Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

What is the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Track

It takes a very special person to treat children in a healthcare setting. Children are some of the most precious and delicate patients that are cared for in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, so there is no wonder as to why this is one of the most popular fields for nurse practitioners.

Professionals in this field have found it valuable to research information and data for this field, which can be accomplished by visiting the website of popular PNP organizations such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Organizations such as this one are a constant educational and consulting resource for current and upcoming professionals. Our staff has years of experience in researching education and has provided those interested in this field with reliable information to get them started on the right path to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Online Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Online degree programs are growing ever-popular with the growth of the technological age. For nurse practitioner students, the introduction of online degree programs was a sigh of relief due to the time and effort required for current professionals to pursue a higher degree program.

Curriculum

Most online pediatric nurse practitioner programs are designed for graduate with a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing. Although there are paths for those from other disciplines, this is the most preferred major for these online programs. One university offering this degree online has a 39 credit hour requirement, which includes the required practicum. Those looking into this online degree program may often find that universities may differ on the credit hour requirement, but most are within the 38-45 credit hour range. Clinical placements are also required with these online degree programs and typically require 500 or more supervised hours in order to complete the degree. Approved facilities may vary, so students enrolled in online PNP programs should begin contacting local agencies as early as possible to ensure they are accepted.

Top 5 Sample Classes for Online programs

  • Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
  • Health Promotion of Behavior Development Birth through Adolescence
  • Practicum in Primary Health Care of Children
  • Advanced Practice Nursing in Pediatric Primary Care
  • Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics

Career options and salary, what jobs can you get?

Pediatric nurse practitioners can work in any location that provides health-related care to children. The job title does not change depending on the platform, but the responsibilities and environment can change drastically from one facility to the next. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data for nurse practitioners across the United States, which gives those interested in this field a good idea of where they may stand once their degree program is completed.

  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: $101,260 per year on average (BLS;, 2015).

What is the Working Environment and Responsibilities?

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, professionals have the freedom to work in a variety of settings. Different working environments can provide for differences in patient in-flow and the overall scope of the PNPs practice. While most PNPs are found in clinical settings or private practice, the demand for these professionals spread well beyond these two outlets.

This career field provides integration into the educational system and even government agencies. Since children’s health is such a high concern for the country, fields such as this one can only grow in importance in years to come. Our experts have provided typical settings and PNP responsibilities below for those interested in this field.

Pediatric Clinics

Pediatric clinics are designed to treat only children ages birth through adolescence. PNPs that work in these facilities may find that the setting is slower paced and provides for a much more structured care environment. Pediatric nurses check in patients and collect vital signs and information prior to the PNP meeting with the patient. At this point, the PNP can provide general health screenings, Well Child examinations, diagnose and treat potential injuries of illnesses, and suggest wellness plans for children and families.

Local Health Departments

Pediatric nurse practitioners may also work for local health departments. These facilities are similar to pediatric clinics in that children are checked in by nurses and information is gathered prior to the PNP meeting with the patient.

At local health departments, various health screenings, nutritional programs, and preventative programs are adopted in order to contribute to better community health. In an effort to work towards a more healthy community, pediatric nurse practitioners play a large role by monitoring the health and wellness of children through this channel. Health department NPs also provide physicals to children and also order booster shots and other preventative vaccines required by schools.

K-12 Schools

Schools are another place where pediatric nurse practitioners can be found. All schools are required to keep a licensed nursing professional on staff at all times. This ensures that children suffering from illness or injury can be cared for within a short time frame. For the pediatric nurse practitioner, a school environment may likely be more relaxed than that of a hospital or clinic.

In times of mass illness, it may become the nurse’s responsibility to educate children and teachers about healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness through the school. On a typical day, PNPs working in schools is likely to see children with unidentified illnesses or injuries sustained while on campus and find a treatment plan to fit each situation.

Hospitals or Ambulatory Care Clinics

Pediatric nurse practitioners are a big part of the healthcare community. In busy hospitals, PNPs work with children that are being seen for general sickness or injuries. Providing general health screenings, diagnostic tests, treatment, and prescribing medication are just some of the more common practices of pediatric nurse practitioners in these locations.

Hospital and clinic settings are generally busier than specialty clinics and require more collaboration with doctors and other nurses throughout the day. PNPs that work in these areas may find that they see more patients on average than most other PNPs and the work environment may be more fast-paced.