Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (PNP) provide cost-effective, quality care for acutely, critically, and chronically ill children in a variety of settings. In order to work as a PNP, students must have an advanced degree in nursing along with a general RN degree. Specific components of the Acute Care PNP role vary depending on the practice setting and patient population. Their practice includes both independent and interdependent decision-making and direct accountability for clinical judgment.
Overview of a DNP – Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program
- Students learn the specialized physiologic and psychological needs of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with complex acute, critical, and chronic health conditions.
- Students learn direct patient care training including: performing in-depth physical assessments, interpreting results of laboratory and diagnostic tests, ordering medications, and performing therapeutic treatments in a variety of settings.
- Courses emphasize the focus of acute care including complex monitoring and ongoing management of intensive therapies in a variety of settings.
- Students take core courses covering evidence-based and scholarly-based approaches to meet the required competencies.
- Students complete a clinical training component, which addresses the complex health care needs of vulnerable and acute and/or chronically ill patients and their families.
Steps to Become a DNP Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
- Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
- Enroll and complete a DNP in pediatric acute care from an accredited school like Capella University, Georgetown University, Kaplan University, South University, or University of Cincinnati.
- Obtain DNP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state.
The job setting will vary depending on what specific job you get. Possible options include intensive care, emergency care, specialty service, primary care facilities, internal medicine practices, various nursing homes and assisted living facilities, acute and chronic care settings, hospitals, and step-down units. While it is not often a prerequisite to find a job, membership with a regional or specialty nursing organization can increase your employability. The online community Doctors of Nursing Practice is a great resource for these associations, scholarship and grant information, and other general DNP resources.
The average salary of a DNP varies by location, experience, and the type of employer you have. For more information on your earning potential, please refer to our nursing job outlook page.