The highly revered and rewarding pediatric nurse practitioner role is a popular choice for nurses who want to make a difference in the health of children. This advanced nursing career can be achieved through a master's or doctoral level pediatric nurse practitioner program, and most allow students to choose between primary or acute pediatric care. With online and campus-based options available, RNs wanting to enter a higher level of nursing practice will find that it is well within reach.

Choosing a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program

With many pediatric nurse practitioner programs available, finding the right one can be challenging. Prospective students should keep the following in mind:

Accreditation

Any decent, reputable pediatric nurse practitioner program will be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and/or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Local and regional accreditations may also be available. Accreditations help programs demonstrate that they are up to par with their academics.

Program Cost

Schools typically list tuition for pediatric nurse practitioner programs by credit. Master's and doctoral programs in the field typically charge anywhere from $485 to over $1,000 per credit hour, depending on location, school, and degree level chosen. Doctoral programs tend to be on the more expensive end, and require more credits to complete. Tuition costs typically do not include additional expenses such as program fees, course materials, and other items.

Program Length

MSN-level pediatric nurse practitioner programs are the shortest option, requiring roughly 50 credit hours and taking anywhere from 15 months to 3 years to complete, depending on full-time or part-time study. Doctorate programs require around 80 credit hours, and take approximately 3-4 years to complete. Both degree levels also require a minimum number of clinical hours in order to graduate.

Internship/Externship Opportunities

Many schools have pre-approved clinical preceptor sites for students at both the master's and doctoral levels to complete their hands-on education. Students can inquire about these relationships when they apply for the program, and can also find out about the process for performing clinical hours at a facility of their choosing.

Online/Campus Options

With pediatric nurse practitioner programs growing in popularity, many schools offer both online and campus-based options to accommodate busy students. Some schools even offer a "hybrid" program, allowing students to take many courses online but also offering classroom-based lectures and labs.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Degree Levels Offered

There are two pathways students can choose from in order to become a pediatric nurse practitioner: the Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) or the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). While both programs give students the fundamentals on advanced practice in pediatrics, there are some differences between the two. Students should consider which program fits their needs before they start their applications.

Pediatric NP MSN Programs

MSN-level pediatric nurse practitioner programs typically offer students the option to specialize in acute or primary care. The curriculum mixes core advanced courses with specialty courses, and may include classes such as Introduction to Pediatric Acute Care, Advanced Nursing Assessment, and Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses. The University of South Alabama, for example, offers an MSN in both Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Primary Care Nurse practitioner specialties.

Pediatric NP DNP Programs

The doctoral pediatric nurse practitioner program offers more coursework than the MSN level degree, with classes focused on management and leadership. This pathway is suited to those who want to enter the highest levels of pediatric nursing practice. The curriculum includes classes such as Management of Complex and Chronic Problems in Pediatric Care, Biostatistics, and Well Child Advanced Practicum. Arizona State University is an example of a school that offers a DNP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program.

See our list of post master's PNP graduate certificate programs.

Online Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Due to today's increasingly busy lifestyles, online learning programs have begun cropping up for many specialties, pediatric nurse practitioner programs included. Online programs allow students who may find it troublesome to attend classroom courses the chance to complete their graduate degrees from the comfort of their own homes. Students should thoroughly research online programs, as some do have a minimal amount of on-campus requirements.

Advantages of an Online Program

Many students find the flexibility and convenience of an online pediatric nurse practitioner program invaluable. Those enrolled in online courses are generally able to complete courses when and where they choose, making it ideal for those who work or have family obligations. Online programs are also perfect for students in rural areas with no convenient in-person option nearby. There are also monetary advantages to online programs, as students save on commuting, gas, and parking fees that campus-based programs often require.

Program Accreditation

Online pediatric nurse practitioner programs should be properly accredited. Like campus-based programs, ACEN or CCNE accreditation is recommended. Looking for proper, nationally recognized accreditations is an especially important way for students to check on the validity of online options.

Costs and Length

Online pediatric nurse practitioner programs will require the same amount of credits as campus-based schools do, but the total length of these programs may fluctuate more as students tend to have more flexibility in coursework completion. Tuition costs for online MSN and DNP pediatric nurse practitioner programs fall in the $500 to $1,000 per credit range, but students don't have to worry about transportation or relocation costs with distance-based learning. Maryville University, for example, offers online MSN and DNP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program pathways.

What Are the Admissions and Certification Requirements?

Admissions requirements for most pediatric nurse practitioner programs include:

  • BSN or higher
  • Scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 from an accredited college or university
  • Written expression of goals
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Current resume/CV
  • Current active RN license

There are pediatric nurse practitioner certification pathways through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (which offers the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner credential, or CPNP-PC) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (which offers the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified, or PPCNP-BC credential). Eligibility requirements for each include:

  • Must hold a current, U.S. RN license
  • Graduate of an accredited pediatric nurse practitioner program (MSN or DNP)

List of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Pediatric nurse programs can be found throughout the country, including the following schools listed below.

