Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification

How does one become a certified pediatric nurse or certified pediatric nurse practitioner?

Becoming a pediatric nurse requires first becoming licensed as a registered nurse under the regulations promulgated by the nursing board in the state in which you plan to practice, and then pursuing certification. Pediatric nurse practitioners must also meet their state's requirements for licensure as an advanced practice nurses. After licensure, you will need to meet the requirements for certification that are set forth by your state. Generally, these requirements include successfully completing the certification process offered by a national credentialing agency.

The most prominent national credentialing agency in the field of pediatric nursing is the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). The PNCB administers certification examinations that have been approved by a number of professional pediatric nursing bodies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs, and the Society of Pediatric Nurses.

What is the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse certification exam?

Those who intend to pursue a career as general pediatric nurses may take the Certified Pediatric Nurse exam offered by the PCNB. The Certified Pediatric Nurse examination is designed for nurses with extensive experience treating pediatric patients and with knowledge of the field beyond that of a typical registered nurse. However, those who aspire to work in acute care settings, such as emergency rooms and intensive care units, may also take the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse certification examination which was developed in collaboration with the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing.

What other specialized certification options exist for pediatric NPs?

Graduates of pediatric nurse practitioner programs have the choice of taking examinations to become certified as either primary care providers or acute/emergency care pediatric nurse practitioners, depending on the content of the curriculum they pursued during their studies. In addition, beginning in 2011, the PCNB will also administer the Child and Adolescent Behavioral & Mental Health Specialty Certification Exam. This certification examination is designed especially for pediatric nurse practitioners who hope to work in psychiatric settings or with specific patient populations, such as developmentally challenged or disabled children, or even mentally ill or suicidal adolescents.

What is Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)?

In addition to these general certifications, it is advisable for pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners to become certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) through the American Heart Association. Other available certifications include training in Basic Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Basic Trauma Life Support. Special certification courses that can be of particular value to pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners who work in acute care settings include the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course offered by the Emergency Nurses Association. Employers will often pay for this additional professional training.

What are the benefits of certification for pediatric nurses?

Pediatric nurse certification and pediatric NP certification provide many career benefits. Those who can demonstrate that they have been certified by a respected national credentialing organization tend to make more money than those who are not yet certified. They are more likely to be considered for open positions and get interviews for either the pediatric nurse or pediatric nurse practitioner jobs they are most interested in pursuing. Therefore, certified pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners enjoy enhanced career mobility in terms of the ability to move from job to job and to move up through the ranks into positions that demand more responsibility and provide more challenge and reward.

Pediatric Nurse Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            Vocational Nursing

            Why Brightwood?

            Real-World Training

            We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

            Certified Nurse Assistant
            Platt College , Alhambra
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Vocational Nursing
            Unitek College , Bakersfield
            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Licensed Vocational Nurse
            • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
            • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
            • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Anaheim
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid