The care of children with complex needs

Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program

Acute Care Pediatric Program Focus


The Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program focuses on the care of infant, children and adolescents with complex health problems including acute/critical and chronic illness. The U-M education and clinical preparation of Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners includes a strong foundation in pathophysiology, pharmacology, evidence-based management of complex patient problems, and leadership within the health care system. The foundational preparation is broad with increasing opportunities to specialize toward the end of the program which enables students to focus on a particular area of interest. All practicum are arranged by U-M faculty and offer rich learning environments for developing expertise in acute care nursing and for refining clinical leadership skills.
In the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program, emphasis is placed on advanced assessment, diagnostic reasoning and decision making, therapeutic interventions, and consultation and referral skills.



The Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (ACPNP) program trains graduates to practice as advance practice nurses with children who have acute/critical care needs. More specifically, graduates are prepared to care for children with complex health problems including those with acute, critical, and chronic health conditions. Pharmacology, diagnostic reasoning and decision-making, therapeutic interventions, advanced assessment, consultation and referral skills are intrinsic components of their practice.
See the application requirements for this program.


"The Michigan Difference” in Acute Care

World-Class Faculty Leaders in Education, Research, and Practice

Faculty that teach in our program are excellent instructors, researchers, and practitioners. Living up to the title "leaders and the best," our faculty are actively involved in national organizations, using their expertise to help shape and advance the future of care and education.


Expert Faculty Practitioners in a Wide Variety of Clinical Settings

Our faculty maintain active practices in a wide variety of clinical settings within the University of Michigan Health System – a premier health care organization. This varied range of faculty practice roles translates to a richer education and a broad range of clinical opportunities for our students. In addition, our faculty members are experts in evidence-based practice to optimize patient outcomes in all of their practice settings.


Diverse Settings and Talented Clinical Preceptors for Students

Not only does the does the University of Michigan School of Nursing have a broad scope of talented clinical preceptors available within the entire University of Michigan Health System, but we also place students with skilled and knowledgeable preceptors at all of the major health systems in southeast Michigan and other locations across the state to meet student needs.


Coordinated Clinical Placement Assistance for Students

To help ensure that students receive the clinical experience that best fits the certification requirements for their specialty area, their unique needs, interests, and goals, the University of Michigan Clinical Placement Coordinator and the clinical faculty members play a key role in students' placement process. Students are matched to a location that will engage and develop the student's skills.



The University of Michigan School of Nursing Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program meets and surpasses the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Competencies as outlined by the National Organization of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).
According to the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies, the art and science of the profession is characterized by the following hallmarks:
  • Health promotion, protection of disease and treatment with particular focus on assessment and diagnosis of health status and initiating a plan of care and implementing treatment
  • Building the nurse practitioner/patient relationship
  • Teaching/coaching function skills of the nurse practitioner
  • Professional role development
  • Managing health care delivery systems
  • Monitoring the quality of health care promotion
  • Care in regards to cultural competency 

Specialty Appeal

Acute care nurses are in demand. With the increasing intensity and shortened length of stay of acutely ill patients in hospitals and the decrease in medical resident hours, a shift in hospital employment trends has increased demand for acute care nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, national job growth in Advanced Practice Nursing will increase at least 19 percent between now and 2020.
Consequently, over the years, as the role of acute care nurses has increased in capacity, the number of practice settings where acute care nurses work is continually expanding. Potential employment opportunities for Acute Care Pediatric NP graduates include the following pediatric areas: intensive care units, trauma units, specialty practices, cardiopulmonary/neurology/surgery/oncology fields, emergency departments, long-term care facilities, home health care, and the list goes on.
In addition to being in demand and having a variety of practice settings to choose from, salaries for acute care nurses are highly competitive and rank among the highest for advanced practice nurses.
Finally, being an acute care nurse is both challenging and rewarding. Acute care pediatric nurses are experts in the care of children with acute illness and multiple complex problems, and research has shown that they provide quality care, decrease length of stay, and improve patient and family satisfaction. Furthermore, the addition of acute care nurses to the health care team improves communication and overall patient care. Acute care nurses frequently report satisfaction in their role and in their collaboration with physicians, often citing autonomy, involvement with patients and patients’ care, and collaboration as advantages.
For more information about the profession, visit the following websites:


Listed below are the required courses for the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. The Acute Care Pediatric NP curriculum is offered in an on-campus format; however, a few of the core courses may be web-blended (the University of Michigan School of Nursing does not offer a completely on-line curriculum).  The Acute Care Pediatric NP program is offered fall term (September) start only, in a 2 year or a 3 year program plan.
Course Number
Course Name
Course Credits
Term Offered

Core Courses

Models, Theories and Methods to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes
Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Healthcare Delivery
Scientific and Analytic Approaches for Advanced Practice

Specialty Courses

Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses
N534Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Roles and Negotiating Health Care Systems3Fall
N545Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Common Minor and Acute Illnesses3Fall
N549Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Wellness4Fall
Acute Care Pediatric Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum I
Acute Care Pediatric Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum II
N639Acute Care Pediatric Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum III5Winter
Pediatric Acute Care Advanced Management I
Pediatric Acute Care Advanced Management II

Required Cognates

Introduction to Critical Care Pharmacotherapy
One additional cognate as selected by student
Total Credits = 49
Minimum Required Clinical Hours = 562.5