Select Your State:

Alabama

SchoolContact Information
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1701 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35294
(205) 934-5428
University of South Alabama
5721 USA Dr N
Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 445-9400

Arizona

SchoolContact Information
Arizona State University
550 N 3rd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 496-2644
University of Arizona
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
1305 N. Martin | PO Box 210203
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 626-6154

Arkansas

SchoolContact Information
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 686-7000
University of Arkensas for Medical Sciences
4301 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 686-7000

California

SchoolContact Information
Azusa Pacific University
MSN Programs
901 E. Alosta Ave.
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 969-3434
California State University Long Beach
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
(562) 985-4111
Fresno State University
MSN Programs
2345 E. San Ramon
Fresno, CA 93740
(559) 278-2041
Loma Linda University
11262 Campus St.
Loma Linda, CA 92350
(909) 558-4923
University of California San Francisco
UCSF Box 0602
San Francisco, CA 94143
(415) 476-1435
University of San Diego
5998 Alcal? Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4600

Colorado

SchoolContact Information
Colorado University
12950 E. Montview Boulevard
Aurora, CO 80045
(303) 724-2152

Connecticut

SchoolContact Information
Yale University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
400 West Campus Drive
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 785-2389

Florida

SchoolContact Information
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-7748
University of South Florida
DNP ProgramsMSN Programs
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd MDC Box 22
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 974-2191

Georgia

SchoolContact Information
Augusta University
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912
(706) 721-9767
Emory University
1520 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-7980
Georgia State University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000

Illinois

SchoolContact Information
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-7100
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
845 South Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 996-7800
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
1601 Parkview Ave
Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 395-0600

Indiana

SchoolContact Information
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
600 Barnhill Drive, NU 122
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 274-2806

Iowa

SchoolContact Information
University of Iowa
50 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-7018

Kentucky

SchoolContact Information
University of Kentucky College of Nursing
315 College of Nursing Building 751 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536
(859) 323-5108

Louisiana

SchoolContact Information
Grambling State University
403 Main St
Grambling, LA 71245
(318) 247-3811
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71497
(318) 357-6011
Northwestern State University of Louisiana- Online
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71497
(318) 357-6011

Maryland

SchoolContact Information
University of Maryland
655 W. Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 706-6109

Massachusetts

SchoolContact Information
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-4250
MGH Institute Of Health Professions
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
36 1st Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 726-2947
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2000
Regis University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000

Michigan

SchoolContact Information
University of Michigan
426 N. Ingalls St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-5985
Wayne State University
5557 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-4082

Minnesota

SchoolContact Information
University of Minnesota
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-9600

Mississippi

SchoolContact Information
University Of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216
(601) 984-1000

Missouri

SchoolContact Information
Maryville University
650 Maryville University Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141
(314) 529-9300
Mizzou Online- University of Missouri
136 Clark Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2491
Saint Louis University
DNP Programs
3525 Caroline Mall
Saint Louis, MO 63104
(314) 977-8909
University of Missouri - St. Louis
1 University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
(314) 516-5000
University of Missouri Health
DNP Programs
S235 School of Nursing
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-0277
University Of Missouri Kansas City
5100 Rockhill Rd
Kansas City, MO 64110
(816) 235-1000

Nebraska

SchoolContact Information
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
(402) 280-2700
University of Nebraska Medical Center
42nd and Emile
Omaha, NE 68198
(402) 559-4000

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
Rutgers School of Nursing
180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 972-4307
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange, NJ 07079
(973) 761-9000

New Mexico

SchoolContact Information
The University of New Mexico
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

SchoolContact Information
Columbia University
617 W 168th St
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-5756
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300
Stony Brook School of Nursing
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
101 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 689-8333
Stony Brook University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
100 Nicolls Rd
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 632-6000
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
(716) 645-2000

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Duke University School of Nursing
307 Trent Drive
Durham, NC 27710
(919) 684-3786
The University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
Carrington Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

Ohio

SchoolContact Information
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000
Kent State University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
1375 University Esplanade
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-7930
The Ohio State University
1585 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-4041
The University of Akron
302 E Buchtel Ave
Akron, OH 44325
(330) 972-7111
The University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606
(800) 586-5336
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45431
(937) 775-3333

Oregon

SchoolContact Information
Oregon Health & Sciences University
3147 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239
(503) 494-8311

Pennsylvania

SchoolContact Information
Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 895-2000
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281
University of Pittsburgh
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
(412) 624-4586

South Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Medical University of South Carolina
DNP Programs
171 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29425
(843) 792-8515

Tennessee

SchoolContact Information
East Tennessee State University
365 Stout Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-4578
King University
1350 King College Road
Bristol, TN 37620
(800) 362-0014
Tennessee Tech University
1 William L Jones Dr
Cookeville, TN 38505
(931) 372-3101
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center- Memphis
910 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38163
(901) 448-5500
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1200 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4151
Union University
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545

Texas

SchoolContact Information
Texas Tech University
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730
Texas Woman's University
304 Administration Dr.
Denton, TX 76204
(940) 898-2000
The University of Texas at Arlington
701 S Nedderman Dr
Arlington, TX 76019
(817) 272-2011
The University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-3434
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 West University Avenue
El Paso, TX 79968
(915) 747-5000
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 567-7000

Virginia

SchoolContact Information
Hampton University
100 E Queen St
Hampton, VA 23668
(757) 727-5000
Old Dominion University
MSN Programs
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000
University of Virginia
225 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388
(434) 924-0141

Washington

SchoolContact Information
University of Washington
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-2100

West Virginia

SchoolContact Information
West Virginia University
6700 Health Sciences South
Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-0111

Wisconsin

SchoolContact Information
Marquette University
1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(800) 222-6544