Best Pediatric NP Programs 2021 icon

Best Pediatric NP Programs 2021

| NurseJournal Staff

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Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Many nurses choose to become a pediatric nurse practitioner (NP) to gain more independence and responsibility within their profession. As a type of advanced practice nurse, only about 5% of NPs are certified in pediatrics, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Becoming a pediatric NP can also lead to a higher salary; pediatric NPs earn an average base salary of $108,500, according to the 2019 AANP Compensation Survey.

In order to become a pediatric NP, individuals first need a master of science in nursing (MSN). These programs traditionally last two years, although some pediatric NP schools offer accelerated or part-time programs. These degrees teach students advanced nursing skills and practice. They include several hundred supervised clinical hours as well.

If the idea of becoming a pediatric NP appeals to you, then you can find a list of the best pediatric NP programs below.

Read about our ranking methodology

Featured Online Programs

Explore the Best Pediatric NP Programs Programs and School Info

Vanderbilt University View School Profile Nashville, TN 94% 12% 6% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A private university based in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Vanderbilt also provides pediatric nurse practitioner programs meant for nurses interested in providing quality care to children from infancy through adolescence. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), while the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the nursing programs.

Admission requires a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and a complete academic record of all post-secondary institutions attended. Other requirements include three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. Additionally, students must complete specific prerequisite courses from accredited colleges or universities with a minimum C grade.

Students taking the program pay an average of $1,790 for tuition per credit. Full-time students can qualify for financial aid offered us a partial scholarship.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $1790 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA, a complete academic record, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Stony Brook University View School Profile $$ Stony Brook, NY 74% 38% 17% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Stony Brook University operates as a public university based in Stony Brook, New York. Stony Brook offers a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program for postgraduate students using a distance education system with on-site requirements. The program trains nurses to provide primary health care to children and young adults across a variety of settings in the healthcare sector.

For admission into the program, all applicants must submit a complete application, attain a BSN, and have at least one year of relevant experience. Additionally, applicants must provide unofficial transcripts from any institutions of higher learning attended and earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Students must also attain a valid registered nurse license, three letters of recommendation, a three-credit undergraduate course in health assessment, and a three-credit undergraduate course in statistics.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Stony Brook, New York
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $13,750 for residents of New York, while out-of-state students pay an average of $17,270
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA, a year of professional experience, three letters of recommendation, RN license, and a statement of purpose.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Duke University View School Profile Durham, NC 96% 20% 6% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A private university based in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University offers both the pediatric nurse practitioner acute care and primary care master of nursing programs in a distance learning setting. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) fully accredits master's degrees. The programs prepare professional nurses to provide care to children with quickly changing clinical conditions across a variety of acute care settings.

In the 2021/2022 academic year, the average cost of undertaking the master of science in nursing programs stands at $11,460. Applicants accepted into the program benefit from a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory that helps them familiarize themselves with advanced procedures. The course also involves some on-campus experiences. The programs are accredited by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Durham, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Tuition: $11,460
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA, a year of professional experience, three letters of recommendation, RN license
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Emory University View School Profile Atlanta, GA 90% 31% 9% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A private university based in Atlanta, Georgia, Emory University allows students to access pediatric primary care nurses and pediatric acute care nurse MSN programs in a distance learning setup. The programs prepare qualified applicants to undertake the nurse practitioner certification exam from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

A baccalaureate degree from a nursing program accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) is required for entry into the program.

Applicants must provide a registered nurse license, pay an application fee of $50, and provide official transcripts from every institution attended. Students holding international nursing degrees must acquire an evolution administered by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) for any nursing coursework done previously.

Students taking the master of science in nursing courses pay an average fee of $1,963 for every credit, which brings the total to $23,550 for the entire semester.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $1,963 for every credit
  • Admission Requirements: Baccalaureate degree from a nursing program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Florida International University View School Profile $ Miami, FL 58% 34% 65% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Florida International University operates as an affiliate of the State University System of Florida, with its main campus in Florida's University Park. FIU offers some of the best pediatric nursing practitioner programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students can access the programs both in online and classroom settings. The curriculum helps guide students through the journey of self-development as they seek to achieve their educational goals and professional ambitions.

Prospective students must earn a GPA of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better in BSN upper-division coursework. In-state students must attain a Florida registered nurse license, while out-of-state students must acquire the license to practice as registered nurses in Florida before admission. Additionally, students must earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing from programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

For resident students, tuition averages around $22,380, while non-resident students pay an average of $40,530.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: University Park, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $700 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Baccalaureate degree from a nursing program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC, 3.0 GPA, and RN license valid in Florida.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of Pennsylvania View School Profile Philadelphia, PA 95% 14% 2% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

A private Ivy League research university based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania allows students to access the pediatric primary care and the pediatric acute care MSN programs. After completing the programs, students can translate evidence into practice using scientific inquiry to enhance clinical scholarship. The programs also put the students in a position to execute advanced nursing skills in subspecialty and specialty nursing practices.

