Colleges for Pediatric Nursing
Professionals with a master's in pediatric nursing can often explore ample job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for registered nurses to grow 7% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Earning a master's in pediatric nursing can qualify graduates for leadership nursing positions, such as medical and health services manager. The BLS projects jobs for medical and health services managers to grow 32% from 2019 to 2029.
Nurses who enjoy caring for others and working with children often thrive in pediatric nursing positions. Pediatric nurses specialize in caring for infants and adolescents. These professionals must understand developmental stages and be familiar with the best practices for working with children.
Although many pediatric nursing positions require only a bachelor's degree, professionals in the field can advance their career by earning a master's degree. Master's degree-holders often qualify for pay raises and managerial positions.
This guide explores typical degree requirements and components of the best pediatric nursing master's programs.
Frequently Asked Prediatric Nursing Questions
What degree do I need to become a pediatric nurse?
Pediatric nurses need at least a bachelor of science in nursing. Some employers prefer candidates with a concentration in pediatrics or a master's degree.
How does nursing school work?
Nursing programs typically include lecture-based classes, which may require multiple-choice and written exams. Nursing students also complete in-person clinical hours. Bachelor's students generally complete about 120 credits, and most master's in nursing programs require about 36 credits.
How long does it take to earn a master's in pediatric nursing?
Most full-time students can complete a master's in pediatric nursing in two years. However, this time frame depends on the student's schedule and the program format.
How does a master's program in pediatric nursing compare to an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) program?
A nurse practitioner program prepares students to obtain APRN licensure. A master's in pediatric nursing qualifies holders for administrative and managerial roles in the nursing field.
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Top Online Master's in Pediatric Nursing Programs
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Career and Salary Outlook for Nursing
Earning a master's in pediatric nursing can qualify professionals for higher-paying positions. Individuals with a certificate or associate degree in nursing can work as licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, who earn a median annual salary of $47,480, according to the BLS. On the other hand, nurse practitioners, who need a master's degree, earn a median salary of $109,820 per year. After earning a master's degree, aspiring nurse practitioners must obtain licensure to practice.
The following tables highlight salaries for each type of nursing professional. Factors that influence an individual's earning potential include position, location, experience, and employer. For example, a pediatric nurse working at a private practice in a large city may earn more than a nurse in a rural community's hospital.
|Career||Top 10%||Median Annual Salary||Bottom 10%|
|Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners||$82,460||$115,800||$184,180|
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses||$34,560||$47,480||$63,360|
Accreditation for Nursing Programs
Students researching master's in pediatric nursing programs should ensure each prospective school holds accreditation. The accreditation process involves regular quality assessments by third-party organizations. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversee these accrediting agencies.
Institutions in the United States can hold national or regional accreditation. Regional accrediting agencies evaluate schools in a specific area. For example, the Higher Learning Commission grants regional accreditation to schools in the Midwest United States. Most employers place greater value on degrees from regionally accredited schools.
Nursing programs can also earn field-specific accreditation. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is one of the top accrediting agencies for nursing programs. Learners can confirm the accreditation status of any school or program using the ED's searchable database.
After earning a master's in pediatric nursing, graduates must obtain licensure to practice. Most states require candidates for licensure to pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse. Test-takers receive six hours to complete the exam, which includes 75-265 questions. The exam ends when test-takers achieve a passing score.
Each state sets its own requirements for nursing licensure. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing provides information about each state's requirements. Additionally, many states participate in reciprocity agreements, which allow nurses to transfer their license between states.
While nurses must hold licensure to practice, certification is a voluntary process that can lead to increased professional opportunities. Earning a certification can lead to specialized roles in competitive nursing fields, such as pediatrics.
Pediatric Nursing Certification
Many hospitals and clinics require or prefer pediatric nurses to hold certification. To obtain pediatric nursing certification, candidates must pass the Certified Pediatric Nurse Examination from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). The exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions and takes three hours.
The certification exam covers topics related to adolescent care. Candidates must understand how to assess safety risks, record medical histories, and identify signs of abuse and neglect. The exam also includes questions related to family dynamics and barriers to care. The certification demonstrates that the holder is prepared to provide guidance and education to children and families about growth and nutrition.
Professionals must complete the recertification process each year. The PNCB also offers specialized certifications for pediatric nurses in areas such as pediatric mental health.
Courses in a Pediatric Nursing Program
Students in pediatric nursing programs hone skills in interpersonal communication, observation, and listening. Learners also develop field-specific skills, such as medicine administration and record-keeping.
Most master's programs in the field require about 36 credits, or 12 courses. Most full-time students earn their master's in pediatric nursing in about two years.
The courses below are common to many pediatrics nursing master's programs. Exact curricula vary by program, so students should read course descriptions before enrolling. Learners with specific career goals should look for programs that offer relevant coursework.
