Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Education Requirements

A pediatric nurse practitioner focuses on providing primary health care for children, and usually require post-master's certificate training. Read on to learn the requirements to obtain certification, prerequisites for the degree levels needed, common courses, and job duties. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Certification Requirements for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners?

One organization that grants certification to pediatric nurse practitioners is the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC states that the minimum education requirement to earn the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (PNP-BC) credential is a Master of Science in Nursing (www.nursecredentialing.org). You must complete an accredited program with coursework in advanced health assessment, pharmacology and pathophysiology; disease management; health promotion and disease prevention; and differential diagnosis. You must also hold an active license as a registered nurse (RN). After passing the certification exam, you'll need to participate in professional development activities and complete other requirements to maintain your certification.

Certification Pediatric Nurse-Board Certified (PNP-BC) requires a MS in Nursing, as well as an active RN license.
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in nursing and current RN license. For graduate certification: master's degree in nursing, and clinical work experience.
Common Courses Nursing theory, pharmacology, health policy
Job Duties Performing exams, diagnosing illnesses, and administering vaccination to the youth of all ages

What Prerequisites Will I Need to Complete?

Your prerequisites will depend on the type of graduate degree you choose to pursue. However, you'll generally need at least a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited program and a current RN license. For post-master's certificate programs, you'll typically need a master's degree in nursing. Many programs require that you complete a statistics course prior to admission. You may also need to acquire some clinical work experience as an RN.

What Classes Will I Take?

The typical curriculum for pediatric nurse practitioner programs includes both didactic and clinical instruction. While some programs allow you to complete the didactic portion of your studies online, you'll generally be required to complete your clinicals in person. Some programs may also require that you complete a thesis. Your lecture courses may include:

  • Nursing theory
  • Research
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy
  • Health assessment
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethics

What Will My Primary Care Responsibilities Involve?

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, you'll provide primary health care services to youth of all ages. You can work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, public health clinics or private offices. Your duties can include performing examinations, diagnosing illnesses, writing prescriptions and administering vaccinations. You may also counsel and educate children and their families on health and disease prevention.

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