Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program Details

The Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (AC PNP) postgraduate certificate (PGC) program is available to advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) with master’s or doctoral degrees. Acute care pediatric experience is required.

*The program is available in a distance format but not in all locales. Restrictions might apply.  Please email the program director prior to application.

Study Format

You will be admitted to a class cohort of BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, and postgraduate certificate students.  Classes are offered online with periodic campus visits. Clinical practicum is required.

PGC Students:

  • Previous education varies significantly and a gap analysis of prerequisite coursework is performed to determine program of study
  • Usually completed in two-thirds to one year of part time study. Program of study length may vary based on results of gap analysis

Campus Visits

PGC Students:

  • One day New Student Orientation (attendance is optional)
  • Two day visit during course in health assessment (this requirement varies based on results of gap analysis)
  • One week visit with each acute care management course (2)

Clinical Experiences

Advanced practice pediatric education is built on a strong foundation of acute care pediatric experience; consequently you must have at least two years of full-time pediatric experience before starting the clinical portion of your program. 

The clinical practicum consists of rotations through a variety of services with exposure to pediatric populations experiencing different levels of acuity.  Students complete clinical rotations in areas such as:

  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Emergency care
  • Endocrinology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Oncology
  • Pain
  • Palliative care
  • Pediatric critical care
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Primary care
  • Radiology

PGC Students:

The number of clock hours is determined based on the results of the gap analysis and may require the student to complete 500 clock hours of acute care experience.  Additional hours may be required  for APRNs without pediatric experience.  Contact program director for more details. 

If you are a local student, clinical practicum sites are available at Rush University Medical Center and throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. As a local student, you will receive preceptors and schedules from program coordinators.

If you are a distance student (outside of the Chicago metropolitan area), you will need to work with the program faculty and coordinator to arrange for clinical practicum sites that meet program requirements. Please contact the program director, Dr. Beth Bolick, before applying. 

Rush has been successful in negotiating many distance clinical practicum contracts, but success is not guaranteed. Rush is also required to be a recognized provider by the board of education and the board of nursing in the distance state. We recommend that you contact the program director prior to application to determine if distance education is available in your locale.  If offered admission, begin planning your clinical practicum experiences as early as possible with your program faculty and coordinator.

Due to the variety of different state regulations and limitations, we cannot guarantee clinical practica placement if you move to another state after matriculating.


Upon program completion, you will be eligible for certification as a certified pediatric nurse practitioner – acute care (CPNP-AC) by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and for state licensure or certification where available.


Contact program director for frequently asked program questions and a link to a recorded information session.  

Common Applicant Questions for all Nursing Programs
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  • Register for an Info Session
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  • Upcoming Application Deadlines

    Fall 2023
    Application: Open
    Deadline: Rolling
    Term Starts: September 5, 2023

    Spring 2024
    Application: Open 
    Deadline: Rolling
    Term Starts: January 2, 2024

    Summer 2024
    Application: Opens in August 
    Deadline: Rolling
    Term Starts: May 6, 2024

Admissions Contact
Elizabeth Miranda
Admissions Specialist


Attend an information session

Learn more about the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Certificate program at an online information session.