This class examines the signs of healthy development. Learners discover how the human body changes during infancy, childhood, and early adolescence. Coursework covers healthy hormone levels, weight, and growth of male and female children. This class typically involves lectures, class discussions, and a final exam.
Students discover how nutritional needs change from infancy through adolescence. Coursework covers food allergies that children commonly develop. Enrollees also explore topics including dysfunctional eating and pediatric obesity and how to feed high-risk newborns.
This class examines common psychological disorders in children, such as trichotillomania and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Learners explore theories behind the study of psychological disorders and various treatment plans. Coursework also covers diagnostic criteria and statistics for each disorder.
Psychological Disorders in Children
Students learn about pediatric nursing theories that influence modern practice. Learners complete papers, engage in class discussions, and explore research that contributed to each theory's development. Coursework covers theories from various time periods.
Pediatric Nursing Theory
Most pediatric nursing programs require clinical rotations, during which students gain hands-on experience in hospitals or doctors' offices. Under supervision, learners practice administering medication and communicating with family members and patients.
Top Master's in Pediatric Nursing Programs
These rankings include
#1 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
University of Pennsylvania
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
With top-quality graduate-level offerings, University of Pennsylvania is a private institution based in Philadelphia. While students can take classes on campus, they can also pursue many of the school's 141 master's degrees in an online format. One option for graduate degree-seekers is the institution's pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program.
Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects, allow graduate students to enhance their resume and develop practical pediatric nursing skills. The program features a customizable curriculum, allowing learners to select classes that benefit their long-term career goals. Graduates of pediatric nursing master's programs can pursue advanced positions or apply for doctoral-level pediatric nursing programs.
For graduate students who reside in the state, tuition costs $36,254. Sources of funding for graduate enrollees include federal financial aid programs and field-specific organizations. Students can transfer previous credits into the program to graduate more quickly and reduce the cost of their master's degree. For prospective applicants, the admissions department offers information regarding the institution's offerings, including the pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program.
#2 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
A private institution, Duke University educates undergraduate and graduate learners from its campus in Durham, North Carolina. Currently, the school offers 92 master's degrees through its on-campus and online programs. An example of the institution's graduate-level offerings, the pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care program attracts many qualified graduate degree-seekers.
The pediatric nursing curriculum prepares graduate students to succeed in the field. Faculty mentors help learners customize the curriculum based on their nursing career goals. A master's degree can help graduates advance in the pediatric nursing field or transition to the industry from another field.
The school reports a $55,680 graduate tuition rate. Along with institutional funding, graduate enrollees can apply for federal aid and fellowships. Students can transfer previous credits into the program to graduate more quickly and reduce the cost of their master's degree. Prospective applicants should contact the institution or research its website to learn about available start dates for the pediatric nursing program.
#3 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
A private institution, Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to on-campus programs, the school's 104 master's-level options include online programs for distance students. Many online and on-campus graduate degree-seekers pursue the institution's pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care degree.
The pediatric nursing curriculum prepares graduate students to succeed in the field. To customize the curriculum, learners can select classes based on their goals and niche interests. Compared to bachelor's degree-holders, graduates of master's programs often secure more advanced roles in the pediatric nursing field.
The school charges in-state graduate students $48,624 in tuition. Graduate enrollees may qualify for educational funding by demonstrating financial need or academic merit. To reduce tuition costs and graduate in less time, students can submit previous graduate credits for approval. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions department for detailed information regarding the application process.
#4 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
With top-quality graduate programs, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor delivers 140 master's degrees in on-campus and online formats. One of the institution's respected graduate degrees, the primary care pediatric nurse practitioner master's degree represents a popular choice for online and on-campus degree-seekers.
The pediatric nursing program offers an immersive, challenging curriculum. By taking advanced pediatric nursing classes, degree-seekers develop high-level skills in the field. Learners discuss their career goals with faculty mentors in order to choose relevant courses from the school's offerings. Graduates of nurse practitioner master's programs can pursue advanced positions or apply for doctoral-level pediatric nursing programs.
The school's graduate tuition costs $23,890 for in-state residents. Many graduate enrollees pursue fellowships to help fund their master's degree. Incoming students can save time and money by transferring credits toward their degree. Before enrolling in the primary care pediatric nurse practitioner program, prospective applicants should contact the institution for specific information about program requirements.
#5 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
- 4 years
As a private institution, Emory University educates graduate-level learners through respected programs. The school delivers 75 master's degrees in on-campus and online formats. One option for graduate degree-seekers is the institution's pediatric primary care nurse practitioner degree.
To gain experience while benefiting the pediatric nursing field, graduate students can conduct original research while completing their program. Program requirements include credits of graduate-level coursework. Faculty mentors assist learners with choosing classes based on their long-term professional goals. After completing a master's program in pediatric primary care, graduates can pursue high-level leadership roles or doctoral studies.