The program includes electives, core graduate courses, and six clinical courses that students take together. The school arranges and coordinates any clinical experiences and preceptors. Students can opt for full-time study or either of the two part-time tracks.

To qualify for admission, applicants must complete a bachelor of science nursing degree from an accredited institution and a statistics course. Students must also attain a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. A copy of a valid registered nurse license is also required.

For on-campus students, the average tuition fee stands at $53,170. The cost remains the same for off-campus students.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: University Park, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $53,170
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA, bachelor of science nursing degree from an accredited institution, and a statistics course
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Case Western Reserve University View School Profile Cleveland, OH 85% 54% 9% Higher Learning Commission

Ohio's Case Western Reserve University operates as a private research university based in Cleveland. The university offers MSN degrees for pediatric nurse practitioners. The program lasts at least 18 months, an equivalent of 4 semesters, for full-time students utilizing long-distance learning.

For admission into the program, applicants must submit three professional recommendations, preferably provided by registered nurses who supervised the applicant at their current or former workplace or professional colleagues with advanced nursing degrees. Applicants must also hold a registered nurse license in Ohio. Additionally, they must complete a first professional degree program accredited by a recognized organization.

The program requires at least 40 semester hours, with students allowed to select a suitable program for their specific clinical interests, career ambitions, and learning needs. Students must also complete at least 600 clinical hours.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Admission Requirements: Ohio RN license, three recommendation letters, and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Villanova University View School Profile Villanova, PA 91% 43% 25% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

A private university based in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Villanova remains the only Augustinian university in the United States. Through the university's pediatric nurse practitioner MSN program, Villanova prepares nurses with clinical practice and role preparation for pediatric primary care. The programs are available both in online settings and on campus. Through these programs, students grow their existing clinical skills and expand their knowledge base about pediatric care.

To gain admission into Villanova’s MSN program, students must complete an online application and submit all the necessary documents. Application requirements include a personal goal statement, a complete resume, an application fee, a GPA of at least 3.2, and GRE or MAT test results for students with a GPA of lower than 3.2. Students also need to provide official transcripts from all institutions attended.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $970 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: 3.2 minimum GPA, GRE, or MAT test results, and official transcripts.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Cedarville University View School Profile Cedarville, OH 72% 44% 35% Higher Learning Commission

Based in Cedarville, Ohio, Cedarville University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to operate as a private university in Ohio. The university offers various MSN programs, although the pediatric nurse practitioner degree stands out from the rest. It prepares students with the knowledge and expertise needed to provide primary care for children from infancy to young adulthood. The program is fully accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and 100% available online.

Students must complete a bachelor's degree accredited by a recognized organization in the nursing field with an average GPA of 3.0 to get admitted into the program. Applicants should also submit their recommendations in a personal statement. Applicants can find details about tuition and other expenses on the university website.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Cedarville, Ohio
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $16,587
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 minimum GPA, personal statement, and official transcripts.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Le Moyne College View School Profile Syracuse, NY 75% 65% 2% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

A private Jesuit college based in Syracuse, New York, the Le Moyne College offers one of the most appealing master of science in nursing programs in pediatric care. The institution aims to maintain competency and credibility by balancing theory with practice throughout the programs. The college offers immersive preceptorships in various settings and with diverse populations to help students gain practical experience.

Applications are open to students with or without a bachelor's degree in nursing, although prospective students must earn a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 on a GPA scale of 4.0. All students must also submit three recommendation letters, a resume, and a personal statement.

The program has 36 credits of didactic coursework and nine credits of clinical course work, bringing the total to 45 credits comparable to 810 clinical hours. Students can choose from the part-time or full-time program.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Syracuse, New York
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $35,610
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 minimum GPA, personal statement, three recommendation letters, and official transcripts.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Thomas Jefferson University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA 64% 70% 32% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

A fully accredited private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University offers a rigorous and expanded program that prepares students for advanced practice in the healthcare sector. Based on the belief that professional nursing is both a science and an art, the designers of the curriculum aim to strike a balance between theory, research, and clinical practice. The pediatric nursing program requires 36 credits over two or three years depending on the study option selected.

Applicants need to submit official transcripts from any accredited institutions they attended, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a professional license. A minimum 3.0 GPA with a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited institution is required. The average tuition fee per credit currently stands at $1,200.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $1,200 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 BSN GPA with a bachelor's degree majoring in nursing from an accredited institution
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
The University of Texas at El Paso View School Profile $ El Paso, TX 39% 41% 39% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

An affiliate of the University of Texas System, the University of Texas at El Paso offers an MSN degree in pediatrics with a primary care focus. The total required credits range between 46 and 49 semester credits, while the clinical practicum time ranges between 675 to 775 clinical hours. All students should complete three core and advanced practice core courses before embarking on the clinical courses.

