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

👩‍⚕️I recently started a new series that I post every Sunday called Ask Nurse Nat. 👩‍⚕️


This is my first of many of my “Ask Nurse Nat’ series. Every Saturday I will post a question box in my Instagram stories and type of a long form answer of one of the questions the next day on Sunday ! Thank you for your awesome questions!


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.


👉I hope you like this new series! Check back every Sunday for a new answer about nursing school, pediatric nurse life, travel nursing, working in the PICU or being a pediatric nurse practitioner.


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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