Hey Everyone!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs.

This guide will explore all the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs that Nurses can pursue to obtain degrees suitable for their advanced roles.

We’ll also discuss the best institutions that offer these programs.

After reading this guide, you should be well informed about the PNP Programs available to you to begin working on taking and completing a suitable degree program.

In summary, this guide will cover:

  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Education
  • Degree options for becoming a Pediatric NP
  • Top 10 Accredited Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • What to keep in mind when finding the right Pediatric NP Program for you

So, let’s dive straight in!

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Education

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Education

Like every Nursing profession, a certain level of education is mandatory, and with Pediatric Nursing, the amount of education you’ll need is particularly more extensive.

However, by familiarizing yourself with the training and educational requirements you’ll have to meet, you’ll make becoming a PNP easier.

Here’s a look at every degree you’ll need to enroll for and get before becoming a Pediatric NP.

Degree options for becoming an RN

Degree options for becoming an RN

For many years becoming a Registered Nurse required that you earn either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

While students who enrolled then got the principal knowledge needed to sit for an NCLEX-RN Examination from both degree options, the choice between them stemmed from a student’s career goals and the time they intended to get their initial degree.

Over time the choice between enrolling for either or doesn’t just lie in your career goal but in-state requirements.

In some states, you must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, considering it teaches more in-depth Nursing knowledge.

So while below, we’ll discuss what each degree entails and why it may be beneficial to your career, ensure that you first consider your state-specific RN Degree requirements before choosing which one to go for.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

An Associate Degree in Nursing focuses on providing prospective Registered Nurses with technical and clinical skills that aid them in performing their daily tasks.

These include updating medical records, monitoring patients’ developments, and administering medication or other basic procedures.

An ADN typically takes 12 to 24 months to complete.

Bachelor of Science In Nursing (BSN)

In addition to providing prospective Registered Nurses with knowledge in technical and clinical skills, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing offers Nurses skills useful in leadership, management, and administration roles.

With a BSN, your journey to becoming a Pediatric NP is easier because of the extensiveness of the Program.

Also, with a BSN, you can choose to shift your career direction and become a Public Health, Education, or Nursing Research Professional.

If you decide to pursue a BSN, you will commit to about 2 to 4 years of education.

Once you graduate from an ADN or BSN program, you’ll have to take and pass the NCLEX-RN Examination.

You’ll also have to gain some clinical experience, preferably in a pediatric healthcare setting, before enrolling in a graduate degree program to become a PNP, and passing a national certification examination.

We discuss the graduate education programs available to prospective Pediatric NPs next.

Degree options for becoming a Pediatric NP

Degree options for becoming a Pediatric NP

When you finally get your RN Licensure and think you’ve covered most of what you need education-wise to become a PNP, it’s sometimes a bummer to find out that there’s more learning you need to get done.

In addition to getting an undergraduate degree, you’ll have to obtain a post-graduate degree to become an Advanced Practice Nurse, in this case, a PNP.

Luckily, there are several options of post-graduate Nurse Practitioner Degrees you can choose from – so at least to some extent, you can control the kind of teaching program you go through.

Below, we discuss what the different degree options available to you entail and how they’ll help you realize your goal of becoming a PNP.

RN to NP

If you obtained an ADN instead of a Bachelor’s degree program, you could bypass obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and get a Master of Science in Nursing through an RN to NP Program.

While this is an excellent option for people who don’t hold a bachelor’s degree, you must bear in mind that an RN to NP Program will take much longer than a BSN to NP Program, considering they’ll be catching up on work you’ll need to get done.

The additional time spent on this course could be one-year extra than the traditional 2-year long BSN to MSN Program.


The most common way of becoming a PNP is obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing – NP.

Enrolling in an MSN-NP Program is usually only open to Bachelor’s degree holders, so this will not be an appropriate choice if you do not hold a BSN.


A Doctorate in Nursing is the highest level of education available for Nurses, making it a prestigious degree program.

Apart from its prestige, a DNP allows prospective PNPs to hone their specialties to the point that they can collaborate in policy-making during their careers.

