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How Long Does It Take to Become a Pediatric Nurse?


The pursuit of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) holds enormous job potential, particularly with today’s high demand for advanced healthcare professionals. Merely 8.3 percent of nurse practitioners specialize in pediatrics, broadening the demand for the unique skill set of PNPs, who can benefit from reduced competition for the same job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that overall job opportunities for all nurse practitioners, including pediatric nurse practitioners, were expected to increase by 35 percent between 2014 and 2024.


PNPs can enjoy not only a rewarding, often fun work environment surrounded by children and families but also high earning potential. According to Discover Nursing, pediatric nurse practitioners in the United States typically earn between $63,000 and $85,000 a year.

How Long It Takes to Become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

A specialization in pediatric nursing can not only offer nurses plenty of employment options, but it can also lead to uniquely fulfilling work that impacts the lives of children and their families. Multiple degree programs at Maryville University can lead to a career as a PNP, with commitments of study ranging from six to eight years, including the time allotted to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).


Following undergraduate study, graduates typically opt to pursue job opportunities as a registered nurse (RN) or other healthcare professional, or enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program to begin advanced coursework. If nurse practitioners would like to pursue a  leadership role, the next step is to enter a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which can be completed in 20 to 36 months, depending on the concentration.

4 Possible Pathways to Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Maryville University’s online PNP programs offer the opportunity to choose the pathway that suits a student’s specific skill set and interests. While employment is not guaranteed after the completion of these programs, earning an advanced nursing degree can help nursing professionals expand their career options. Regardless of whether students choose to enter a PNP program immediately following undergraduate study or after entering the workforce, Maryville offers program options that suit professional goals at any stage. Additionally, the convenience and flexibility of Maryville’s 100% online, 24/7 program can meet students where they are in their educational journey.


The four PNP program pathways include:

Online Master of Science in Nursing — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (MSN PNP)

The MSN PNP pathway is the shortest course of study. Students can begin the curriculum in January, May, or August. The 28-month master’s program requires additional clinical hours, which students can complete over three semesters.

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice — PNP Concentration (BSN to DNP PNP)

BSN to DNP students can earn their PNP in as few as 40 months and can begin coursework in January, May, or August. The program requires additional clinical hours, which students can complete over three semesters.

Online Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate — Pediatric (Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner (MSN PNPC)

The post-master’s PNP certificate program requires 32 credits and additional clinical hours for completion. Coursework can begin the semester following acceptance, with six entry points in spring, summer, and fall.

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Nurse Practitioner Concentration — Pediatric (Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner (DNP-NP PNP)

The DNP-NP PNP program requires 65 credit hours and additional clinical hours. For detailed information about clinical hour requirements, contact an enrollment advisor.

Choose Maryville Online for Your PNP

Choosing to specialize in pediatric nursing often provides many employment options, making the time it takes to become a pediatric nurse practitioner a good time investment. Learn more about the many paths to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner with Maryville University’s cost- and time-efficient online pediatric nurse practitioner programs.


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