Pediatric Nursing Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Pediatric nursing programs focus on caring for children's medical needs. Nurses who specialize in pediatric care usually opt for a graduate-level Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. Read on to learn more about pediatric nursing programs.

Unlike a registered nurse, a pediatric nurse practitioner is able to diagnose illnesses and to prescribe medicines for common ailments, offer referrals to specialists and offer guidance and health screening. Graduate programs to become a pediatric nurse are available from select universities and nursing schools.

Schools with Pediatric Nursing Programs

The table below lists some colleges and universities from around the country that offer graduate degree programs in pediatric nursing. It also lists the the location of the school and the school's average graduate tuition.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Master's, Graduate Certificate $20,638 (in-state)
Emory University Atlanta, GA 4-year, Private Master's, Graduate Certificate $38,800
Kent State University Kent, OH 4-year, Public Master's $10,864 (in-state)
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 4-year, Private Master's, Graduate Certificate $43,620
University of South Florida Tampa, FL 4-year, Public Master's $8,350 (in-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for pediatric nursing schools:

  • Students should find out about the pass rates for graduates on the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner examinations.
  • For students who want to pursue pediatric nursing careers in specific settings, such as children's hospitals or family clinics, should find out about the clinical facilities at which they can get clinical experience while in school.
  • Prospective students should make sure they meet the educational prerequisites for the program. For instance, some graduate certificate programs are only available for nurses who already have an MSN.
  • Nurses who want to continue to work full-time may look for programs that are offered in partial distance learning formats.

Master's Degree Programs

Some master's degree programs allow students to choose a specialty in pediatric nursing. These programs take approximately two years to complete. A certain amount of clinical hours are required, in addition to coursework. Course topics typically include pediatric physiology, pediatric health, development assessment, health systems policy and planning, pre-adolescent health care concepts and pediatric care management.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Another graduate-level educational option for students who are interested in pediatric nursing is a nurse practitioner (NP) training program. These programs confer graduate certificates and prepare students to take the certification exam offered by the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurses (NCBPNP/N exam) and/or the certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Students can find programs offered specifically for aspiring Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs), or they can pursue a broader Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) training program, which combines pediatric care training with studies in adult and geriatric primary care.

Aspiring pediatric nurse practitioners may find education programs that can prepare them for their future careers at colleges and universities around the country. These schools offer master's and graduate certificate programs that include hands-on clinical training, and programs with a hospital internship can be beneficial to seek out.


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