For admission into the program, students must possess a registered nurse's license and a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited institution of higher learning. Applicants must submit a resume and a statement indicating their objectives for their graduate education. The program can be completed entirely online.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: El Paso, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $336 per semester credit for resident non-resident students
  • Admission Requirements: registered nurse's license, a current resume indicating objectives connected to graduate education, and a bachelor's degree majoring in nursing from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
The Catholic University of America View School Profile Washington, DC 76% 52% 13% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Based in Washington, DC, The Catholic University of America operates as a pontifical university of the Catholic Church. The university offers a dual acute and primary care pediatric program for nurses looking to gain the knowledge and skills needed to care for children and teenagers across the entire field of wellness and acute care.

Students need to complete at least 540 clinical hours of supervised clinical practice across different settings. The program requires students to complete a total of 34 credits spread across two tiers. Students can choose from full-time or part-time online programs or the full-time on-campus program.

Applicants need to submit official transcripts from any accredited regional institutions they attended, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a professional license.

Students must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA with a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited institution.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Washington, DC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $1,180 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Registered nurse's license, a current resume indicating objectives connected to graduate education, and a bachelor's degree majoring in nursing from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of Toledo View School Profile $$$ Toledo, OH 47% 48% 40% Higher Learning Commission

The University of Toledo operates as a public university based in Toledo, Ohio. The university offers a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program designed to get advanced practice nurses ready for children in various primary care settings. Upon completion of the program, graduates can take the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board certification after graduation.

Students need to complete 51 credits to complete the program. They can choose from part-time and full-time study options. Both options include a combination of online and on-campus courses.

To gain admission into the program, students must earn a BSN degree from an accredited institution. They also need a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate coursework, official transcripts from higher learning institutions attended, a personal statement, and a current resume.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Toledo, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $652 per credit (in-state) and $1,105 per credit (out-of-state).
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science nursing degree, 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, a personal statement, and updated resume.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Molloy College View School Profile Rockville Centre, NY 75% 67% 19% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

A private university based in Rockville Centre, New York, Molloy College offers a pediatric nursing program for nurses looking to provide more effective care for children and young adults.

The program requires students to complete 19 core course credits, 11 advanced practice credits, and 11 advanced practice core credits. The remaining 15 credits are electives.

To gain admission in the program, students need an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a GPA scale of 4.0, a valid NYS license registration certificate, a year of nursing experience in a clinical setup, an essay, official transcripts, and a personal interview.

  • Program(s): Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Campus: Rockville Center, New York
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $1,195 per credit.
  • Admission Requirements: Nursing degree from accredited institutions, 3.0 GPA, NYS nursing license registration certificate, one year experience, resume, and three recommendation letters.
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 75%
  • On-Campus Requirement: Yes
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Applying to a Pediatric NP Program

Admission requirements for pediatric NP programs vary, depending on the school. Generally speaking, though, prospective students should possess an undergraduate degree in nursing with a minimum GPA ranging from 2.5-3.5. They should also hold registered nursing (RN) licensure.

Some pediatric NP programs operate as bridge programs, which means they accept applicants with an associate degree. However, most MSN degree programs require incoming students to hold a bachelor's degree. Work experience requirements vary too. Some programs require at least 1-2 years of experience, while other programs allow students to enroll immediately after completing a bachelor's degree. Applicants may need to submit GRE or MAT scores, recommendation letters, and personal statements.

If you're interested in distance learning, you can find a list of the best online MSN programs here. You can also learn more about how to become an NP with this resource.

Frequently Asked Questions


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

There's no one pathway to becoming a pediatric NP, so timelines vary. Full-time students who go directly from a bachelor's degree to a master's degree can enter the profession in six years. Some schools offer accelerated master's programs, allowing students to graduate faster.

However, many people on this career path work for a few years as an RN in between degrees. Additionally, some RNs with an associate degree enroll in an RN-to-MSN bridge program, which takes longer to complete than the traditional two-year master's degree format.

What are some duties pediatric NPs perform?

Pediatric NPs provide medical care for children, which involves performing a wide array of duties. This includes conducting child examinations and developmental screenings, providing immunizations, diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses, and completing school physicals. They also give general health guidance to parents and children.

Where do pediatric NPs work?

Pediatric NPs work in many different settings. Many work in pediatric departments at hospitals, while others might find jobs at speciality clinics, pediatric offices, emergency departments, intensive care units, or health centers at schools.

What can I do as a nurse practitioner?

NPs take on more responsibilities than RNs. They can meet with patients independently and examine them and offer health guidance without the supervision or support of a doctor. In many states, NPs can also prescribe medication independently. However, other states require NPs to enter supervisory or collaborative agreements with doctors to prescribe medication.

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