About Pediatric Nurse Practitioners - NAPNAP

About Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Who We Are

First and foremost, members of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) are experts in pediatrics and advocates for children.

Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) and our fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are certified, licensed advanced practice nurses who have obtained a master’s degree, postgraduate certificate and/or clinical practice doctorate from an accredited academic program. We have completed advanced course work in physical/health assessment, pharmacology and pathophysiology. The curriculum content includes health promotion, disease prevention, and differential diagnosis and disease management with a minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours. These advanced course and practice requirements are in addition to an initial nursing degree (typically RN baccalaureate) and licensure requirements. Beyond educational requirements, we have passed a national certification exam with a specific population focus (family, adult-gerontology, neonatal, pediatric primary care, pediatric acute care, women’s health, psychiatric-mental health) and expand our knowledge through ongoing continuing education.

What is a PNP

Patient Population

PNPs and pediatric-focused APRNs treat children from birth through transition to adult care and their families and caregivers. While most NAPNAP members practice in general pediatrics, some specialize in adolescents and young adults or neonatal populations.

Where We Practice

PNPs and pediatric-focused APRNs treat millions of patients across the country each year. We spend significant one-on-one time with patients and families in pediatric offices, hospitals, specialty clinics, public or school-based health care centers and other facilities. The majority of NAPNAP members report spending up to 20 minutes with patients.

How We Are Regulated

Advanced practice education requirements prepare APRNs to provide high-quality, cost-effective health care to their patients. Based on state laws, each state’s regulatory board sets guidelines for APRN licensure, including practice and prescriptive authority. APRNs have full practice and prescriptive authority in 22 states and the District of Columbia, which allows them to work independently. The other states have rules ranging from reduced practice to restrictive practice and prescriptive authority. 

What We Do

  • Diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses such as allergies, ear and respiratory infections and skin conditions including acne
  • Perform pediatric health care maintenance, including well child exams, developmental screenings and in-depth physical assessments, such as vision, hearing and dental
  • Prescribe medications, medical equipment and therapies
  • Screen and manage mental health illnesses in children and adolescents and prescribe medications and referral to therapy
  • Manage acute, chronic and critical pediatric diseases, including asthma, diabetes and cancer
  • Order and interpret results of laboratory and diagnostic tests, X-rays and ultrasounds
  • Perform school physicals and provide childhood immunizations
  • Provide parents advice on common child health concerns, including nutrition, obesity and weight management
  • Provide behavioral counseling to children and caregivers on improving school performance, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reducing harmful risk-taking behaviors
  • Monitor and ensure the quality of health care practice and assist patients and families in negotiating health care delivery systems
  • Provide guidance on in-home safety, unintentional injuries, sports injuries, motor vehicle and bike safety
  • Work closely with an interprofessional team to provide the highest level of evidence-based care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with life-threatening illnesses and organ dysfunction or failure
  • Manage complex and ongoing intensive therapies in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, emergency departments and home care settings
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