So if it interests you to obtain a DNP, you’ll be glad to know that there are several ways to obtain a DNP, including taking an RN – DNP Program (for candidates with ADNs), a BSN to DNP Program, and an MSN – DNP Program.

Post-graduate Certificate

If you already hold a graduate degree that isn’t associated with Pediatric nursing but are fixated on becoming a PNP, there’s no need to fret; there’s a way which you can work through this.

You’ll need to find an accredited institution that offers post-graduate certification related to Pediatrics.

To be accepted to such a program, you’ll need to at least hold an MSN or an NP qualification from a different specialty.

With the PNP post-graduate degree options covered, let’s look at the institutions offering top Pediatric NP Programs in the next section.

Top 10 Accredited Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Top 10 Accredited Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

It’s one thing ensuring that you fulfill the educational requirements to become a PNP and another ensuring that you get educated at the right institution.

By choosing to enroll with institutions with great reputations regarding their PNP Programs, you stand to increase your employability and open doors to incredible opportunities.

Therefore, if you seek education from the most reputable institutions offering great PNP Programs, here is a list of the best PNP Programs.

University of Washington

Even though the University of Washington offers a top-rated course, it’s also the only Pediatric Nurse Practitioner track course in the WWAMI region.

So should you be in the WWAMI region and are interested in taking an in-person program, this may be a convenient choice for you.

The University of Washington’s DNP PNP Program quarterly fee is $9934 for residents and $14 150 for non-residents.

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania’s Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program teaches prospective PNP the best of well-child care, conducting research, impacting policy, and health counseling coursework, to mention a few.

The Program is available in both full-time and part-time tracks, and the institution is known for being a leader in developing top-tier Nurse Practitioners.

Their 2022 -2023 tuition for Masters and Post-Masters DNP is $ 56 212.

Yale University

While Yale’s PNP Program isn’t a Master’s Program but rather a Master’s extension, it allows candidates that already hold their Master’s degree to study a specialty to hone their understanding of their clinical practice.

Their per-credit tuition fee is $1856.

Vanderbilt University

According to Vanderbilt School of Nursing, their Master of Science Nursing Program ranks 8th, while their DNP ranks 7th in the US, making it an excellent option for enrollment.

In addition, they boast a low faculty-to-student ratio, meaning you’ll probably get enough attention to understand all the PNP critical concepts.

Their MSN, DNP, and Post-master’s Certificate tuition fees are $1883 per credit hour.

Rush University

Based on a US News and World Report, Rush is ranked as the second top nursing college in the US, making it a competitive choice for any aspiring PNP.

And if it’s high ranking hasn’t gotten you excited yet, it’s also one of the most convenient Nursing schools, offering a fully online integrated course suitable for candidates who prefer to study from remote locations.

Their DNP Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program costs $1224 per credit hour.

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa offers a host of Post-graduate Pediatric Programs, including BSN to DNP Programs, MSN to DNP Programs, and primary and acute care Post-graduate Certificate Programs.

The BSN to DNP Program tuition fee is $88 039 for the University’s residents and $165 036 for non-residents.

Its MSN-DNP Program is $ 34 316 for resident’s and $53 288 for non-resident’s.

While their Post-graduate Certificate is $12 265.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh combines practical clinical hours with principal generalist knowledge to ensure an all-rounded provision of expertise and resources that empowers their PNP candidates to take on responsibility for the care of children.

As part of their PNP-PC offering, Pittsburgh provides BSN to DNP and Post Masters to DNP Programs.

Students who graduate from their programs are eligible to sit in for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) Certification examination.

All their graduate Nursing courses are $1150 per credit.

Duke University

Forming part of the US top Nursing Programs, Duke University’s PNP-PC major in their MSN Program teaches Nurses the skills and knowledge necessary to provide care to children – from infants to young adults.

Their tuition fee is $12 896 per semester.

Columbia University

Their two-year DNP Pediatric Primary Care Practitioner Program teaches prospective PNPs the ins and outs of delivering Primary health care to infants, children, and adolescents.

With the Program ranked 5th in the US, it provides value for money at a tuition fee of about $68 140.

 Johns Hopkins University

According to the US News and World Report, Johns Hopkins University ranks first in the US in its Master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice Nursing schools.

