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VINE school

Primary and/or Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The pediatric nurse practitioner program prepares graduates for advanced practice nursing.

The program focuses on the physiologic, psychological, and developmental needs of children and their families from birth until adulthood and across the spectrum of health care (inpatient, outpatient, home, and community). Students examine and apply theories pertinent to promoting wellness and providing care to infants, children, and adolescents. Current research from nursing and closely allied disciplines is analyzed and incorporated to develop evidence-based care. Primary care and acute care courses build on the core curriculum for advanced practice and provide students with classroom and clinical experiences under preceptor supervision.

Clinical practica are individualized to meet the needs and clinical interests of students preparing for roles as advanced practitioners in pediatrics. Primary care students focus on health teaching, counseling, and managing common health problems of individuals in primary/ambulatory settings. Acute care courses emphasize caring for chronically ill children and appropriate response to rapidly changing clinical conditions to include the management of emerging health crises, organ dysfunction, and failure.

Community professionals, both nurse practitioners and physicians, volunteer their time as preceptors and allow students access to patients in their clinical sites. Individual interests, types of practice, and teaching styles of the preceptors provide choices for the best match of students and preceptors. In addition to faculty teaching and mentoring students, they may also practice in local community sites, including school-based health centers, as well as hospitals. Graduates are eligible to pursue national certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), depending on the advanced practice clinical foci.

The pediatric nurse practitioner concentration is a blended curriculum. Most courses are held in a traditional on-campus classroom setting. Some classes include both on-campus and online activities. Other courses may be offered through a hybrid of traditional online learning and video conferencing. During clinical courses, students are asked to be on campus every week—sometimes every two weeks.

The concentration is typically a full-time program involving four consecutive semesters for primary care and five semesters for the dual program. Student curriculum plans of study are individualized and carefully determined under the guidance of the concentration coordinator. A part-time program of study may also be available upon coordinator approval.

Students work closely with their program coordinator and faculty to find appropriate clinical placements that meet their individual academic needs. Clinical sites in students’ present location/home town will be considered and can be arranged.


The pediatric nurse practitioner concentration is part of the College of Nursing MSN graduate program and follows the standard admission process and cycle. Application deadline is in the spring (February 1) for the fall cohort.

Requirements

Applicants for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Meet all admission requirements of the Graduate School and the College of Nursing.
  • Submit an online application to UT Graduate Admissions.
  • Achieve a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the internet-based test if native language is not English.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from a regionally accredited program.
  • Hold or be eligible for licensure to practice nursing in the state (or a compact state as applicable) for which the student will be earning clinical credit as an advanced practice nursing student.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale, or a GPA of 3.3 or higher for courses in the undergraduate major.
  • Have completed an undergraduate-level health assessment course.
  • Have completed 3 hours of graduate-level statistics. This requirement may be completed during the summer once admitted—see the statistics requirement chart for additional information. Any statistics course taken at another college must be preapproved by the College of Nursing after admission. Submit a copy of the course syllabus to congrad@utk.edu for review.
  • Application for the acute care track requires a minimum of one year of work in an acute care setting (usually a hospital) prior to the beginning of coursework in the acute care track.

GRE: The GRE is not required for admission to the MSN program unless an applicant has an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or lower.

Credit transfer: A maximum of 9 graduate hours taken before acceptance into the master’s program may be applied toward the degree (does not include statistics course prerequisite); none may be clinical. Transferred courses must have been completed within the six-year period prior to receipt of the degree.

You may find additional information on acceptance details, tuition and fee estimates, scholarships, thesis vs. nonthesis options, and comprehensive exams on the Acceptance and Program Information portion of our website.


Fall I (12 hours) Hours
504 Advanced Health Assessment 3
505 Advance Pharmacology 3
510 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing 3
515 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
Spring I (14 hours)
507 Leadership and Change in Dynamic Systems 3
528 Development and Behavior of the Pediatric Population 2
562 Care of the Pediatric Patient with an Acute Illness 2
527 Clinical Experience in Pediatric Health 5
550 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner I 2
Summer I (6 hours)
501 Advanced Nursing Research 3
500/582 3
Fall II (10 hours)
563 Care of the Child with a Chronic Condition 2
527 Clinical Experience in Pediatric Health 5
551 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner II 2
512 Practice Issues: Nurse Practitioner 1
AC* Spring II (7 hours)
541 Care of a Child with a Complex Acute, Chronic, and Critical Illness 2
527 Clinical Experience in Children’s Health 5

*Acute Track requires all 5 semesters.

For Course Descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog.

In addition to the core nursing classes, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) concentration includes the following:

NURS 527 – Clinical Experience in Pediatric Health – 5 Credit Hours

Clinical experience in the role of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in variety of health care settings.

Grading Restriction: Satisfactory/No Credit grading only. Repeatability: May be repeated. Maximum 15 hours. Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Corequisite(s): 550, 551 or 541. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 528 – Development and Behavior of the Pediatric Population – 2 Credit Hours

Advanced practice nursing of the pediatric population focusing on issues of development and behavior.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Corequisite(s): 550, 562 and 527. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing orDoctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 541 – Care of a Child with a Complex Acute, Chronic and Critical Illness – 2 Credit Hours

Physiology and pathophysiology of complex acute, chronic, and critical illness in pediatric population.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Corequisite(s): 527 or 631. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 550 – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner I – 2 Credit Hours

Advanced practice nursing of the pediatric population and families; health promotion and nursing interventions for comprehensive and preventative care.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Prerequisite(s): 504 and 505. (RE) Corequisite(s): 507. (DE) Corequisite(s): 562, 528 and 527. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 551 – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner II – 2 Credit Hours

Advanced practice nursing of the pediatric population and families; role refinement in health maintenance and restoration.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Prerequisite(s): 550 and 501. (DE) Corequisite(s): 563 and 527. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 562 – Care of the Pediatric Patient with an Acute Illness – 2 Credit Hours

Pathophysiology of acute minor illnesses in the pediatric population.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Corequisite(s): 550. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 563 – Care of the Child with a Chronic Condition – 2 Credit Hours

Physiology and pathophysiology of chronic illnesses in children and the recommended interventions in selected conditions for the APN. Focus is on chronically ill children ages 0 to 21 years.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Corequisite(s): 551 Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

NURS 564 – Care of the Pediatric Patient with Chronic Conditions – 2 Credit Hours

Pathophysiology and management of chronic conditions in the pediatric patient.

Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Corequisite(s): 551. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice student.

*Students must complete a minimum of 1 year of work in an acute care setting (usually a hospital) before taking Acute Care track courses.


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