Some advanced-practice registered nurses wonder whether it's possible to specialize or even change specializations without pursuing a doctoral-level nursing degree. Luckily, the answer is a resounding yes, as MSN-prepared nurses have the option to obtain a post-master's certificate. For those interested in going into pediatrics, there are even post-master's pediatric nurse practitioner certificate programs. For instance, if an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner wants to focus solely on treating children, all he or she would need to do is complete the post-master's pediatric nurse practitioner (NP) certificate to switch specialties, which is a shorter and more affordable pathway than obtaining another full degree.

Choosing a Post-Master's PNP Certificate Program

Specializing or switching specialties can be a big change for nurse practitioners. It may have been years since the NP took university courses, and finding the right certificate program can be nerve-wracking. Luckily, options abound for those wanting to earn a post-master's pediatric nurse practitioner certificate. Keeping the following in mind while researching programs will help to ensure success in finding the right fit.

  • Accreditation- Finding a legitimate post-master's certificate program should be at the top of any prospective student's list. Accredited programs signify quality and consistency, giving students peace of mind. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are the accrediting agencies that students will commonly see, though other local agencies do exist.
  • Cost- Tuition and other program expenses are a major factor for most students. Post-master's pediatric NP programs can fluctuate in price based on things like city/state, residency, type of institution, and more. Furthermore, students must account for additional costs such as course materials. Instead of blindly choosing the "cheapest" program, students should take care to thoroughly research the program's curriculum, faculty, and completion rates before they make any decisions. Sometimes the best overall value is not the cheapest option.
  • Program Length- The time it takes to complete a post-master's pediatric certificate program depends on things like part-time of full-time study, online or classroom attendance, and more. Generally, students will need approximately 30-45 credits to complete the program. Curriculum plans are often available on the school's program page for students to get an idea of how quickly they will be able to move through the program.
  • Online Options- Students with an interest in distance-learning may wish to see if their program of choice is offered in an online format. In addition to this, "hybrid" options are increasingly available, allowing students to take a mixture of online courses and classroom lectures. In either case, students should be aware that the clinical portion of the certificate program will need to be completed in-person at an approved medical facility.
  • Internship/Externship Options- As the clinical portion of the certificate program is of great importance, students should find out what kind of hospital and healthcare center partnerships their school has in place. Many schools help place students in their clinical preceptorships, while others require students to find their own. Finding out these requirements and the available options ahead of time can ensure that students get the clinical experience they desire.

Online Post-Master's Pediatric Certificate Programs

Due to high demand, online programs are growing in popularity. For students used to traditional campus learning, this pathway may seem tempting and perhaps even a little scary. There are many advantages to this self-paced option, but it's not a one-size-fits-all learning solution. Read on to learn more about online post-master's pediatric NP certificate programs to decide if it's the right choice for you.

Online vs. Classroom-Based Post-Master's Pediatric NP Certificate Programs

Online or ‘distance-learning' programs can be lifesavers for those with hectic schedules. Students can take courses and study when and where they see fit. This is particularly appealing to master's-educated NPs who may be working full-time, often untraditional hours. The flexibility and convenience of online programs simply can't be beat. Students enrolled in these programs often save on commuting expenses, as gas, public transportation, and parking fees can easily add up. Many schools are also offering hybrid options, allowing students to take some courses online and the rest in a regular classroom setting on-campus. For those needing an education that fits into an already busy lifestyle, online and hybrid programs can help make that work. Students should keep in mind, however, that regardless of what kind of program delivery they choose, the clinical portion of the program will need to be completed onsite at an approved medical facility.

Traditional on-campus offerings can also be very advantageous. For students who crave in-person contact with professors and other students, or who need more structure in their education, classroom programs are the way to go. Procrastinators and those who aren't necessarily self-starters might find online programs a bit too loose to keep them on track. The predictable nature of on-campus programs can be a plus for those who need more external motivation to stay with the program. Students should seriously consider their learning style, lifestyle, and personality traits before deciding which type of program pathway to choose for their post-master's pediatric nurse practitioner certificate program.

Post-Master's Pediatric NP Certificate Admissions Requirements

Prospective students should take care to ensure that they meet all the requirements for a post-master's pediatric NP certificate program. While these will fluctuate depending on the school, they will generally consist of the following:

  • MSN degree from an accredited university
  • Minimum graduate GPA of 3.0
  • Current unrestricted United States RN license
  • At least one year of pediatrics experience preferred before clinicals
  • Official transcripts
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement/essay
  • Resume/CV

Post-Master's Pediatric NP Certificate Curriculum

The post-master's pediatric nurse practitioner certificate program consists of a mix of courses that focus on physical and behavioral pediatric health topics, along with a number of clinical hours where students gain hands-on experience. Course titles may include:

  • Pharmacology for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Primary Care of Infants, Children and Adolescents
  • Management and Care of Adolescents in the Primary Care Setting
  • Primary Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • Health Promotion of the Growing Child

Helpful Resources

Other Degree Programs

List of Post Master's Certificate Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Select Your State:


SchoolContact Information
Arizona State University
411 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(480) 965-7788
University of Arizona
Graduate Certificate Programs
1305 N. Martin | PO Box 210203
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 626-6154


SchoolContact Information
California State University Long Beach
Graduate Certificate Programs
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
(562) 985-4111


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


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


SchoolContact Information
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-7703


SchoolContact Information
Augusta University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912
(706) 721-9767
Georgia State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000


SchoolContact Information
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-7100


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


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


SchoolContact Information
Johns Hopkins University
525 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
(410) 955-4766


SchoolContact Information
MGH Institute Of Health Professions
Graduate Certificate Programs
36 1st Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 726-2947
Regis University
Graduate Certificate Programs
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000


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


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


SchoolContact Information
Maryville University
Graduate Certificate Programs
650 Maryville University Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141
(314) 529-9300
University of Missouri - St. Louis
1 University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
(314) 516-5000


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

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
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 Programs
2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

SchoolContact Information
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300
Stony Brook University
101 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 689-8333


SchoolContact Information
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000
Kent State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1375 University Esplanade
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-7930
The University of Akron
302 E Buchtel Ave
Akron, OH 44325
(330) 972-7111
The University of Toledo
Graduate Certificate Programs
2801 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606
(800) 586-5336
University of Cincinnati
2600 Clifton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(151) 355-8550 x0
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45431
(937) 775-3333


SchoolContact Information
Drexel University
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 895-2000
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281


SchoolContact Information
Union University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545


SchoolContact Information
Texas Christian University
2800 S University Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76129
(817) 257-7000
Texas Tech University
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730
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


SchoolContact Information
University of Virginia
Graduate Certificate Programs
225 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388
(434) 924-0141


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


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

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.