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Ask Nurse Nat: What Is the Path to Be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

As a high school & college student I was so confused by the pathway to get from RN to NP. Can you relate?

🩺When you graduate as an RN, you can go into any patient population (think oncology, pediatric cardiovascular unit, adult emergency room).

🩺But, NP is a little different. Your degree is more POPULATION focused. Let me explain!

✨What is an APRN Advanced practice registered nurse?

Nursing professionals who have earned a master’s (MSN) or doctoral (DNP) degree to take on advanced roles in health care

💊Nurse Practitioner (NP)

💊Certified nurse midwife (CNM)

💊Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

💊Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

✨NP Certifications:

💊Categorized by population

💊You have to pick one, there is no “general” nurse practitioner” although are more specific to one type of patient population.

✨Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Primary Care (this is what I did!)

✨Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Acute Care

Note there are programs to get DUAL certified, the boards for each are different)

✨Neonatal nurse Practitioner (NNP)

✨Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

✨Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

✨Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

✨Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)

✨Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP)

💕Subspecialize: If you want to subspecialize even further (for example to work in a cardiology, pulmonary, endocrinology, or gastroenterology outpatient clinic OR to work in the emergency room or cardiovascular ICU,) like I did, as an NP you can.

You don’t necessarily need another degree or certification to do that. You need your job to mentor and train you as a new grad in that specific specialty or experience as an RN in that specialty.

For me, I work as a PNP in Gastroenterology and Nutrition but I didn’t have to take extra courses to subspecialize.

Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioner students and new grads: check out my pediatric resources and cheat sheets here!

Are you a new grad nurse practitioner? Check out my blog post "How to Get an NP Job as a New Grad" here.

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