The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster than average job growth for Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioners (APNP) at 31% over a ten-year period. APNPs fulfill a vital function in providing quality care in the rapidly expanding healthcare industry. Part of this job growth is due to a national shortage of physicians; and, Nurse Practitioners are seeing an expanding role in a variety of specialty areas. The America Association of Nurse Practitioners has launched a $2 million, nationwide ad campaign, designed to educate consumers on the expanding role of Nurse Practitioners in providing increased access to quality healthcare.
There are several specialty areas from which Nurse Practitioners may practice, such as primary and acute care. This ranking looks at colleges and universities which offer online Master of Science in Nursing programs with a Pediatric Primary Care specialty.
Best Medical Degrees has done some research to help you in finding a program which is right for you. This ranking takes the following into consideration: 1) identifying online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Primary Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, 2) we utilize U.S. News and World Report, Washington Monthly, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Report and Forbes Magazine rankings, among others, of universities and colleges for an overview of the school’s rankings, 3) we only report on schools holding accreditation by Department of Education approved accrediting agencies, specifically, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and 4) estimate tuition cost ranges for this ranking is based on data from the 2016-2017 National Center for Educational Statistics data as well as school websites to establish tuition cost ranges. Tuition estimates do not include any additional fees accessed by the school or university and 5) length of academic program, coursework and clinical experiences.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
Not all online Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner degree programs are available to students living in all 50 states. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) establishes comparable national standards for distance education or, online, programs. Be certain, before making a commitment to a program, that you verify yours is a member state. This information is available on schools’ websites or you can talk with the admissions officer for the school you’re considering.
1. Old Dominion University
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Old Dominion offers an online Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree hybrid program which requires 51 credit hours, clinical practicum and hands-on training (typically once a semester) at the Norfolk, Virginia campus. Clinical experiences may be completed in the student’s home community. Course studies include core topics: evidence based and theory in nursing practice, pharmacology, pathophysiology, physical assessment and application of practice-based research methods. FNP studies involve coursework in: primary care of children, family and community primary care assessment, management of chronic illnesses, primary care approaches for women and health promotion and maintenance. The university offers a preceptor program for those interested in working in medically underserved areas in Virginia. Applicants must hold a current, unencumbered nursing license and have a minimum of one year work experience. This program is not available for students from Washington State.
U.S. News and World Report rates this program #58 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, 2018 and #531 in Forbes Magazine’s America’s Top Colleges ranking and ranked #1 in Virginia “Best for Vets” by Military Times. With an enrollment exceeding 24,000 students in nine academic colleges, ODU was established in 1930 and joined the Virginia State University System in 1969.
2. Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus
A hybrid program, requiring some on-campus attendance, this Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program requires 35 didactic hours, 12 clinical credits and 540 clinical practicum hours for completion. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this program requires a current and unencumbered nursing license as well as a BSN from an accredited nursing program. Didactic studies for this program include: advanced pathophysiology, healthcare informatics foundations, advanced assessment, advanced professional role, evidence-based practice, advanced pediatric assessment, advanced clinical skills, pediatric chronic illness and disability and care of the child with acute and minor acute illness. This program may take 2-3 years to complete. The program prepares students to sit for certification exams offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). Prospective students are also able to take up to 12 credit hours as a non-degree student before committing to the PNP program.
Ranked #4 by U.S. News and World Report’s Top Nursing Programs, Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus is located in Aurora, Colorado and the College of Nursing dates to 1898. The university has an enrollment of over 23,000 students
3. University of Alabama School of Nursing
This is a Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program offered online which holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and requires 55 credit hours of study. The program also requires 20 clinical hours and 1020 total hours of direct patient care for completion. Didactic studies include: translating evidence into practice, leadership, advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology and therapeutics, assessment and diagnostic reasoning and studies in advanced pediatric acute care and primary care. Applicants must hold a BSN from an accredited college or university, submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam, Graduate Management Admission Test or Miller Analogies Test (test scores must be less than 5 years old) and an unencumbered nursing license from the state in which yo reside.
