Overview and Population of Interest
Pediatric Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are Registered Nurses educated at the Master's level with expertise in the care of the pediatric population ranging in age from newborns up to 21 years of age in a variety of settings. Tracks offered within the UCLA Pediatric APRN program include:
Programs offered within the Pediatric APRN program:
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Combined Pediatric Primary Care-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Combined Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nurse Practitioner Role and Preparation
The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care (PNP-PC) is a Registered Nurse educated at the Master's level as a nurse practitioner. The focus of care for the PNP is newborns to young adults up to 21 years of age. The PNP is educated to provide continual and comprehensive wellness and illness care by providing preventive health services, patient education, disease management and illness prevention. The PNP is prepared to implement evidence-based practice guidelines and to critically analyze and adapt health care interventions based on individualized assessments of child/family needs. The PNP practices in the context of community, with broad knowledge, sensitivity and awareness of the specific needs of people from diverse populations and cultural backgrounds.
Dual Preparation Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care and Primary Care
With approval of the faculty, students may complete course work for both Acute and Primary Care roles in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. Students must complete all theory and clinical courses for both roles.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Role and Preparation
The Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) intervenes in the individual patient/family sphere, a nurses-nursing practice sphere, and the organizations-systems sphere to influence patient outcomes. The CNS activities span 8 dimensions of care: clinical judgment, clinical inquiry, facilitation of learning, collaboration, systems thinking, advocacy/moral agency, caring practices, and response to diversity. The CNS performs comprehensive health assessments, interpret diagnostic tests and procedures within their areas of expertise, provide expert consultation to other health care providers, support organizational goals, evaluate application of research to clinical practice within an organizational setting, provide formal and informal multidisciplinary education, and provide leadership, mentoring and guidance to staff nurses.
Dual Preparation in Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles
With approval of the faculty, students may complete course work for both PNP-AC and CNS roles in the Pediatric Program. Students must complete all theory and clinical courses for both roles.
Graduates of the UCLA School of Nursing PNP program assume an advanced practice role in the care of newborns to young adults. The PNP will be able to provide comprehensive wellness and illness care through preventive health services, patient education, acute illness and chronic disease management.
Graduates of the Pediatric CNS program assume an advanced practice role in the care of newborns to young adults with acute or chronic illness and with high-intensity nursing and medical needs. The Pediatric CNS also designs innovative programs and systems of care that improve outcomes for pediatric patients and their families.
Education: Master of Science in Nursing
Credentials (depending on role):
- Eligible for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) certification exam as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute and/or Primary Care.
- Eligible for the American Nurses' Credentialing Center's (ANCC) certification exam as a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Eligible for prescriptive authority in all 50 states with restrictions as specified by state
Types of Care Provided by Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Primary Care:
- Well-child primary care
- Episodic care for acute conditions, including minor acute injuries and common illnesses
- Management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma.
- Monitoring and case management/consultation of more acute or complex medical conditions such as cardiac, seizure or neuromuscular disorders.
Types of Care Provided by Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Acute Care:
- Episodic care for acute conditions
- In hospital care of patients with acute/chronic illness
- Specialty care of patients with acute/chronic illness
- Management of chronic conditions such as congenital heart disease and pulmonary dysfunction.
- Diagnosing, monitoring, and management of more acute medical conditions such as cardiac, seizure or neuromuscular disorders.
General Functions of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Acute or Primary):
- Obtain health histories and perform comprehensive physical examinations, including psychosocial, functional, and developmental assessments
- Order and interpret lab results and other diagnostic studies
- Develop differential diagnoses
- Develop/order therapeutic plan of care including prescription medications
- Maintain patient records
- Evaluate patient's response to plan of care and modify as needed
- Provide child/family counseling and education
- Arrange for patient referrals/consultations
- Participate in research studies
- Practice evidence-based medicine
- Collaborate with other health team members
General Functions of the Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist:
- Comprehensive, holistic wellness and illness assessment
- Design, implementation, and evaluation of innovative individual, aggregate, and/or population-based programs of care
- Identification and measurement of nurse-sensitive patient outcomes
- Multidisciplinary collaboration
- Diagnosis of systems-level problems and development and evaluation of systems-level change strategies
- Evidence-based practice at the patient, nursing, and systems level
- Patient and nursing advocacy
- Provides education for staff and families
- Clinical and professional leadership
The two-year program (3 quarters per year) consists of theory and clinical courses designed to prepare APRNs to work in a collaborative practice setting. Courses meet the criteria designated by state and national accreditation bodies and professional organizations including the California Board of Registered Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty. Dual Acute PNP/CNS or Acute/Primary PNP students are required take clinical courses during the Summer Session between the first and second years of study.