PEDIATRIC ACUTE CARE NURSE PRACTITIONER (ACPNP)

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Role

The primary role of a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner is to provide care for acutely, critically and chronically ill children from newborn to 21 years old. In rare cases, care is extended to individuals older than 21. Pediatric acute care nurse practitioners can work in a variety of settings, including community agencies, hospitals, pediatric emergency departments, pediatric sedation services, pediatric intensive care units and inpatient management for various subspecialty clinics.

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice

Pediatric acute care nurses include a variety of duties diagnose and treat acute, critical and chronic illness in children. They counsel and care for children and coordinate interdisciplinary models of referral, relationships, ethics, conflict resolution and implementation of health plans. Pediatric acute care nurses assist children and their families in preparation for sensitive life-cycle moments and treatment milestones. They integrate ethical principles into complex plans of treatment working closely with patients, families, health care professionals and multidisciplinary ethics communities.

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Salary

Becoming a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner requires a lot of education, training and experience, and it is one of the best-compensated nursing jobs available. The median salary is $90,000 for experienced nurse practitioners, according to payscale.com, although salaries can be higher or lower depending on years of experience, geography and clinical setting.

FEATURED ONLINE HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS


Nursing@Georgetown

Nursing@Georgetown is an academically rigorous, evidence-based program that culminates in a Master of Science degree in Nursing, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Nursing@Simmons

Nursing@Simmons is an online Family Nurse Practitioner program designed for currently licensed RNs who are at various stages of their career.

Nursing@USC

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners through Nursing@USC.

MPH@Simmons

MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.

MPH@GW

An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

MHA@GW

Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.

HealthInformatics@GW

This online Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University enables graduates to improve the efficiency of health care organizations through the use of data and technology.

Sponsored Programs


How to Become a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Requirements

There are many steps to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. Education, certification and clinical practice are among the requirements for being accepted into a nurse practitioner program. Here is a step-by-step path you can take to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

  1. Become a registered nurse. In order to apply to a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program, a nurse must have completed a degree in registered nursing and be certified as a registered nurse in a U.S. state or territory. Passing the NCLEX-RN examination is required for certification as a registered nurse. Working one to two years before applying for a nurse practitioner program is highly recommended.
  2. Apply to pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. They must be master’s, postgraduate or doctoral programs. More information on pediatric nurse practitioner programs and coursework requirements can be found below.
  3. Complete 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours related to the pediatric nurse practitioner role and population.
  4. Apply to take the pediatric primary care nurse practitioner exam administered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board to earn your certification. The exam tests comprehension of assessment and diagnostic techniques, pharmacology, theory and more. Final transcripts and proof of education are required. More information about certification can be found at the bottom of this page.
  5. Apply for state certification as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the state where you wish to practice. Go to our state certification pages to find out what the requirements are and how to apply. Many applications can be submitted online.
  6. Once you have earned your pediatric nurse practitioner certification, it must be renewed every year. In addition to renewing certification through the board, renewal through the state is also required and may require additional fulfillment of continuing education contact hours.

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs

Pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs are designed for experienced pediatric nurses who wish to provide specialized care for critically ill patients. The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board administers the official certification exam to become a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner. Eligibility requirements from the PNCB include completion of an accredited degree or certification program specific to practice area. Completion of a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner program leads to a Master of Science in Nursing and substantial (500-600 hours) clinical experience in a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner role.

To satisfy certification eligibility requirements, programs require applicants to have a valid and current RN certification and at least two years of work experience as an RN, with at least one year in a pediatric setting. Eligibility to sit for the national certification exam requires applicants to submit transcripts from the school where the pediatric acute care nurse practitioner program was completed, including a passing grade in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology and advanced physiology courses.

In addition to taking specialized courses in pediatric and acute care, students must satisfy the requirement for clinical preceptorship, which can involve up to 600 hours of faculty-supervised work experience, generally alongside a pediatrician. Universities may or may not assist with arranging placement. More and more college programs are adding online courses to their curricula, which allows a student to continue working while studying. While this may be an option for the completing the course work, students should still be prepared to spend the required time working as a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner before graduation.

Core classes for pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs are similar to other nurse practitioner programs. Students can expect to take classes in leadership, ethics, health assessment, scientific knowledge, research, disease prevention, statistics, physiology and pharmacology. Courses specific to pediatric acute care nurse practitioners may include advanced child nursing, advanced pediatric physical assessment and advanced pharmacotherapeutics.

Core classes for pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs are similar to other nurse practitioner programs. Students can expect to take classes in leadership, ethics, health assessment, scientific knowledge, research, disease prevention, statistics, physiology and pharmacology. Courses specific to pediatric acute care nurse practitioners may include advanced child nursing, advanced pediatric physical assessment and advanced pharmacotherapeutics.

Online Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs

For working registered nurses who do not want to put their career on pause or uproot their lives to attend a far-away on-campus program, online pediatric nurse practitioner programs can be a flexible option. When looking for an online program, make sure that it is high quality, with interactive features such as live classes and placement services that will help you get the most out of your education. Some universities offer online programs that are identical to what they offer on campus, allowing students to earn a degree from a university they know and whose reputation they trust, without having to move there. Online pediatric nurse practitioner programs are growing in popularity and are a great way to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board – PNCB

Types of Certification
The Acute Care CPNP (AC Pediatric Nurse Practitioner—Board Certified)

Eligibility Requirements
Active RN license, master’s degree of higher from a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner program. You will need an official MSN transcript to be considered eligible.

Certification Process
Once the PNCB receives all documentation (online application, fees, transcripts and documentation of education form) a letter of eligibility will be mailed to you. Determination of eligibility will be completed in a timely manner. Instructions will be provided detailing the process of scheduling a testing time within the 90-day eligibility period.

Fees
The Acute Care CPNP® Exam is $385, which includes a $130 nonrefundable registration fee. The PNCB requires a completed application with payment as the first step in applying to take the Exam.

Renewal
To maintain your status, you will need to participate in the PNCB’s recertification program between October 1 and December 31 of each year. Recertification ensures that you’re staying current in your field. Fees for renewal start at $185.

 

FEATURED ONLINE HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS


Nursing@Georgetown

Nursing@Georgetown is an academically rigorous, evidence-based program that culminates in a Master of Science degree in Nursing, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Nursing@Simmons

Nursing@Simmons is an online Family Nurse Practitioner program designed for currently licensed RNs who are at various stages of their career.

Nursing@USC

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners through Nursing@USC.

MPH@Simmons

MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.

MPH@GW

An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

MHA@GW

Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.

HealthInformatics@GW

This online Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University enables graduates to improve the efficiency of health care organizations through the use of data and technology.

Sponsored Programs