Pediatric NP Programs

Updated May 11, 2022

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:

  1. 1

    Structure

    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.

  2. 2

    Coursework

    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.

  3. 3

    Pace

    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:

  • Admission Materials

    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)

  • GPA Requirement

    Pediatric programs typically require a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • Other Requirement

    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

#1 Pediatric NP Programs

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Vanderbilt University offers multiple entry points to its MSN program. The university delivers MSN tracks for students with or without a bachelor's degree in nursing. Enrollees choose from several speciality areas, including pediatric nurse practitioner primary care.

One of the nation's top pediatric NP programs, the MSN program prepares students to pursue board certification. Students with a nursing background earn the degree online. Those without a nursing education must complete a pre-specialty year in Nashville.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric nurse practitioner primary care 
  • Campus: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,793 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree, minimum 3.0 GPA, prerequisite courses, transcripts; degree from an accredited school and unencumbered RN license for RN applicants
  • Minimum Time Commitment: N/A
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes, for students without a nursing degree
Average Tuition
In-state
$50,800
Out-of-state
$50,800
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
13,131
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Pediatric NP Programs

Duke University

  • Durham, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Duke University delivers an MSN program with specialty options in pediatric NP acute care and pediatric NP primary care. The program prepares nurses to sit for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board exam.

Students complete the MSN online with some on-campus components. One of the nation's best pediatric NP programs, Duke's MSN features clinical experiences in diverse settings. During required two- to five-day intensives, students interact with peers and faculty. The intensives involve hands-on activities, including simulations.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric NP acute care; MSN - pediatric NP primary care
  • Campus: Durham, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,984 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Associate degree or bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school, minimum 3.0 GPA (preferred), prerequisite coursework, current RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: N/A
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,071 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$55,880
Out-of-state
$55,880
Retention Rate
98%
Admission Rate
8%
Students Enrolled
16,686
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Pediatric NP Programs

University of Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

An Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania offers an MSN with specialties in pediatric primary care NP and pediatric acute care NP. Each program prepares learners to pursue state and national board certification.

Students complete these top pediatric NP programs on campus in 1-3 years. The MSN offers full-time and part-time enrollment options. The pediatric acute care NP program features concentration options in critical care, oncology, and acute/chronic care.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric primary care NP; MSN - pediatric acute care NP
  • Campus: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $78,720-$227,118 total tuition and fees
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited school, statistics coursework, active RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.8 % first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $109,193 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$51,156
Out-of-state
$51,156
Retention Rate
98%
Admission Rate
8%
Students Enrolled
26,675
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Pediatric NP Programs

Emory University

  • Atlanta, GA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Description:

A private college located in Atlanta, Emory University offers two of the nation's best pediatric NP programs. Students can specialize in acute care pediatric NP or pediatric primary care NP.

RNs complete the acute care program online with some on-campus requirements. All RNs complete theoretical, clinical, and specialty requirements. The degrees prepare students to pursue board certification.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric acute care NP; MSN - pediatric primary care NP
  • Campus: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,963 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited school, Georgia or multistate RN license, at least 1-2 years of experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Varies
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.3% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $100,571 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$53,070
Out-of-state
$53,070
Retention Rate
95%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
14,415
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Pediatric NP Programs

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Students can pursue a nurse practitioner MSN with a pediatric primary care specialty from Florida International University. Learners study online or on campus in Miami. The six-semester MSN program prepares students to sit for national board exams.

Enrollees complete 45 credits, including core courses, specialized training, and 630 clinical hours. Students can also pursue a nurse educator certificate.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric primary care NP; dual MSN - pediatric primary care NP and nurse educator certificate
  • Campus: Miami, Florida
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $28,282 per year for Florida residents; $50,966 per year for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited program, minimum 3.0 GPA, Florida RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Six semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.7 % first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $166,709 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Pediatric NP Programs

Case Western Reserve University

  • Cleveland, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western Reserve University offers an MSN program with pediatric NP and pediatric NP in acute care specialties. Students complete 40-45 credit hours and at least 600 clinical hours. The program lasts 18-24 months. 

One of the top pediatric NP programs, the pediatric NP track offers a distance format. Each program prepares RNs to sit for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board exam. Working RNs can study part time.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric NP; MSN - pediatric NP in acute care
  • Campus: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $2,263 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited nursing program, statistics coursework; one year of acute care pediatric nursing experience for acute care specialty applicants
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $104,192 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$50,450
Out-of-state
$50,450
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
27%
Students Enrolled
11,874
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Pediatric NP Programs

Upstate Medical University

  • Syracuse, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

SUNY Upstate Medical University delivers an MSN with a pediatric NP specialty. Learners can pursue the degree on campus in Syracuse or entirely online. The 50-credit program offers full-time and part-time enrollment options.

RNs develop advanced nursing skills in areas including clinical management and leadership. One of the nation's best pediatric NP programs, the curriculum features extensive clinical experiences. On-campus learners meet in person one evening per week.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric NP
  • Campus: Syracuse, New York
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $11,310 per year (in-state); $23,100 per year (out-of-state)
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing school, transcripts
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes, for some students
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $93,964 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,588
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Pediatric NP Programs

Villanova University

  • Villanova, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Villanova University delivers an MSN program with a pediatric nurse practitioner specialty. Learners can complete core coursework on campus or online. One of the nation's top pediatric NP programs, Villanova's offering prepares RNs for advanced practice in primary care.

RNs complete 610 hours in clinical settings, working with physicians and NP preceptors. Full-time students earn the degree in 18-24 months. Part-time students typically graduate in 2.5 years.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric NP in primary care
  • Campus: Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $995 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school, minimum 3.0 GPA, RN licensure, at least one year of clinical practice
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.8% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $165,766 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$54,550
Out-of-state
$54,550
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
28%
Students Enrolled
10,848
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 Pediatric NP Programs

MGH Institute of Health Professions

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The MGH Institute of Health Professions offers an MSN program with seven NP specialties, including pediatrics. Students learn on campus in Boston in an environment that promotes collaboration across the health professions. Students complete 48-58 credits, depending on their educational background.

RNs complete clinicals at sites that work with underserved populations. Learners can access an on-campus nursing center that serves the Boston area, along with research opportunities at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric NP
  • Campus: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,470 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited school, GRE scores, RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: N/A
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$70,400
Out-of-state
$70,400
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,199
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#10 Pediatric NP Programs

Thomas Jefferson University

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) offers an MSN with a pediatric primary care NP specialty. Students can earn the MSN online or in a hybrid format. The program prepares learners to obtain board certification.

One of the nation's top pediatric NP programs, the 36-credit curriculum requires specialty coursework emphasizing diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision-making. RNs complete 672 clinical hours. New students participate in a one-day orientation.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN - pediatric primary care NP
  • Campus: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,200 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN from an accredited institution, minimum 3.0 GPA, RN license 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2.5 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$40,680
Out-of-state
$40,680
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
8,026
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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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