Pediatric Nurse Schooling

Working with babies, toddlers and children can be a very rewarding nursing career. Many nurses start out with a baby and work with that child as they grow into adolescents. Nurses who want to specialize in pediatrics need to attend pediatric nurse schooling to become a PNP or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Choosing the best school is important for many nurses who want to make sure they are receiving the best possible education to advance their career.

Some of the top pediatric nursing schools are outlined below.

Nurses who are considering advancing their careers and want to work in pediatrics can choose an MS degree with a focus on pediatrics or a Doctor of Nurse Practitioner with a pediatric focus. Although the DNP is not required at this time, it is becoming the preferred degree for advanced nursing such as pediatrics and will eventually become the required degree.

Top Ranked Schools

The following schools have been ranked by the U.S. News and World Report’s annual school ranking report. The rankings are based on surveys and assessments sent to faculty and administrators at universities and colleges throughout the United States.

The number one ranked school in for pediatric nursing is the University of Pennsylvania. Located in Philadelphia, Penn State’s pediatric nurse practitioner program is a one-year program with 20 hours a week in clinical work. Students work with fully certified nurse practitioners and doctors in a variety of medical settings  as they earn the course required to prepare them to take either the national certification exam from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board which gives them the Certified Pediatric Nurses Practitioners title (CPNPP).

The number two ranked school is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale University offers a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a Pediatric Nurse Specialty degree. This two-year program prepares nurses to work with children and adolescents with clinical rotation in local community pediatric care centers and school health care centers.  ­Yale University School of Nursing was established in 1923 and was the first school to educate nurses in the traditional classroom method rather than an apprentice program. Yale’s nursing program is one of the most well-known in the United States and is highly respected among medical practices.

The University Of Washington School Of Nursing’s Pediatric Program is currently ranked at number three and consistently ranks among the highest in the nation. The school offers some classes in an online format with the majority of classes being campus-based. The program is the only pediatric nursing program available in the Washington/Wyoming/Alaska/Montana/Idaho area. Students in the pediatric program may choose to focus on pulmonary or developmental disabilities as they earn their degree.

The Duke University School of Nursing consistently ranks in the top ten lists of nursing schools that offer pediatric nursing programs. The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program provides students with a dual education that prepares them to work as a nurse practitioner in a neonatal setting or a pediatric setting. Students perform clinical work in the state of the art simulation lab on the campus and at the Duke University Medical Center.

Online Options

Nurses who have their BS degree and want to advance to an MS in nursing with a specializing in pediatrics may choose to study online. Some of the top online schools that offer these courses include:

  • Kaplan University:
  • Phoenix University
  • Georgetown University
  • South University

There are other schools that offer online classes that may be right for you. However, you should make sure that you research the course offerings and determine if you are going to be required to attend any campus based classes or clinical. If clinical are required you should also determine if there are options located in or near your home so that you can make arrangements for those before you register for classes.

Pediatric nurse schooling allows you to earn either a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a specialty in pediatrics or a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Pediatric Specialty. You should find out what your state laws require in order to be a practitioner as many states are moving toward the DNP rather than the MS degree for nurse practitioners. If you know this before you pursue and advanced degree you can get the one you need the first time.