughout all parts of the U.S. This is chiefly because the Golden State is the highest-paying state for just about all healthcare providers. New Mexico’s inclusion on this top ten list may come as a bit of a surprise: It’s represented because a network of community clinics serves the Land of Enchantment, and salaries must be high to attract NPs to staff these clinics.

RankHighest Paying States
StateAverage Annual Salary
1California$163,760
2New Jersey$148,350
3New York$146,510
4Massachusetts$143,640
5Oregon$141,100
6Nevada$141,080
7Washington$140,420
8Connecticut$136,170
9New Mexico$134,170
10Hawaii$132,880


6. What Are The 10 Highest Paying Cities For Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioners?

The Greater New York City Metropolitan Area is the only urban region on the list of the top ten cities for pediatric oncology nurse practitioner salaries that isn’t in California. The Silicon Valley (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara) pays its pediatric oncology NPs 60 percent more than the average pediatric oncology NP salary throughout the U.S., while the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward) pays its pediatric oncology NPs 52 percent more. Why do pediatric oncology NPs make so much money in the Golden State? Because the cost of living is so high in California, if they weren’t compensated so well, they might not be able to afford to live or work there.

RankHighest Paying Cities
CityAverage Annual Salary
1San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$206,740
2San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$196,840
3Napa, CA$195,930
4Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$187,440
5New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$176,390
6Yuba City, CA$167,450
7Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA$163,430
8San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$163,100
9Salinas, CA$162,510
10El Centro, CA$157,800


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.




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