PNP - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs

What Does A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Do?

A pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) is a registered nurse (RN) with advanced training and clinical experience who provides both primary and specialty health care.  These nurses care for patients who range from infants to young adults.  They typically work alongside pediatricians, although some maintain their own practices.  While a majority of PNP programs are in primary care, some of these professionals provide acute care. PNPs can further specialize in areas like cardiology, orthopedics, dermatology, neurology, or infectious diseases.

What Are The Job Roles For A PNP?

Discover Nursing cites these as primary PNP roles:

  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Performing routine checkups
  • Prescribing medication and other treatments
  • Ordering laboratory tests
  • Counseling children and their family

Job Characteristics

  • Work is multifaceted.
  • Responsibilities are very structured.
  • Duties require a high degree of independence.
  • Work includes face-to-face patient content.

What Education & Certification Is Needed For A PNP?

Individuals interested in a PNP career should first obtain an RN credential by completing a program at a four-year college or university, a two-year school, or a hospital.  After graduation, they must pass the National Council Licensure Examination ( NCLEX-RN ) for licensing eligibility, according to Discover Nursing .  RNs need to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) before entering a master’s in nursing (MSN) program or take advantage of an accelerated bridge track that will allow them to begin graduate work. PNPs have three options for completing the required education:  master’s in nursing degree with a PNP specialization, a PNP certificate for those with master’s degrees without that specialty, or a doctor of nursing practice that includes a PNP specialty.  Two organizations offer professional certification for PNPs .

What Are The Degree Requirements For A PNP?

Becoming a PNP requires completing at least a master’s degree in nursing, according to Education Career Articles .

U.S. News & World Report ranks top PNP primary care programs.  Among those schools on the list are these:

What Certification Is Needed For A PNP?

GraduateNursingEDU.org indicates that two organizations offer PNP certification.  The American Nurses Credentialing Center awards certification for pediatric primary care.  The designation is PPCNP-BC.  Applicants for the exam must have a current RN license, training from an accredited school, a minimum specified number of clinical hours, and appropriate specialty-related courses.  A certification is good for five years.  The Pediatric Nurse Certification Board awards two certifications:  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary CARE (CPNP-PC) and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (CPNP-AC).  Applicants may take both exams if their PNP education included both primary and acute care programs.

What Are the CEU Requirements As A PNP?

To retain a current license, all RNs must meet continuing education requirements of the state in which they work. To see a list of requirements by state, see our continuing education guide.  In addition, to re-certify, a PNP can offer continuing education units from approved providers to satisfy professional development requirements.  Since federal regulations regarding healthcare change often, employers typically provide updates to their nurses through online or onsite training.

Where Can I Work As A PNP?

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Research organizations
  • Home health care
  • Surgical centers
  • Military facilities
  • Community agencies
  • Private practice

Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript, womansday.com, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.

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