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Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNP) provide primary care to infants, children, and adolescents. The focus of the PNP concentration at the UNM College of Nursing is on providing primary care for children especially for underserved populations. Individuals from New Mexico and those interested in providing primary care for underserved children are particularly encouraged to apply. Year round full time study begins in the Summer term for six consecutive terms. The degree to be awarded at completion of the program is the Master of Science in Nursing. Graduates will be eligible to become certified as Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.  After successfully passing the certification exams graduates will be eligible to become certified in New Mexico and nationally.


At the completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Provide full scope primary care, utilizing both independent and collaborative approaches, to children and families including management of acute and chronic health problems, health promotion, disease prevention, and support for transitional and end of life needs.
  • Integrate ethical principles in decision-making and evaluation of care related to children, families, populations and systems of care.
  • Coordinate health care through interdisciplinary collaboration with members of the health care team.
  • Appropriately empower and motivate children and families to be full participant’s in their own health care.
  • Advocate for systems and policies that reduce health disparities, facilitate access to care, and address cultural diversity and rural populations.
  • Assume professional responsibility for maintaining and advancing clinical practice competencies.
  • Participate in quality assurance and evaluation of health care delivery.
  • Use and articulate evidence-based research as the basis for practice.
  • Contribute to existing knowledge through participation in research.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (e.g., B.S.N.) from an accredited college or university, with an upper-division major in nursing. (Graduates from non-accredited programs [N.L.N. or C.C.N.E.] and RN’s with baccalaureate degree in non-nursing fields are considered on an individual basis.)
  • At least two years of experience as a registered nurse.
  • Have a minimum grade point average for baccalaureate work of B (3.0) or better.
  • Be registered in or eligible for nursing licensure in New Mexico with a New Mexico R.N. license obtained within the first term enrolled.
  • Complete the online application. Letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and a professional resume are required as part of the application process. See the online application guidelines for further information.
  • An interview is required as part of the admissions process.
  • PALS certification is required before beginning clinical coursework.
  • Students who seek admission with existing graduate degrees in Nursing (Master's or Doctorate) will be able to pursue the ACNP curriculum as a Post Master's certificate. However, their applications are considered along with all other applications.
  • Exceptions to any program admission criterion will be considered on an individual basis and are at the direction of the Admissions Committee with a recommendation to the Executive Dean or Dean of the College of Nursing.

Classes in Terms 3-5 are in consecutive concentrated days in 1- to 2-week periods throughout the term. Clinical experiences are arranged in blocks between the didactic sessions. Clinical experiences may require travel to rural facilities in New Mexico or neighboring states, which will have additional financial implications. After taking the Comprehensive Examination early in Term 6, the term is almost exclusively clinical practicum, with seminars arranged as needed.


Curriculum Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take the PNP concentration part time?

No, the PNP concentration is a full time program.

What nonclinical courses are required for the PNP concentration?

The nonclinical core courses include:

  • NURS 501 Nursing Theory 3 hours
  • NURS 503 Nursing Research 3 hours
  • NURS 505 Health Care Policy 3 hours

Are the non clinical courses offered on the Web?


What are the clinical core courses?

The following courses are clinical core courses:

  • NURS 526 Advanced Pathophysiology 3 hours
  • NURS 539 Advanced Pediatric Health and Developmental Assessment 4 hours
  • NURS 543 Pharmacology 3 hours

Are any of the clinical core courses offered on the Web?

NURS 526 Advanced Pathophysiology and NURS 543 Pharmacology are both offered on the Web.

When does clinical rotation start?

We do not offer every PNP clinical course every semester, so students must take the courses in sequential order (see PNP Curriculum Plan). The PNP clinical core courses are taught in a block format.

Students attend lecture for 3 weeks straight, then they go to their clinical sites for 4 to 5 weeks, then they return for lectures for 2 weeks, then they do another 4 to 5 weeks of clinical rotation, and then they return for a final 1 week of lectures. During the time they are in the didactic block, they are usually in lecture 8 hours every day. The block schedule varies every semester.

What is the total number of clinical hours?

This concentration has a total of 720 clinical hours.

Will I get to visit any rural sites?

We use a variety of sites, including sites in rural areas. All students in this concentration are expected to travel outside of the Albuquerque area for a minimum of two clinical rotations in a 2-year period. It is the responsibility of the faculty to place students. If students are from a rural area, we make every effort to place them in that area for their clinical rotation; however, we cannot guarantee clinical site rotations.

If I have an MSN, how can I get a PNP?

Students with an MSN will have already completed the core courses. They will be responsible for taking the remaining PNP courses. They must have taken graduate level pathophysiology and pharmacology courses within the past 5 years. Faculty will review any advanced pediatric health assessment courses on a case-by-base basis.