Pediatric Acute Care

The Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program prepares nurses to manage patients from birth to 21 years old with complex acute and chronic health conditions within a hospital or pediatric acute care setting.

Certification & Career

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB) Acute Care certification exam. Graduates have opportunities to practice in a variety of acute care settings, including emergency departments, subspecialty clinics, hospitals and intensive care units.

Prior Experience

A minimum of one year of pediatric RN work experience is required before applying. A basic working knowledge of pediatric growth and development, family dynamics and pediatric assessment are cornerstones for moving toward the role of the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

Clinical Hours

A minimum of 616 clinical hours will be completed in several pediatric acute care centers. These hours are separate from the DNP hours, which are specific to the DNP project. Experienced pediatric preceptors work one-on-one with students and, along with pediatric specialty faculty, guide students through their clinical experiences.


The program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis and is offered in a hybrid format with periodic meetings on campus. Full-time students can complete the program in nine semesters (three calendar years). Part-time options allow students to complete the program in 12 semesters (four calendar years). Part-time schemas are developed by the DNP program director and PNP specialty director.

Students must attend a one- or two- day, on-campus orientation in the first fall semester of their program and return to campus to defend their DNP project in the final semester of their program. For more information, visit theĀ On-Campus Requirement page.

Additional Resources

Additional information on the role of the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner may be found through national organizations such as:


If you have specific questions about the program, contact the Office of Student Recruitment at 513-558-8400 or