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Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Our Pediatric Acute Care NP program offers three different concentrations. No matter which you choose, you’ll learn the latest in pediatric advanced practice nursing from the very best in the field.

Program modality

Although this program is in-person, to accommodate the busy schedules of our students some courses will be offered in an online or hybrid format. All clinical experiences for this program are in-person on Penn’s campus or at affiliated clinical sites.

Our program

Graduates of this program are prepared to provide collaborative, comprehensive care to children and adolescents with a variety of complex critical, acute and chronic conditions, and emerge as clinical and professional leaders who are expert in physical assessment and clinical decision making, managing multifaceted disorders, culturally sensitive family focused care, community engagement, transitional care and integrating health care policy. Our approach, across all health care settings, is based on a thorough assessment and integration of the social determinants of health. 

We uniquely offer three concentrations of study all housed within the Pediatric Acute Care Program. This allows for students to approach their Graduate level education with a specific clinical focus while still receiving a broad based education in Pediatric Acute Care. Our graduates from all concentrations are able to pursue career options in any area of Pediatric Acute Care. 

Clinical experiences are all arranged and coordinated by the university. A clinical site coordinator will work specifically with you and the Pediatric Acute Care Program.  

Watch this video to learn more about what Pediatric Acute Care NPs and Neonatal NPs do in their practices.

This program requires work experience prior to applying. Please visit our admissions page for more information.

Why Our Pediatric Acute Care Program?

  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="250" height="250" alt="" data-decoration="true" src="/live/image/gid/27/width/250/height/250/crop/1/src_region/0,454,2133,2585/9617_Heather_web.rev.1564156108.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image9617 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/27/width/250/height/250/crop/1/src_region/0,454,2133,2585/9617_Heather_web.rev.1564156108.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/27/width/250/height/250/crop/1/src_region/0,454,2133,2585/9617_Heather_web.rev.1564156108.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2133" data-max-h="2131"/>I graduated from Penn’s undergraduate nursing program and then completed both the Pediatric Acute-Chronic NP Master’s and Nursing and Healthcare Administration Programs. Throughout both my undergraduate and graduate careers at Penn, I cannot emphasize enough how invested the professors have been in my success. Not to mention the numerous elective classes and opportunities to take classes outside the School of Nursing; in fact, this is how I became interested in the Healthcare Administration Program. Penn makes each and every opportunity available to you. It is a beautiful campus full of motivated people who are all uniquely talented. Penn and nursing go hand-in-hand: both are challenging, rewarding, and allow you to become a life-long learner. I wouldn’t trade my Penn experience for the world. Go Quakers!</p><p> –Heather Bong, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC<br/> Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Chronic Care Concentration;<br/> Nursing and Healthcare Administration</p></div>

Acute/Chronic Care Concentration

Our Acute and Chronic Care concentration is focused on the care of children with acute and chronic conditions. It is distinctive as it offers an emphasis and commitment to following children and families throughout complex chronic childhood illness. We structure the program and clinical experiences to foster an understanding and management of families in the continuum of illness. Clinical experiences are located in diverse settings such as pediatric acute care inpatient units, step-down units, emergency departments, community sites  and ambulatory, rehabilitative, and specialty-based clinics.

Critical Care Concentration

Our Critical Care concentration will prepare you for advanced practice with critically ill children in pediatric critical care units and cardiac intensive care units. It is the first program of its kind. We are currently the only program in the country which is specifically preparing students in pediatric critical care. We structure the program and clinical experiences to develop an in depth understanding of critical care physiology and management including invasive procedures. We focus on the spectrum of chronic and acute critical illness as it relates to children and their families. Clinical experiences are located in Pediatric Intensive Care and Cardiac Intensive Care Units. 

Oncology Concentration

Our Oncology concentration offers students a strong foundation pediatric acute care with a specialization in pediatric oncology. It is the first program of its kind. We are currently the only program in the country which is specifically preparing students in pediatric oncology. You will be prepared to deliver comprehensive care to children with cancer and their families. Specifically, we structure the program and clinical experiences to help you develop physical assessment skills, clinical decision making, continuity of care, family interventions, health care policy collaboration, and transition care related to children with cancer. Clinical experiences are located in both inpatient and outpatient centers for pediatric oncology. 

Study options

Our Pediatric Acute Care NP program is flexible. You can complete any concentration in one calendar year as a full-time student, or longer if you enroll on a part-time basis. Most students complete the program between one to three years. Part time study can be combined with many of our nursing minors including Palliative Care and Global Health. We also offer a Post-Graduate APRN Certificate option. 

Classes for the Pediatric Acute Care Program are located on campus. We are committed to a individualized graduate program with personalized attention and accessible in-person faculty. We currently do not offer an on-line based program.

All three concentrations require in-patient pediatric nursing experience; with specifics for each concentration located on their individual pages. We highly encourage you to reach out to the specific concentration associate program directors to learn more about our program. 


Successful completion of the program qualifies you to apply for national certification from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care (CPNP), as well as licensure in all 50 states. All concentrations graduate with the same Pediatric Acute Care Degree and take the same Pediatric Acute Care Boards.