Top 5 Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs

Looking to become a pediatric nurse practitioner? Pediatric NP programs have become more specialized over the past few years with the implementation of the APRN Consensus Model. This means that if you are planning to work in the world of pediatrics, you must select either an acute or primary care focus. If acute care is your specialty of choice, consider these top acute care pediatric nurse practitioner programs for your education.

Looking at pass rates on the national certification exam, job placement rates for graduates, clinical placements, and flexibility of educational offerings, we compiled data from acute care pediatric programs across the country pulling together a list of the top schools for aspiring acute care pediatric NPs. Here are our top picks. 

1. The Ohio State University

National Certification Exam Pass Rate: 100%

With a 100 percent pass rate on the pediatric nurse practitioner certification exam since 2007, The Ohio State University was naturally our top acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program pick. Not only does Ohio State have a strong track record when it comes to the certification exam, faculty say that based on student report graduates have no trouble finding jobs after graduation. 

The Ohio State University offers its acute care pediatric nurse practitioner online, an added bonus for students seeking flexibility. Faculty also place students in clinical sites so that aspiring NPs don't have the stress of finding their own preceptors. If you are considering the acute care pediatric NP program at Ohio State, it is important to note that one year of full-time nursing experience is required before graduation from the program. 

2. Duke University

National Certification Exam Pass Rate: 99%

The only acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program in North Carolina, Duke's program fills a much needed gap in nursing education for the state. Not only is the program unique to the state, it offers a quality education for students. Graduates of Duke's acute care pediatric NP program boast a 99 percent pass rate on the national certification exam and nearly all find jobs within six months of graduation.

For students requiring flexibility in their education, Duke's program can meet these needs. The program is distance-based with the majority of coursework completed online. Students are required to visit campus just once each semester to meet face-to-face with faculty and other students. This format allows students to continue working throughout the program and accommodates other scheduling needs. 

3. University of Michigan Ann Arbor

National Certification Exam Pass Rate: First students graduate in 2015

The University of Michigan School of Nursing's commitment to quality education is apparent in its acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program. Michigan's acute care pedes NP program is new with the first cohort expected to graduate in 2015. So, the school does not yet have data for pass rates on the certification exam or post graduation job placement. However, graduates of the University of Michigan's other NP program specialties traditionally enjoy a 90 to 100 percent pass rate on the test.  

With over 200 clinical sites available, students will have no problem working with their clinical coordinator at the University of Michigan to find a preceptor in their field of interest. The acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program is not offered online although many courses do have a web-based component. 

4. Emory University

National Certification Exam Pass Rate: "Very High"

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Emory's acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program not only offers students a quality education but also the benefits of a bustling city location. The program is not offered online, so students are required to complete coursework on campus. As a convenience, faculty at Emory University locate clinical placements for acute care pediatric NP students preventing the graduation delays seen in programs that do not offer this service. 

While the school did not provide us exact information regarding pass rates on the national certification exam, faculty say the rate is "very high".

5. University of Pennsylvania

National Certification Exam Pass Rate: Not Provided

The University of Pennsylvania's acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program is the place to be for students looking to specialize further within their profession. The school offers an acute/chronic care concentration, a critical care concentration, and a pediatric oncology concentration. These concentrations are unique, and not offered by most other acute care pediatric programs across the country. Located near one of the top children's hospitals in the nation, the University of Pennsylvania's acute care pediatric programs offer a strong clinical experience preparing students well for practice. 

Where will you go for your acute care pediatric nurse practitioner degree?

 

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