UAB’s School of Nursing boasts a #16 ranking by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs; and, the university holds a #159 National Universities ranking as well as being recognized as #83 in the publication’s Top Public Schools. UAB also ranks in the top 500 of Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the university was established in 1859 and the School of Nursing was founded in 1950. UAB has an enrollment of over 20,000 students, with nearly 3,000 students enrolled in the School of Nursing.
4. Maryville University
An online, CCNE accredited MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree from Maryville University may be completed in a little as 28 months. The program requires 44 credit hours along with 580 clinical hours. Coursework for this program includes core coursework in subjects: theoretical foundations in nursing, evidence-based practice, health care promotion/disease prevention, leadership, advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacotherapeutics. Beyond the core competencies, students will study: health promotion in the pediatric population and practica in pediatric assessment and diagnosis. Clinical experiences are completed in the student’s home community and does not require the GRE or GMAT for admission. The program also offers a BSN-PNP and Doctor of Nursing Practice Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree options.
Maryville University is located in St. Louis, Missouri and was founded in 1872 and has an enrollment in excess of 8,000 students with 3,640 of that total obtaining degrees online. Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as #165 in its National Universities ranking and in the top 200 of its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Forbes Magazine ranks it in its top 500 of America’s Top Colleges and Washington Monthly rates it #135 in its Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest. Kiplinger’s listed Maryville University as #49 in its Best Values in Private Colleges and ranked it #154 among all colleges.
5. University of South Alabama
This is an online MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This hybrid program offers online courses in: physio-pathological basis of advanced nursing, evidence-based practice and quality improvement in healthcare, advanced pharmacology, advanced nursing assessment, organizational and systems leadership, introduction to pediatric primary care, health promotion and disease prevention, healthcare policy and finance and scientific underpinnings of Advanced Practice Nursing. The program also includes 360 clinical practicum hours which may be conducted in the student’s home community. However, prior to clinical practicum participation, students are required to attend an on-campus orientation over a two-day period, which will include clinical skills workshops. Applicants must hold a BSN from an accredited degree program, an unrestricted nursing license and two years nursing experience as well as other criteria.
Located in Mobile, Alabama, USA was established in 1963 and has been ranked #231-#300 in its National Universities ranking. Forbes Magazine ranks the university at #616 in its America’s Top Colleges. More than 15,000 students are enrolled at USA and is designated a Higher Research Education institution by the Carnegie Foundation.
6. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing offers a modified distance format for its Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program, which allows students currently holding a MSN or BSN to participate in didactic lectures online, but includes block on-campus visits which may be a week in duration. Clinical experiences may be conducted in your local area. Coursework for this degree includes studies in: advanced pathobiology, health promotion and development, advanced nursing practice in pediatric primary care, advanced health assessment and clinical reasoning, advanced pharmatherapeutics, current issues in advanced primary care, simulated experiences and clinical practice. Among other criteria, applicants are required to complete and submit grades on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), hold an unencumbered nursing license and pass specific prerequisite courses from an accredited nursing program. The program admits students who hold ASN, BSN, MSN degrees; and, applicants with an undergraduate degree or higher may complete a one-year PreSpecialty Year for admission. The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree may be completed in three years for fulltime attendance.
Vanderbilt University ranks #27 on Forbes Magazine’s America’s Top Colleges ranking, the Nursing School ranks #14 Best Schools of Nursing-Masters by U.S. News and World Report and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program ranked #3 in 2018. Kiplinger ranks Vanderbilt #4 in its Best Values in Private Colleges and #7 among all colleges. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 with a $1 million grant from Cornelius Vanderbilt.
