Accreditation Announcement >>

Skip to main content


Below is the course of study for Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. We also provide a plan of study for full time students, and two year and three year plans of study for part time students.

Core courses (4 course units):

Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Nursing Practice

Advanced principles of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics are applied to the nursing care of individuals across the life-stage spectrum. It focuses on the content and knowledge employed by the advanced practice registered nurse in the management of various conditions and disease states. The course builds on the pharmacology knowledge base acquired in the baccalaureate nursing program. The advanced pharmacology and therapeutics of several common diseases or conditions found in the acute care and primary care setting is presented. This is supplemented with pharmacotherapy modules to meet program specific needs.

Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Decision Making

This laboratory/clinical course is designed to help future advanced practice nurses develop advanced clinical assessment skills. Provider-patient interaction, data collection, and hypothesis formulation are emphasized. All participants engage in actual practice with fellow students, and/or models, and consenting patients. This course is to be taken the semester before clinical begins.

Advanced Developmental Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course will address advanced human embryology, physiology and pathophysiology. Biochemical genetics and the genetic basis of disease will be discussed. Normal fetal development and physiology of organ systems will be used as the foundation for understanding the pathophysiology of disease across the lifespan.

And one of the following two courses:

Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice

This course is designed to advance students’ understanding of the research process, methods of scientific inquiry, and analytical techniques. Students acquire knowledge of systematic approaches used by scientists to design and conduct studies. Course content prepares students to appraise quantitative and qualitative research, and evaluate the scientific merit and clinical significance of research for translation into practice. Evidence-based guidelines are examined and rated for strength of evidence and expert consensus using evidence grading systems and defined criteria. Students engage in variety of creative learning experiences to facilitate appreciative inquiry, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice. Quality improvement, comparative effectiveness analyses, information science, and electronic health systems technology demonstrate the capacity for measurement and surveillance of nursing-sensitive and other outcomes used to evaluate quality nursing care and test interventions. Ethical, legal and health policy implications for research are explored. This course serves as the basis for scientific inquiry about human experiences to address important problems that require solutions and to expand the research and the evidence base for professional nursing practice.

NURS 547 is a graduate-level research methods course approved for Penn BSN students only.

Introduction to Research Methods and Design

The relationships among nursing theory, research and practice will be examined. An emphasis will be placed on research competencies for advanced practice nurses (APNs), including understanding nursing research methods and strategies in order to evaluate research results for applicability to practice and to design projects for evaluating outcomes of practice. An understanding of statistical techniques will be integrated into the course and build on the required undergraduate statistics course. Published nursing research studies will be evaluated for scientific merit and clinical feasibility, with a focus on evidence-based practice. Please note, the online version of this course has a synchronous component (live online class sessions). See department for meeting days/times. Prerequisite: Undergraduate Statistics Class, Must hold an RN license.

Theory courses (3 course units):

Professional Role Issues for Nurse Practitioners

This course is intended for students planning a career that involves primary health care delivery. It includes lectures, discussions, readings, and projects focused on health, social, economic and professional factors influencing health care delivery in the community.

Clinical Management of Primary Care with Young Families

Assessment and treatment of the young child in ambulatory care settings is the focus of this developmentally organized course. This course provides the nurse practitioner student with the necessary knowledge and experience to assist individuals with the most common health problems, including acute episodic illness as well as stable chronic disease. The concepts of health promotion and health maintenance are integrated throughout the curriculum. Using a developmental framework, the maturational tasks and problems of children and their families in relation to illness and health are explored.

Nursing of Children Theory I: Child and Family Development

This course focuses on developmental theories and concepts that form the basis for nursing assessment and intervention with children and families. Emphasis is given to current research and issues in child and family development and functioning.

Clinical courses (3 course units):

Clinical Practicum: Primary Care with Young Families

Management and evaluation of primary care problems of children in a variety of ambulatory settings. Opportunity to implement the role of nurse practitioner with children and their families in the community occurs under the guidance of faculty and experienced preceptors. The initiation of health promotion and health maintenance activities with individuals and groups is stressed. Collaborative, interdisciplinary practice is emphasized as students assess and manage common problems in consultation with an appropriate provider of care. 20 hours a week of clinical experience with a preceptor is arranged.

Clinical Practice with Select Populations: Adolescents

Focus on assessment and treatment of adolescents in a variety of settings. Didactic emphasis is on the special needs encountered among adolescents. This course adds to the student’s previous knowledge and skill in the delivery of primary care. Working with this specific population the student gains necessary knowledge and experience in assisting individuals with most common health problems, including acute episodic illness and stable chronic disease, as well as health promotion needs.

Advanced Concepts in Primary Care

In conjunction with the development of advanced clinical skills, students focus on advanced practice role development and the study of issues in health service delivery related to the practice of primary health care. Economics, case management and cultural/ethical aspects of care are discussed.

Elective courses (2 course unit):

Graduate Nursing Elective #1

Students are encouraged to select courses that complement and enhance their program focus. Courses must be in the Nursing School, non-clinical courses, and at the 500 level or higher.

Graduate Nursing Elective #2

Students are encouraged to select courses that complement and enhance their program focus. Courses must be in the Nursing School, non-clinical courses, and at the 500 level or higher.