The care of infants, children, and adolescents

Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program


Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PCPNP)

Program Focus


The Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PCPNP) Program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide primary health care to infants, children and adolescents in various health care settings including schools, community clinics, and ambulatory care. Students learn to implement relevant health promotion interventions; assess, diagnose and manage minor acute and chronic health conditions; and educate children and families about positive health practices. In addition to providing direct care to children, graduates learn the skills unique to participating in multidisciplinary collaborations, research, and community education.



Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PCPNPs) are health care providers dedicated to improving children's health. PCPNPs have advanced education in pediatric nursing and health care, and they serve children and families in a range of practice settings. Primary care PNPs offer a variety of services including health maintenance care for children, including well child examinations; routine developmental screenings; diagnosis and treatment of common childhood illnesses; guidance regarding common child health concerns; childhood immunizations; and school physicals.  Working with pediatricians and other health care providers, PCPNPs have been enhancing the health care of children for over forty years.
See the application requirements for this program.


“The Michigan Difference” in Pediatric Nursing Care

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

Faculty that teach in our program are excellent instructors and researchers, but also expert clinicians who maintain active practices at the University of Michigan Health System – a premier health care organization - and other local primary care settings such as private practices.  In addition to their teaching, research, and practice, our faculty are actively involved in leadership roles in national organizations (e.g. Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) using their expertise to help shape and advance the future of pediatric care and education.


Diverse Practice Settings Across the State of Michigan

Because the experience of applying knowledge and theory in a real-world setting is so integral to the learning process, the School of Nursing provides a plethora of clinical placement opportunities that expose students to a wide variety of patient populations. From rural outpatient clinics to private practices in Ann Arbor, our PCPNP students learn by doing and, in the process, provide children with well child care, immunizations, developmental screenings, diagnosis and treatment of common acute illnesses, sports physicals, and anticipatory guidance. 


A Record of Success on Certification Examinations

With a nearly 100% pass rate on certification exams in recent years, it is undeniable that the graduates of the University of Michigan School of Nursing's Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program are well-trained. Our long-standing tradition of rigorous academic preparation paired with intensive experiential learning makes for highly successful nurse practitioners in the professional world.



The University of Michigan School of Nursing's Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program meets and exceeds the Core Competencies for Pediatric Nurse Practitioner practice as outlined by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). After graduation, students are eligible for Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification from the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB) or the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC).
The art and science of the profession is characterized by the following hallmarks:
  • Providing health maintenance care for children
  • Conducting well child examinations
  • Performing developmental screenings
  • Diagnosing and treating common childhood illnesses
  • Providing anticipatory guidance regarding common child health concerns, child safety and normal growth and development
  • Administering childhood immunizations
  • Performing school and sports physicals
  • Offering health promotion, disease prevention, and health education information
  • Providing care to vulnerable populations
  • Giving culturally sensitive care
The process of primary care pediatric nurse practitioner education at the University of Michigan School of Nursing includes graduate core courses (nursing theory, research, data management, health strategies, and a scholarly project) and a comprehensive primary care pediatric nurse practitioner clinical program.  A solid clinical education foundation begins with a course in primary care of the well child.  The curriculum then builds to include the care of children with common acute and chronic illness.
Students engage in varied clinical experiences throughout the program to compliment the didactic foci of each clinical course.  In addition to instructing students in the basics of assessment, diagnosis and treatment of physical conditions, clinical experiences include the social and psychosocial aspects of care of children and their families. The clinical experience culminates in a final clinical course, Transition to Professional Practice, that includes 12 hours of clinical work per week which allow the student to develop his/her professional role and continue to refine all previously learned clinical skills.

Specialty Appeal

The role of PCPNPs is continuously evolving and expanding to meet the increasingly complex health care needs of the pediatric population. As a result, primary care pediatric nurse practitioners can practice in a wide variety of settings including nurse-managed clinics, rural health clinics, specialty clinics, research laboratories, group clinical practice/HMOs, the list goes on.
In addition to a choice of practice settings, pediatric nurse practitioners have multiple career opportunities as there are numerous possible applications of a PCPNP Masters. For instance, PCPNPs can teach at universities, conduct clinical research on important issues in pediatrics, become active in local and national legislative affairs relating to public health policy and reform, participate in public education, administrate a nurse-managed practice, and many more.
Besides the practical benefits of being a PCPNP, primary care pediatric nurse practitioners enhance the health care of children through providing specialized care to them and their families. Primary care pediatric nurse practitioners provide family-centered care, a unique approach to health care in which families collaborate with the health care team to ensure the best possible care for children. The result is a focus on the overall well-being of children that recognizes and respects the family's strengths as caregivers and supplements and enhances as benefits the children.
For more information about the profession, visit the following websites:


Listed below are the required courses for the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program. The Primary Care Pediatric NP students will be placed in clinical settings appropriate to the NP role, the 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 Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program is offered as a Fall term (September) start only.  The set program plan for the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner curriculum is 3 years in length, at this time this program is offered primarily at part-time enrollment status (less than 9 credits each fall, winter and spring-summer term of the curriculum). We currently do not offer a full-time program plan (9 or more credits each fall, winter and spring-summer term of enrollment) due to the sequence of coursework for the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. 
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

Course Credits
N502Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan4
Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses
Health Promotion and Risk Reduction Across the Lifespan
Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Common Minor and Acute Illnesses
Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Management of Minor Common Illnesses
Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Wellness
Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Models of Advanced Practice
Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Children with Chronic Conditions

Required Cognate Courses

As selected by student
One or two approved cognate courses relevant to graduate education (a minimum of 4 credits total)
 Minimum of
4 credits total
Minimum Number of Credits Required = 47
Minimum Required Clinical Hours = 560