Primary care pediatric nurse practitioner program

Nurse and childSpecialty appeal

  • Primary care pediatric nurse practitioners enhance the health care of children through providing specialized care to them and their families. The result is a focus on the overall well-being of children that recognizes and respects the family's strengths as caregivers and supplements those strengths to benefit the children.
  • The role of PCPNPs is continuously evolving and expanding to meet the increasingly complex health care needs of the pediatric population. 
  • Primary care pediatric nurse practitioners practice in a variety of settings such as nurse-managed clinics, rural health clinics, schools and community clinics, specialty clinics, and group clinical practice/HMOs.
  • Pediatric nurse practitioners are advocatesin local and national legislative affairs relating to children's health policy and reform as well as participate in public education.

Education and practice

The primary care pediatric nurse practitioner program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide primary health care to infants, children and adolescents. Primary care PNPs offer a variety of services to maintain the health of children, including:

  • well child examinations
  • routine developmental screenings
  • diagnosis and treatment of common childhood illnesses
  • guidance regarding common child health concerns
  • childhood immunizations
  • school physicals. 

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. 

The program includes nursing theory, research, data management, health strategies, a scholarly project and a comprehensive clinical program. The clinical education foundation begins with a course in primary care of the well child. 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 which allows the student to develop his/her professional role and continue to refine all clinical skills.


See the application requirements for this program.


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 primary care pediatric nurse practitioner program is offered as a Fall term (September) start only. There are two options for the primary care pediatric nurse practitioner curriculum: 2 year and 2.5 years. Fifty credit hours and 560 clinical hours are required for this program.

 Core courses

  • NURS 523: Role Transition to APRN
  • NURS 527: Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Healthcare Delivery
  • NURS 528: Models, Theories and Methods to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes
  • NURS 529: Scientific and Analytic Approaches for Advanced Practice

Specialty courses

  • NURS 502: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
  • NURS 503: Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses
  • NURS 555: Advanced Practice Specialty Procedures and Skills for Pediatric Primary Care
  • NURS 557: CDM I: Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Wellness and Management of Common Illness
  • NURS 589: Advanced Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Clinical Practicum
  • NURS 617: CDM II: Infant, Child and Adolescent Health: Primary Health Care across Multiple Settings

Required cognate courses

  • PHR 620: Pharmacotherapeutics I
  • PHR 621: Pharmacotherapeutics II
  • HS 505: Team-based Clinical Decision Making  


The University of Michigan School of Nursing's primary care pediatric nurse practitioner program meets and surpasses the pediatric nurse practitioner core competencies 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