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For Students

Thinking about a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP)? Explore your options below then visit the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board website to find accredited programs and learn about certification. To learn about becoming a PNP, visit the Institute of Pediatric Nursing website.


Primary Care PNPs provide care to children from birth through young adult. These PNPs have in-depth knowledge and experience in pediatric primary health care including well child care and prevention and management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions. 



Acute Care PNPs provide family-centered and culturally respectful care for pediatric patients with acute, complex, critical, and chronic illness across a variety of care settings. The patients they see may have life-threatening illnesses or organ dysfunction and failure.



Dual acute care and primary care PNPs have received the education and certification for both types of programs. These PNPs choose to be prepared to provide care to children and adolescents across the entire continuum of health from wellness to acute care.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a PNP?

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs) are health care providers who are dedicated to improving children's health. PNPs have advanced education in pediatric nursing and health care and they serve children and families in an extensive range of practice settings. Working with pediatricians and other health care providers, PNPs have been enhancing the health care of children since the 1970s.

What do PNPS do?

PNPs serve as pediatric health care providers for well and ill children of all ages. Many parents choose a PNP as their child's health care provider knowing they will receive individualized quality health care. PNPs may practice in a variety of settings that include but are not limited to primary care settings, such as pediatric offices or clinics, as well as acute care settings, such as hospitals, surgical centers or specialty clinics.

Primary care PNPs offer a variety of services including:

  • Provide health maintenance care for children, including well child examinations

  • Perform routine developmental screenings

  • Diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses

  • Provide anticipatory guidance regarding common child health concerns

  • Provide childhood immunizations

  • Perform school physicals


Acute care and specialty PNPs offer a variety of services including:

  • Provide care to children who are acutely, chronically, and critically ill

  • Perform in-depth physical assessments

  • Interpret results of laboratory and diagnostic tests

  • Order medications and perform therapeutic treatments in a variety of settings


Both Primary Care and Acute Care PNPs may practice in a variety of pediatric specialty areas, such as cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and many others. 

Explore these respected sites for more resources:

  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)

  • The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF)

  • Licensure, Accreditation, Credentialing, and Education Network (LACE)

  • The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)


Preceptor Information

​​Thinking about becoming a preceptor?

See AFPNP's Why Precept? document to learn about responsibilities and communication techniques. Tips on working constructive feedback are included.

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