According to the school, graduate students pay an in-state tuition rate of $42,800. Graduate enrollees may qualify for educational funding by demonstrating financial need or academic merit. To reduce graduation time, students can apply transferrable graduate credits toward their master's degree. Before enrolling in the pediatric nursing program, applicants can obtain more information by researching the institution's website and contacting an admissions counselor.
#6 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
University of Rochester
- 4 years
With top-quality graduate programs, the University of Rochester educates learners from its campus in Rochester, New York. The school extends many of its 109 master's programs to online students based anywhere in the country. One of the institution's excellent offerings, the pediatric nurse practitioner master's program appeals to degree-seekers with diverse backgrounds.
During the pediatric nursing program, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects. Degree-seekers expand their knowledge of the field through advanced pediatric nursing coursework. Learners can schedule meetings with faculty mentors to customize the program curriculum and select classes that align with their goals. Compared to bachelor's degree-holders, graduates of master's programs often secure more advanced roles in the pediatric nursing field.
According to the school, graduate students pay an in-state tuition rate of $51,705. At the accredited college, graduate enrollees qualify for federal financial aid programs, scholarships, and institutional aid. Students with previous graduate-level experience often transfer credits into their master's program and graduate in less time. To learn more about the peidatric nurse practitioner program, applicants should contact the institution before enrolling.
#7 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
A private institution, Villanova University educates undergraduate and graduate learners from its campus in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The school extends many of its 45 master's programs to online students based anywhere in the country. One of the institution's excellent offerings, the pediatric nurse practitioner master's program appeals to degree-seekers with diverse backgrounds.
During the pediatric nursing program, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects. Faculty mentors assist learners with choosing classes based on their long-term professional goals. With a master's degree, graduates advance their pediatric nursing careers or break into the field.
State residents earning a graduate degree from the school pay a $20,506 tuition rate. Many organizations reserve scholarship funds for graduate enrollees in the pediatric nurse practitioner field. Transfer students can submit previous graduate credits to determine whether they can apply them toward their master's degree. Before enrolling, applicants considering the pediatric nurse practitioner program should research its requirements, outcomes, and start dates.
#8 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
Case Western Reserve University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Case Western Reserve University's academic offerings include high-quality graduate programs, which learners can pursue at the Cleveland campus. Through 96 online and in-person master's programs, the school educates students located near its campus and throughout the country. Degree-seekers can pursue the institution's master of science in nursing.
Opportunities to collaborate on research projects allow graduate students to enhance their resume while contributing to the nursing field. Learners work closely with faculty mentors to customize their course of study. Individuals with a master's degree in nursing typically qualify for higher salaries than professionals without a graduate degree.
For graduate students who reside in the state, graduate tuition costs $46,524. At the accredited college, graduate enrollees qualify for federal financial aid programs, scholarships, and institutional aid. Students with previous graduate-level experience often transfer credits into their master's program and graduate in less time. For prospective applicants, the admissions department offers information regarding the institution's offerings, including the master of science in nursing program.
#9 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
The Catholic University of America
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
With respected graduate-level offerings, the Catholic University of America educates learners from its Washington campus as a private institution. The school delivers 80 master's degrees in on-campus and online formats. The master of science in nursing program represents one option for the institution's graduate degree-seekers.
Along with participating in internships, many graduate students conduct research in the nursing field to gain professional experience. The program features a customizable curriculum, allowing learners to select classes that benefit their long-term goals. Along with increased earning potential, a master's degree in nursing qualifies holders to pursue doctoral studies.
The school's tuition rate for in-state graduate students is $48,000. Common funding options for graduate enrollees include fellowships and field-specific scholarships. To reduce tuition costs and graduate in less time, students can submit previous graduate credits for approval. Prospective applicants to the master of science in nursing program can contact the institution for details regarding admission requirements.
#10 Best Master’s in Pediatric Nursing Programs
Rockville Centre, NY
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
With respected graduate-level offerings, Molloy College educates learners from its Rockville Centre campus as a private institution. Online and on-campus students can pursue the school's 26 master's programs. Among the institution's offerings is a pediatric nurse practitioner master's program, which represents a popular choice for graduate degree-seekers.
The rigorous curriculum features unique opportunities in the pediatric nursing field, such as internships with relevant organizations. During the graduate program, participants take advanced pediatric nursing classes. Departmental faculty mentors provide insights into the field and help learners plan their academic and professional futures. A pediatric nurse practitioner master's degree can lead to promotions, raises, and increased opportunities in the field.
In-state graduate students pay a tuition rate of $21,510. Along with institutional funding, graduate enrollees can apply for federal aid and fellowships. Students can apply transfer credits toward program requirements to reduce the overall cost of earning a graduate degree. Start dates and requirements vary by program, so prospective applicants should contact the institution for details.