Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a pediatric nurse practitioner?

A pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) is an experienced registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced graduate education at the master’s or doctoral level in pediatric health care. A PNP may provide a broad range of healthcare services for children from birth to 18 to 23 years of age. The age is dependent upon the focus of the PNP with some serving the typical college age population and some stopping at 18. A PNP provides nursing and medical care including health assessment, diagnosis of conditions, ordering and interpreting medical tests such as laboratory studies and X-rays, prescribing medications, and ordering therapeutic interventions such as physical therapy.

How do I become a pediatric nurse practitioner?

First, become a registered nurse (RN). This may be accomplished through a diploma program, an associate’s degree program, or a bachelor’s degree program. A registered nurse may apply to a master’s or doctoral degree program that offers a pediatric nurse practitioner tract. The program should be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program will specify the minimum entry requirements. Some programs offer RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) paths for RN’s that have not completed a bachelor’s degree while some require a bachelor’s degree in nursing for entry. Once the program is completed, successfully passing a certifying examination is required for licensure as a pediatric nurse practitioner in most states. After certification, a license must be obtained from the state in which patients will be seen for care.

Who certifies pediatric nurse practitioners?

Registered nurses who have successfully completed graduate education as a pediatric nurse practitioner from an accredited program may sit for the certification exam from either the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

What is NAPNAP?

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the professional association for pediatric health care professionals of all disciplines who advocate for the health of children. Originally the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners when some states used the term nurse associate instead of nurse practitioner, the name changed in the early 2000’s to represent the current nomenclature. With over 7,000 members, the organization represents one of the largest bodies of advanced practice nurses in the nation.

How do I join the Virginia: Hampton Roads Chapter of NAPNAP?

Membership is open to all members of the national organization. An application for membership can be found on the website for NAPNAP at www.napnap.org . Designate the Virginia: Hampton Roads Chapter as your chapter of choice when applying.

Where did the acronym NAPNAP originate?

The original name of the organization was the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners.  When the profession began there were a variety of terms used across the country with nurse practitioner and nurse associate being the most common.  In the early 2000’s, the name was changed to reflect the disappearance of the title nurse associate.