Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care Graduate Certificate

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Why Choose the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care Certificate Program?

This post-master’s degree certificate as a pediatric nurse practitioner - acute care (PNP-AC) builds on your original master's degree curriculum. A gap analysis will be completed to identify which courses are required to complete the certificate program. 

The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) concentration is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses to provide care for children from birth to 21 years of age. Since 1965, PNPs have worked with pediatricians and other health care providers to provide comprehensive care to children and families by focusing on health maintenance and education, illness prevention and minor and chronic illness management.

This concentration provides a broad theoretical and research foundation in advanced concepts of parent, child and adolescent nursing. Clinical experiences occur across a variety of acute care settings and focus on providing care to children. PNPs are qualified to perform complete physical exams, take health histories, diagnose and treat common acute minor illnesses or injuries, order and interpret lab results and x-rays, manage stable chronic illness, counsel clients and provide health education. Many may prescribe medications according to state law.

Coursework aligned with clinical experiences specific to specialization focus provides the knowledge, skills, and values inherent in the development of clinical excellence as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Students have course assignments and clinical experiences specific to the acute care area. PNP students are precepted by pediatricians or PNPs with clinical experiences in a variety of acute care settings. The concentration consists of advanced clinical practice and nursing science, built on a core of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and family-centered care.

Acute care PNPs offer a variety of services including:

  • Provide care to children who are acutely, chronically, and critically ill
  • Perform in-depth physical assessments
  • Interpret results of laboratory and diagnostic tests
  • Order medications and perform therapeutic treatments in a variety of settings
  • Acute care PNPs may practice in a variety of pediatric specialty areas, such as cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and many others.

Visit the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners website for more information.

Upon successful completion of the concentration, graduates will be eligible to sit for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care Certification examination offered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). National certification is necessary to obtain advanced practice licensure in most states. 

Academics and Curriculum

View the pediatric nurse practitioner - acute care certificate program information and degree requirements in the Academic Catalog.

Year 1

  • NUR 7512 (5 credit hours)— Acute Illness Management for Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • NUR 7513 (6 credit hours)— Practicum for Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Total: 11 credit hours, 336 clinical hours.



To be eligible to apply to this post master's certificate nursing program, applicants must meet the following criteria:


Master’s degree as a pediatric nurse practitioner from a CCNE-accredited master’s program (official transcript from accredited master’s program required)

Note: Post-master’s students who are not pediatric nurse practitioners may also apply. A gap analysis will be completed to determined required hours. Greater than 22 hours would be a second master's. 


Current unencumbered licensure as RN in the state where clinical experiences are planned.


Apply to the Wright State Graduate School

Keep in mind that it takes 2-6 weeks to process an application in the Graduate School. Once all your application materials have been received, you will be contacted to interview with the director.


Clear OBI/FBI background check.

Graduate Financial Aid Application (PDF)

Program Outcomes

The M.S. graduate will:

  1. Examine scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings 
  2. Demonstrate leadership skills necessary for ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective to promote high quality and safe patient care
  3. Apply quality principles within an organization and articulate the methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality
  4. Apply evidence-based outcomes 
within the practice setting, resolving practice problems, working as a change 
agent, and disseminating results  
  5. Use communication strategies and patient-care technologies to integrate, coordinate, deliver, and enhance care
  6. Examine the policy development process and advocacy strategies necessary to intervene at the 
system level to influence health and health care
  7. Use communication strategies necessary for interprofessional collaboration and consultation to manage and coordinate care
  8. Integrate broad, organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services to individuals, families, and aggregates/identified populations
  9. Demonstrate advanced level of understanding of nursing and relevant sciences as well as the ability to integrate this knowledge into practice including both direct and indirect care components that influence health care outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems


Contact Information

Program Contact:
Tonya Schmitt, DNP, CPNP-PC, APRN
Assistant Professor
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Director of Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Program
Director of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Program
Phone: 937-775-3851 or 734-368-1727
Fax: 937-775-4571

General Contact Information:
School of Nursing, Kinesiology, and Health Sciences
Phone: 937-775-3131
Fax: 937-775-4571

Questions about the graduate school application? Contact:

The College of Graduate Programs and Honors Studies
Location: 160 University Hall
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: 937-775-2976
Fax: 937-775-2453

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