Students - NAPNAP


Students are critical to the future of the pediatric health care system and our profession. The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) supports students throughout their education experience with special resources and opportunities.

We encourage all nurse practitioner (NP) students interested in pediatrics to join our professional organization, a community based on national and chapter membership benefits and opportunities. Join now as a student member to receive a wide range of benefits at a deeply discounted student membership fee.


Read “So You Want to Become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner” co-written by NAPNAP Executive Board Members Cassandra Newell, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC and Jessica Spruit, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC, CPHON, BMTCN, FAAN and published in Imprint magazine in January 2024. The article includes valuable insight about pediatric nurse practitioners working in primary and acute care settings.

"As a student, it has provided tools and resources as well as additional education."
Audrey Vaughn
NAPNAP Member Since 2022
"I love that NAPNAP is an organization of nurse practitioners dedicated to children. Every topic that is reported on, presented on, educated on, is relevant to my practice."
Tamara Kim
NAPNAP Member Since 2017

Are you thinking of becoming a registered nurse (RN) or a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP)?

Pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is a broad term that includes PNPs, family nurse practitioners (FNPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and other APRNs who care for children. Regardless of specific titles, all are advanced practice registered nurses and health care providers dedicated to improving children’s health in primary, acute and specialty care settings. We have been providing quality health care to children and families for 50 years in an extensive range of practice settings, such as pediatric offices, in-patient hospitals, specialty clinics, school-based health  centers and urgent and convenient care clinics, reaching millions of patients across the country each year. APRNs spend significant one-on-one time with patients and families.

What do pediatric nurse practitioners and pediatric-focused APRNs do during a typical day? Each pediatric patient and family is unique so every day in every practice setting is different. PNPs and their fellow pediatric-focused APRNs serve as pediatric health care providers for children of all ages. Many parents choose an APRN as their child’s health care provider knowing they will receive individualized quality health care focused on the long-term well-being of the child and the family.

To learn more about who we are and what we do, visit our About Pediatric Nurse Practitioners page.


We’ve created this flyer for students who are not yet in college who are interested in learning about becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner as a future career. Starting by describing what PNPs are and what we do, this flyer then describes each step in the career path to becoming a PNP, as well as the diverse opportunities within the career for specialization. This information is especially helpful for high school students exploring career options. You can download the flyer here to share this resource with interested students.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Students

Already enrolled in an NP program?

Are you already in an NP program but are looking for information and resources to help you while you are in school or after you graduate? Check out the information below on topics such as PNP certification and review courses for the certification exam, NAPNAP student benefits, our career resource guide and Career Connection Job Center. 

NAPNAP is not a certifying body and does not certify PNPs. Currently only the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board certifies pediatric nurse practitioners in both primary and acute care.

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners supports the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). NAPNAP, together with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), chartered the PNCB (formerly the NCBPBP/N) in 1975 as a separately incorporated certification board. Today the PNCB certifies more than 95% of all nationally certified PNPs. PNCB offers the following certifications for pediatric nurse practitioners:

  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (CPNP-PC®)
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (CPNP-AC®)
  • Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS)

American Nurses Credentialing Center 

NAPNAP also recognizes PNPs certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC Commission on Certification (COC) decided to retire the examination for the Pediatric Primary Care NP (PPCNP) board certification as of Dec. 31, 2018. If you hold an ANCC PPCNP certification, you can  maintain and renew your PPCNP-BC certification by fulfilling the published renewal requirements. The renewal requirements were recently updated to focus on continual lifelong learning and acquisition of new knowledge, and to recognize the wide range of roles you may hold during your career.

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners offers our certification review courses in conjunction with the national conference in March and symposium in the summer or fall. Get more info about review courses. Review courses are also great opportunities for FNPs looking for a deeper dive into pediatrics.

A guide that will assist you in preparing to obtain certification, secure your first position, obtain your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) numbers and successfully obtain credentialing and privileging. 

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Join fellow student members in our special e-community to share experiences, ask questions and connect with peers across the country.

Apply for a nursing research or clinical practice grant from the NAPNAP Foundation. provides free scholarship & financial aid resources to students who are preparing for a career in nursing.

Are you a PNP or FNP NAPNAP student member looking for a PNP preceptor or a pediatric clinical site? NAPNAP has 53 chapters located across the United States and one virtual chapter for members who are unable to travel to a local chapter. We encourage you to contact your local chapter to see if they have any NAPNAP members who might be interested in precepting a student. Some chapters are willing to send emails out to their chapter members. Please make sure you provide as much information as possible, such as your rotation start and end dates, number of clinical hours needed, cities or areas where you are looking for a practice site, etc. Look for a NAPNAP chapter near you.

Looking to get into nursing?

The road to becoming an NP starts begins with graduation from a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). After a couple years of experience as an RN, you may consider going back to school to obtain a masters or doctorate degree to become a nurse practitioner. When you’re ready to apply to a program, consider whether you want to practice in acute care, primary care or both. NP programs offer a variety of learning formats, so you’ll need to decide which you prefer and consider your budget for graduate education. After completing your master’s/doctorate degree program, you will need to pass a qualifying national examination in your specialty area (i.e. pediatrics, neonatal, family, adult-gerontology, women’s health or psychiatric/mental health) in order to be certified in the advanced/NP role.

Each state has its own nurse practice act, rules and regulations and the state board of nursing and sometimes along with the state medical board is who licenses you as an APRN. To learn about your state license requirements, contact your state board of nursing representative.  

If you’re not already a NAPNAP member, you can join today with our student/career starter membership to receive full benefits and services at a deeply discounted rate. Being a member of our association shows your commitment to your education and profession. At NAPNAP, you have a professional home to access to resources, services, news and information and peer-to-peer networking.

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN): the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Search AACN’s Member Program Directory for all undergraduate and graduate nursing programs by state.
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): a nationally recognized accrediting agency for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in nursing that publishes information about accredited programs in its directory of accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in nursing. The Commission identifies the status of programs on its website.
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): the entity that is responsible for the specialized accreditation of nursing education programs, both postsecondary and higher degree, which offer either a certificate, a diploma or a recognized professional degree (clinical doctorate, master’s/post-master’s certificate, baccalaureate, associate, diploma and practical). Search accredited nursing programs by state/country and program type.

This free guide is one of the most complete databases of nursing programs accredited by the CCNE and NLNAC on the web, featuring over 7,000 programs and NCLEX exam pass rates for most programs.

Find information on the NCLEX application process, exam preparation and more. is a website that lists every accredited school that offers a master’s degree in nursing, along with a short description of each school.

To learn more about the doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) degree, read NAPNAP’s Frequently Asked Questions about the DNP. 

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