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Pediatric NP Acute Care Major

Nurse delivering pediatric acute care

The pediatric nurse practitioner–acute care (PNP–AC) major in the Duke MSN Program is specifically designed to prepare graduates to meet the needs of infants and children with complex and rapidly changing clinical conditions across acute care settings. Emphasis is placed on family-centered, culturally sensitive care.

Students receive one-on-one clinical practice experience in diverse settings such as pediatric intensive care units, pediatric surgery, pediatric step-down units, inpatient units, emergency departments, pediatric/neonatal transport, and ambulatory, rehabilitative, and specialty-based clinics.

Graduates of the PNP-AC major are prepared to work with patients and families in a variety of pediatric acute care settings including specialty clinics, in-patient/hospitalist services, emergency departments, intensive care units and as part of critical care transport teams.


  • Only PNP-AC program in North Carolina
  • The seven-semester program is designed to allow students to continue building their nursing experience while pursuing their advanced practice degree
  • Pediatric-focused coursework in growth and development, health assessment and physical examination, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and management of acute, chronic, and critical illnesses in infants, children, and adolescents
  • The Center for Nursing Discovery, our state-of-the-art simulation center, allows opportunities for students to gain confidence in practicing advanced procedures, acute care clinical management strategies and PNP-AC role transitions
  • Clinically active faculty are national leaders in the pediatric acute care community
  • 43 credit hours, including 616 clinical hours

Enrollment Options

  • MSN and Post-Graduate Certificate

The Pediatric NP Acute program is distance-based. Successful students in this advanced practice program have a strong clinical foundation. Applicants must have at least one year of acute care pediatric nursing experience. At the time of application, students must have a current Pediatric Advanced Life Support certificate and maintain it throughout the program of study.

Students are encouraged to submit recommendations from mentors or colleagues who can speak to their preparedness for graduate-level education and advanced clinical practice. Recommendations submitted by physicians, nurse managers, advanced practice nurses, and other nursing leaders are required.

Learn more about our curriculum.