Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Training Programs and Schools

You must earn a master's or higher degree to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. Find out about these degree programs, and learn the certification and licensure requirements to practice as a nurse practitioner. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Job opportunities for pediatric nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses who provide primary care for infants and children, are increasing. Prospective pediatric nurse practitioners will have to obtain a post-graduate degree and may obtain professional certification after graduation from an accredited program.

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 34% increase (for all nurse practitioners)
Programs Graduate-level programs require candidates to have bachelor's degree in nursing and licensure as registered nurse
Certification Optional certification is available to graduates of an accredited nurse practitioner program

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Do?

Pediatric nurse practitioners provide primary medical and nursing care to children. They are responsible for running tests, performing physical examinations and developing treatment plans for sick children without being supervised by a physician. Although they are not licensed medical doctors, all states allow them to prescribe medications.

Pediatric nurse practitioners are part of a subgroup within the larger field of nursing. Specifically, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that they are a type of advanced practice nurse ( According to the BLS, registered nurses were expected to see an increase of 34% in employment opportunities during the 2012-2022 decade. The BLS also reported in 2013 that nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $95,350.

What Education Do I Need?

To become a nurse practitioner, you must earn a Master of Science in Nursing or another form of post-graduate nursing degree. Some schools offer specific pediatric nurse practitioner degrees, while others allow you to concentrate your graduate-level nursing studies on nurse practitioner techniques. Most master's degree programs require two years of study and include several clinical rotations.

For admission to a master's degree program, you usually must have a bachelor's degree and an active registered nurse (RN) license. To become licensed, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Some schools offer dual bachelor's and master's degree programs. For admission to these programs, you usually are required to have a diploma or associate's degree in nursing and your RN license. These programs take approximately three years to complete; however, you can concentrate on pediatric nurse practices during your graduate-level studies.

Do I Need to Be Certified?

Most states require nurse practitioners to be certified, but not necessarily in their specific field of practice. To become certified, you can obtain the pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) professional credential offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. To earn this credential you must have a degree from a nursing school accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and pass an exam. You must renew your credential every five years.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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