The dual primary and acute care PNP program (also offered as a Post-Graduate Certificate) was created to meet the needs of students who choose to be prepared to provide care to children and adolescent across the entire continuum of health from wellness to acute care. Additional courses and clinical experiences build on the primary care coursework and  focus on the problems and care required by children with acute, complex, and critical health conditions. The program meets the curricular guidelines endorsed by the National Taskforce on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education (2008) and follows the AFPNP’s Guidelines for Dual Acute-Care and Primary-Care PNP Educational Programs (2011). Graduates who enroll in this track are eligible to sit for certification examinations as both primary care (ANCC & PNCB) and acute care (PNCB) pediatric nurse practitioners.  

Catholic University's PNP program continues to be committed to the education of primary care PNPs and believes such grounding in the primary care of children is the basis for quality, developmentally focused pediatric health care across all settings.

Acute Care PNP track offers three options to interested students

  1. Currently certified primary care PNPs may enroll in necessary coursework and clinical experiences to enable them to sit for certification as acute care PNP.
  2. New M.S.N. PNP students may choose to enroll in the Combined Acute and Primary Care PNP program.
  3. PNPs who enter the D.N.P. Program may elect the acute care PNP course and clinical work as part of their program of studies leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
Unique Prerequisites:
  • All applicants (master's or postmaster's)a minimum of one year nursing experience in a pediatric acute care setting
  • PALS certification
Program Plans
Required First Tier Courses - Core M.S.N. Curriculum

Required Second Tier courses:

NURS 733 The Well Child (2 credits)
NURS 780 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Seminar/Practicum I (3 credits)
NURS 781 Primary Care of Adolescent (1 credit)
NURS 781A Adolescent Practicum (1 credit)
NURS 779 Child & Adolescents with Special Needs (2 credits)
NURS 784 Nurse Practitioner Practicum I (2 credits)
NURS 785 Nurse Practitioner Practicum II (2 credits)
NURS 787 Primary Care of the Newborn (1 credit)
NURS 657AD Advanced Diagnostics
NURS 658 Complex, Acute and Critical Problems in Pediatrics (3 credits)
NURS 737 Advanced Practice Residency (4 credits)
NURS 757AD Advanced Diagnosis (2 credits)

The program is coordinated by a certified acute care PNP.

Clinical Requirements
Clinical Requirements will be met through enrollment in N737, Advanced Practice Residency (4 credits). This residency course may be taken for variable credit from 1-4 credits within a semester. The ratio of credit to clinical hour is 1 credit = 90 clinical hours.

The M.S.N. PNP Dual Track Program
  • Students in the M.S.N. program will enroll in 49 credits and a minimum of 870 clinical hours.
  • Coursework may be taken either full or part time.
  • Full-time program is 2 academic years and 1 summer.
  • Student will be eligible for both PC and AC certifications (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and American Nurse Credentialing Center).