Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

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Basic description

Pediatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide management of care for acutely and/or chronically ill pediatric patients. Hospitalization is frightening for a child, so the pediatric nurse specialist must know how to alleviate or assist in alleviating fears of children and their families. Children of a young age are often unable to express their emotions; therefore, it is the responsibility of the pediatric nurse specialist to be alert to and aware of unexpressed needs. Work settings include acute care settings, subacute care settings, long-term care facilities, home care agencies, health maintenance organizations, ambulatory care settings, and schools.

Educational requirements

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, advanced practice licensure, Master of Science in Nursing in pediatrics or family health, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification are required. Continuing education for maintenance of licensure is also a requirement. Certification is available from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. A certification as a pediatric clinical nurse specialist is also available from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Core competencies/skills needed

■ Special knowledge of growth and development
■ Knowledge of pediatric illnesses and their treatment
■ Ability to function independently
■ Ability to work with children and their families
■ Ability to set priorities and work independently
■ Collaboration with other health care providers

Related Web sites and professional organizations

■ National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (
■ Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses (
■ The National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses (
■ Society of Pediatric Nurses (
■ American Nurses Credentialing Center (

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