Pediatric Nursing Certification Board – Overview
Pediatric nursing is an extremely rewarding nursing specialty.
As children have a different disease process, one requires special knowledge, skills, and training to diagnose and treat children.
This is required of doctors as well as nurses who serve in the pediatric sections. A child’s clinical structure differs greatly from that of an adult. So, the technique to care for a child’s health is also different.
According to various reports, getting a pediatric nursing certification is extremely beneficial for job satisfaction and career growth.
It is estimated that more than 83% of healthcare providers preferred to hire candidates with a pediatric nursing certification.
More than 97% of nursing professionals admit the certification has provided them with personal satisfaction.
Over 90% of nurse managers choose candidates with certification while 88% of nurses admitted that certification had boosted their confidence in clinical abilities.
As this is a specialized field in medicine, getting a certification in pediatrics is highly beneficial to nurse practitioners and the family of the child.
Why is the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate Required?
Advanced practicing registered nurses (APRNs) need to earn certification to get a license to practice medicine in any state.
In a DNP or MSN program, nurse practitioner (NP) students first need to complete a core course in nursing, followed by courses in the pediatrics specialty. Once this program is completed successfully, the NP needs to take the certification exam in order to earn licensure.
In addition, APRNs can also choose to transfer from one specialty area to another and complete their post-master’s degree program to be certified in pediatrics.
For instance, an adult-gerontology NP can switch their career path and shift their focus to the pediatric section of medicine.
To become a practicing pediatric NP, they need to become certified first, usually through a post-master’s certification program.
Where to get a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification?
There are a handful of nationally recognized agencies that offer pediatric nurse practitioner certification. APRNs need to verify with their individual state’s board of nursing to ensure that the agency meets its licensure requirements.
For PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board)
Two popular certifications in this are called Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care, or Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care.
The credential is awarded as CPNP-PC or CPNP-AC certificates. The total cost of pursuing this certification comes to around US$ 385 or US$ 600 for primary and acute care exams.
The eligibility criteria for this exam include:
- Updated, valid RN license
- Acquired MSN, DNP or post-master’s certificate program accredited by the CCNE or ACEN with a focus on pediatric primary or acute care
- Officially verified transcripts from APRN school/program
- Acquired a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical practice in acute or primary care pediatrics
- Completed graduate-level courses in advanced pathophysiology/physiology, pharmacology and health assessment
From (ANCC) American Nurses Credentialing Center
This certificate is called pediatric primary care nurse practitioner certification but is meant for certificate renewal only. This is meant for RNs whose initial certification retired after 2019.
The credential awarded by ANCC is the PPCNP-BC and costs around US$ 375 for non-members and US$ 275 for ANA members.
As the initial certificate is retired in this case, the pediatric NP certification is the only choice for the certificate renewal.
The eligibility requirements for renewal certification include:
- Completing 75 clinical hours and 1 out of 8 renewal categories for a pediatric specialty within 5 years of the renewal application
- Logging at least 25 out of 75 clinical hours in pharmacotherapeutics
- Having a current ANCC pediatric NP certification, which is expiring within the next 12 months
- Having a current active RN license
- Paying the applicable fees
With a pediatric nurse practitioner certificate, you can definitely distinguish yourself and your career.
It is highly advisable to consult with your seniors and certified nurses in pediatrics before seeking admission into a certification program.