7. Thomas Jefferson University
This Master of Science in Nursing program offers a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program online which can be completed in 15 months. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Jefferson College of Nursing program requires 18 hours credit hours work in core curriculum courses in: health policy, legal & ethical dimensions of practice, research fro advanced practice nurses, informatics for advanced practice nurses, role of advanced practice nurses. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) studies involves 36 credit hours in: advanced pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology of human disease, diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision making for pediatric advanced practice nursing and clinical assessment in clinical decision making, epidemiology, research for advanced practice nurse, pathophysiology, etc. Each clinical course earns 16 hours of clinical experience per week. The program boasts a 95% pass rate on national exams and certifications for its graduates.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University was founded in 1824 as Jefferson Medical College and merged with Philadelphia University in 2017. The Jefferson College of Nursing was established in 1891. U.S. News and World Report ranks Thomas Jefferson University #85 as Best Nursing Schools-Masters ranking in its Best Grad School Rankings in 2018. The school has an enrollment of over 7,000 students.
8. Stony Brook University
Located in Stony Brook, New York, this Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program is offered online but does have on-site requirements. Coursework for this program includes core courses in: organizational leadership and role transformation, quality improvement, safety and healthcare technologies, healthcare policy and advocacy. Additional coursework includes: applications in clinical nursing research, clinical pharmacology, pathophysiology, selected topics in childhood morbidity, clinical pharmacology, advanced health assessment in child health and advanced theory and clinical practice in child health nursing. Clinical rotations are dependent on availability in the student’s region of residency. There are a total of 45 credit hours required. This program will also consider admission for those not holding an undergraduate degree in nursing by student submission of a clinical portfolio. More information on the portfolio is available on the website.
Stony Brook University ranks #18 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, #66 in Best Nursing Schools-Master’s, the university holds a #97 ranking in National Universities, #119 Best Value Schools and #58 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report. Forbes Magazine lists the university at #187 in its 2017 America’s Top Colleges and Washington Monthly rates Stony Brook University #248 in its “Best Bang for the Buck.” Established in 1957, Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York System, has a current enrollment of over 21,000 students.
9. University of Arkansas of Medical Sciences
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences’ College of Nursing, offers an online MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree which requires 43 credit hours for completion. Courses taken will include studies in: theory in nursing, clinical pharmacology theory practicum, advanced physiology and pathobiology, research methodology, epidemiology, introduction to professional practice management, advanced pediatric health assessment, child health nursing, advanced pediatric practice and an outcome portfolio. Admission to this program is during the Spring only; and, among other admission requirements, students must hold a current, unencumbered nursing license and will need to provide proof of over 2000 clinical hours of work experience.
The College of Nursing of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences was established in 1953 and the college has been offering the MSN since 1971. According to the website, the College of Nursing currently has 688 enrolled students and UAMS has a total enrollment of over 2,800 students. Forbes Magazine ranks the University of Arkansas #283 in its America’s Top Colleges, Best Bang for the Buck by Washington Monthly and recognized as a Best College Value by the Kiplinger Report.
10. Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing offers a hybrid, online MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree which requires 42 credit hours of didactic study and a minimum of 540 supervised clinical hours for completion. The College of Nursing offers a strong selection of clinical experience sites in New Jersey. Online studies include: theoretical basis of nursing, advanced clinical pathophysiology, clinical pharmacology, nursing research, health promotion, advanced health assessment and clinical decision, advanced role enhancement and others. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the admission to the program requires, among other criteria, a BSN from an accredited nursing program, professional licensure, liability insurance and a minimum of one year nursing experience. Graduates are eligible to sit for either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board or Acute Care through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board exams.
Seton Hall University was established in 1856 in South Orange, New Jersey with the College of Nursing beginning in 1937. The university has an enrollment of over 10,000 students in 10 colleges. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #124 in National Universities and ranked in the top 100 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Additionally, the university has been ranked Best Bang for the Buck by Washington Monthly, one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes Magazine and has been rated one of Money Magazine’s Best Colleges for Your Money.