Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care (PNP-AC)

The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care (PNP-AC) graduate certificate will allow primary care certified pediatric nurse practitioners to acquire the nationally specified pediatric acute care content and clinical skills to function competently within the pediatric acute care scope of practice. It will require satisfactory completion of a minimum of 16 credits of didactic content and clinical practice. The graduate certificate provides nurses with essential knowledge and skills to assume pediatric acute care roles in myriad settings using a patient and family-centered care model.

Courses focus on integrating advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, and acute clinical care and management. Specific clinical experiences in two of the courses will be tailored to meet the needs of individual graduate certificate students. Students will be expected to acquire a minimum of 600 hours of acute care experience as required to meet the specialty competencies and the requirements to take the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care national certification exam offered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

Certificate requirements

The certificate must be earned within three years. No transfer of credit will be accepted for a certificate program. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved. All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the college and the Graduate School governing graduate scholarship and degrees.

Applicants for admission to this graduate certificate must have an MSN or DNP from a nationally accredited institution.

Additional coursework may be required based on a gap analysis.

Certificate requirements: 16 credits minimum*




NUR 7226

Pathophysiology, Clinical Care and Management II


NUR 7227

Pathophysiology, Clinical Care and Management III


*Based on gap analysis, the following graduate-level cognate courses may be required and an additional one-credit procedural directed study may be required.

  • NUR 7444 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology across the Lifespan
  • NUR 7207 Advanced Pediatric Pharmacology
  • NUR 7030 Advanced Nursing Assessment
  • NUR 6510 Health Economics, Policy and Professional Issues for APNs

Terminal objectives/learning outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students can expect to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate competence in acute care pediatric nurse practitioner clinical practice as characterized by the Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies (NONFP, 2012) and Population-Focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies-Pediatric Acute Care (NONPF, 2013).
  2. Practice collaboratively within the health care system while providing care to infants, children, and adolescents with complex acute, critical, and chronic health conditions and families.
  3. Use knowledge, innovation, creativity and cultural competence to adapt health care interventions based on the interrelationships among person, environment and health.
  4. Analyze current knowledge for acute care pediatric nurse practitioner practice, evaluate effectiveness of health care interventions, and use evidence-based care in clinical practice.
  5. Engage in scholarly activity to advance knowledge in pediatric acute care and collect accurate outcome and clinical practice data/statistics.
  6. Provide leadership in pediatric acute health care through active involvement in professional organizations, clinical teaching, and political awareness/involvement.

Graduate Specialty Coordinator

Stacey M. Sears, DNP, RN, CPNP - AC
241 Cohn