Online Post-Master’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs – What’s the Best Program for You?
Online post-master’s certificate programs have risen in popularity in recent years as a way for MSN-educated nurses to enter the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) specialty without having to complete an additional full degree program. In order to attain a post-master’s certificate (also referred to as a post-graduate certificate), you must be actively licensed as an RN (some even require APRN certification) and hold a minimum of a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN).
This specialized certificate allows you to explore the pediatric nurse practitioner concentration, even if you have previously focused your efforts on another area of nursing. Many nurses pursue the PNP post-grad certificate to add an additional layer to their skills, such as a nurse who has experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner but wants to start focusing more on pediatrics, or to switch concentrations entirely.
Depending on your goals, a pediatric nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate may lead to employment in a pediatric cardiology unit, as a nurse practitioner in a mental health setting, or in a pediatrician’s office. Nurses who hold this post-master’s cert are eligible for most direct-care PNP roles, and some eventually decide to continue on to earn a DNP degree in the role.
Other factors may also impact your decision to pursue this pathway, including the following:
- The PNP post-master’s certificate is a shorter and cheaper route for MSN-educated nurses than pursuing a DNP
- Great option for those looking to add a pediatric focus to their practice
- Prudent choice for MSN-educated nurses who want to focus on hands-on pediatric care
- Not available to nurses who hold an ADN, diploma, or BSN degree
- Those who wish to focus more on indirect care or education may find the DNP a better fit
- Results in a certificate and not a degree, which may not hold the same prestige
Because most pediatric nurse practitioners are already employed and desire to continue working while they pursue their post-master’s certificate, it’s important to consider several important factors when choosing an online program. One that offers the flexibility of part-time enrollment would likely fit better for students with busy schedules, though full-time options are also readily available.
Students should take care to pick an accredited program, and ensure that the program offers sub-specialization options if they wish to pursue a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner or a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner designation.
There will be differences between schools as far as their requirements for earning a post-master’s certificate. Most PNP post-grad certificate programs will take into account the student’s prior education, so fewer core courses are usually required. A sampling of possible courses included in a pediatric nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program may include:
- Health Promotion of Children
- Primary Care for Infants, Children, and Adolescents
- Pharmacology for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Generally speaking, online post-graduate PNP programs require more than 600 supervised clinical hours to be eligible for graduation. Placements and preceptors are arranged in the student’s local area, and align with optimal learning experiences, availability, and the student’s professional goals. Some students are even able to complete their clinical hours in the hospital or medical facility where they are employed.
Finding an online or hybrid pediatric nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program is easier than ever with our listings. Browse below to find the perfect program for you.
Select Your State:
University of Arizona
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Georgia State University
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
University of Kentucky College of Nursing
Johns Hopkins University
Wayne State University
St. Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ
The University of New Mexico
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY
Case Western Reserve University
Wright State University
West Virginia University