Best Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Schools

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Below you can explore the top schools in the United States offering master’s-level accredited pediatric nurse practitioner programs for the 2018-2019 school year.

2018-2019 U.S. News & World Report’s Gerontological & Geriatric Nurse Practitioner School Rankings

RankingCollege NameLocation
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA
Duke UniversityDurham, NC
University of WashingtonSeattle, WA
#4 Tie
Rush UniversityChicago, IL
#4 Tie
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT
#6 Tie
Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MD
#6 Tie
University of PittsburghPittsburgh, PA
Vanderbilt UniversityNashville, TN
University of California – San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA
#10 Tie
Columbia UniversityNew York, NY
#10 Tie
University of Maryland – BaltimoreBaltimore, MD

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNP) are advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who work with younger patients, typically with children, adolescents, and infants. They perform many of the same services as registered nurses and other advanced practice nurses, such as diagnosing illness, conducting routine exams and evaluations, provide preventive care, and prescribing medications and therapies. PNPs usually work in hospitals, clinics or outpatient facilities, alongside physicians and other healthcare professionals. However, some pediatric nurse practitioners have their own private practices and work as their patients’ primary caregiver.

The minimum requirement for becoming a PNP in most states is a master’s degree in nursing, with a relevant focus. However, before students can enroll in master’s program, they must first complete an undergraduate degree in nursing–either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from an accredited college. If an ADN is completed, students will need to complete an ADN-MSN bridge program in order to earn their master’s degree without first earning a bachelor’s degree.

For students with non-nursing degrees who desire to become a PNP there are several accelerated degree programs in nursing that can help them get there fairly quickly. Many nursing schools and colleges now offers accelerated Second Degree BSN programs for students who want to make a career change into nursing. A Second Degree BSN can often be completed in just two years.

In order to be accepted to a relevant master’s degree program, students must have an undergraduate degree in nursing, a nursing license (RN) and at least one year of work experience. If pursued on a full-time basis, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis in pediatric nursing can be completed in about two years.

A typical MSN degree will include courses in research methods in nursing, advanced practice nursing, nursing theories, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. An MSN with pediatric nursing focus will also include coursework in pediatric theory, disease prevention, child physiology, anatomy, and health maintenance. In addition to practical and theory-based coursework, students are typically required to complete a thesis and various clinical rotations.

While not required in all states, it may be necessary to become certified as a PNP by the American Nurses Credential Center (ANCC) before being able to start practicing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

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