Some of the aspects that contribute to the University’s top rank include its many resources for its students to take advantage of while enrolled in a DNP or Master’s Program.

Their tuition for their DNP Program is $51 669.

What to keep in mind when finding the right Pediatric NP Program for you

What to keep in mind when finding the right Pediatric NP Program for you

While we can provide you with the top-ranking Nursing schools based on criteria such as coursework, the right Nursing school for you will ultimately rely on factors such as cost and accessibility.

So before you can make your final say on whether a nursing program may be good for you, here’s a look at some factors you may have to consider first to help you determine a perfect fit.

Online versus Campus

Depending on your ability to travel or your availability for study, you’ll have to decide whether the in-person or online class will work for you.

While some programs are online and may require you to come in to fulfill clinical hours, some are entirely in-person.

Hence, before choosing a Nursing program, think about your preferred method of studying, then find a Nursing program that accommodates that.

Cost of the Program

To begin with, Nursing school Programs are pricey, and some are a little bit higher than others.

Hence, before choosing a Nursing school, think about what works best for your pocket.

It would help if you also inquired about the financial aid options offered by the institutions you are interested in.


There’s no point in getting a Nursing education only to find out the institution is not accredited, and your degree is somewhat invalid.

To avoid landing up in sticky situations like this, first verify if the institution you are enrolling in is accredited.

To verify a college’s accreditation, you can inquire about the institution from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Scope of Practice

PNP Scope of Practice

Before choosing a Nursing program, you need to decide on the kind of care you’ll like to administer within your PNP field.

Should you want to be an Acute Care PNP, you’ll be caring for patients with chronic illnesses in a variety of settings.

Contrastingly, as a Primary PNP, you’ll be more involved in health promotion, health assessment, and primary prevention education.

By knowing the kind of care you’d like to administer, you’ll be able to choose programs that either provide Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or primary care settings credentialing.


Conclusion on pediatric nurse practationer programs

Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner requires you to obtain an Advanced Practice Degree.

Apart from getting a degree being a prerequisite to becoming a PNP, it’s beneficial in giving your pediatric patients optimum care.

When choosing to get an Advanced Practice Degree, you have to ensure that you choose one that provides quality coursework and is accredited.

Hence, we hope that by reading this guide, which shows you what degrees are needed and which institutions offer the best, you can make an informed decision on the education to take up to pursue your PNP career.

Good luck!


Faqs on pediatric nurse practationer programs

What are the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner schooling options?

The first step is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing. After that, there are various Nurse Practitioner Programs that you can take to be eligible to get a PNCB Certificate, including an MSN Program and DNP Program.

What degree do I need to be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?

You first need to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Due to PNPs being Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), you’ll also need to obtain a graduate degree. When getting a graduate degree, you can choose between an MSN or DNP Program.

What does it take to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?

Firstly, you’ll have to become a Registered Nurse by obtaining an ADN or BSN and passing the NCLEX-RN Examination. After that, you’ll need to get between 1 and 3 years of preferably Pediatric related work experience. Then, complete an MSN or DNP Program before taking on a PNCB Certification.

What is the most difficult Nurse Practitioner Specialty?

According to Nursing Process, some of the most complex Nurse Practitioner specialties include Adult Acute Care Nurse practitioners, Oncology Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Emergency NP, and Armed Forces Nurse practitioners. Other complex Nurse Practitioner Specialties are Adult-Gerontology and Correctional NP.

What are the best pediatric nursing schools?

You can find the best Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs at the University of Washington, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. Also offering top-rated PNP Programs are Vanderbilt University, Rush University, and the University of Iowa. Duke University and Columbia University are also top Nursing school providers.

How long is the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs?

The typical Nurse Practitioner Program is two years. However, there are cases where the programs are three years long, especially in programs that cater to students who hold an ADN instead of a BSN degree.

Where can I find Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs in California?

According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs available in California are offered by Azusa Pacific University, California State University, Long Beach, and Loma Linda University. Also offering PNP Programs in California are the University of California, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.


Herzing University


Vanderbilt School of Nursing

University of Pennsylvania

Iowa College of Nursing

US News and World Report

Nursing Process

California Board of Registered Nursing

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