Pediatric NP Programs

December 14, 2021 , Modified on May 11, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Review some of the best pediatric nurse practitioner programs and discover the various characteristics of specializing in the field.

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Pediatric NP Programs

The Best Pediatric NP Programs

Similar to other nursing specialties, the demand for nurse practitioners (NPs) is projected to increase exponentially by the end of the decade. An area in particular need of healthcare professionals is pediatrics.

The field of pediatrics provides nurses with options in primary and acute care through a variety of diverse settings. Learn more about the best pediatric NP programs that offer the best options for nurses looking to enter the field.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best pediatric NP programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about pediatric NP programs, or go straight to our list of the best pediatric NP programs.

How do Pediatric NP Programs Work?

Pediatric NP programs prepare graduates to provide advanced care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, schools, and clinics. Most programs incorporate the following elements:

Prospective students typically choose to focus on either acute or primary care. Both programs include graduate-level coursework and clinical experiences within the appropriate pediatric setting. Nurses can also take advantage of online programs, providing them with a more flexible way to earn their degree.

Coursework for primary and acute care programs focus on graduate-level courses, electives, and clinical experiences. Both programs include coursework in pediatric development, advanced pharmacology, health promotion, preventative care, diagnosis, and management of chronic illnesses. They also provide family education and counseling.

The pace of a pediatric NP program can vary. Students attending on a full-time basis can graduate faster than those completing the program part time. Pacing also varies for students who complete an online program, as they are typically much more flexible than their in-class counterparts.

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Applying to a Pediatric NP Program

Before applying to a pediatric NP program, review the admission requirements to determine the necessary prerequisites for admittance. Admission requirements tell applicants how well a program suits their academic and professional background.

Applicants then compile application materials. Requirements for an online MSN program in nursing leadership include:

Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), transcripts from previous academic programs, letters of recommendation/reference (academic and professional), a personal statement, and an interview with faculty member(s)

Pediatric programs typically require a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Applicants must hold a valid, unencumbered RN license; a minimum of one full year of experience as an RN, and clinical experience in pediatric nursing

Why is Pediatric NP Program Accreditation Important?

It is important for applicants to select an accredited program. Earning a degree from an accredited institution provides a variety of benefits for graduates and their future employers.

  1. Receiving accreditation from the ACEN and the CCNE verifies that the program meets quality standards and adequately prepares students to become pediatric NPs.
  2. Accredited programs may not recognize credits earned from non-accredited programs.
  3. Most advanced degree programs expect applicants to hold a degree from an accredited institution.
  4. Students who attend unaccredited programs are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  5. Employers prefer graduates who attended an accredited program.

The Best Pediatric NP Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric NP Programs


How many years does it take to become a pediatric NP?

You can become a pediatric NP in as little as six years. Initially, it takes 2-3 years to earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and four years to earn a BSN. You can earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) in two more years, which is required to become a pediatric NP. It can take longer for individuals who cannot complete these programs as full-time students.

What are some duties pediatric NPs perform?

Pediatric NPs handle a wide range of tasks. Essentially, they evaluate the development of children from birth to adulthood (18-21), keep track of patient histories, perform physical exams, provide immunizations, diagnose and treat illnesses, promote healthy living, and educate patients and their families.

Where do pediatric NPs work?

Pediatric NPs can work in a variety of practice settings. The most common include primary care pediatric offices, hospitals, schools, and urgent-care clinics. While they often work alongside pediatricians, some states allow pediatric NPs to start their own practice.

What can I do as a pediatric NP?

Pediatric NPs can provide a majority of health services. Depending on their education and where they live, pediatric NPs can diagnose illness, perform physical examinations, prescribe medication, screen and assess patients, provide immunizations, and own their own practice.


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