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Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner DNP Curriculum

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Our Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner DNP program prepares you to meet the health care needs of young patients with critical health conditions. 

We train experienced pediatric nurses to focus their efforts on the physiologic and psychological needs of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. These are patients who have complex acute, critical and chronic health conditions. 

You will learn to provide complex monitoring and manage intensive therapies in a variety of settings. This includes responding to rapidly changing clinical conditions. 

Our training prepares you to recognize and manage emerging crises, including organ dysfunction and failure. The goal is to stabilize the patient’s condition, prevent complications and restore maximum health. 

In addition, you will be prepared to sit for the CPNP-AC exam of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. 

Graduates meet the following outcomes: 

  • Integrate science-based theories and data-based concepts to develop, critically appraise and implement practice approaches that improve health care and health care systems 
  • Apply organizational theories and systems thinking to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness and safety outcomes of practice decisions and initiatives 
  • Apply effective strategies for managing the ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, the health care organization and research 
  • Apply knowledge of informatics to monitor and improve outcomes, programs and systems of care 
  • Provide leadership in influencing policies on the financing, regulation and delivery of health care 
  • Lead interprofessional teams to improve patient and population health outcomes 
  • Function independently in an advanced nursing role to improve health outcomes in a specialty area of practice 

Graduates Meet the Following Standards

Students entering the program with a bachelor’s degree need to complete a minimum of 68 term hours.  

Students who have a master’s degree in an advanced practice registered nurse population focus require a minimum of 29 term hours.  

Students who have a master’s degree but aren’t advanced practice registered nurses need 56 term hours. 

All students must complete the degree requirements within five years. 


Clinical and DNP Project Experience 

BSN to DNP students complete 756 clock hours of pediatric acute care experience. 

For MSN to DNP students, the number of clock hours is determined by a gap analysis. You may be required to complete the following: 

  • 756 clock hours of pediatric acute care experience (required for those with CNS or without Primary Care PNP or FNP degrees) 
  • 500 clock hours of acute care experience (required for those with Primary Care PNP or FNP degrees) 
  • Additional hours may be required for APRNs without pediatric experience 

Clinical sites are available at RUSH and throughout the Chicago area.

Distance students work with faculty to find practicum sites. We have successfully negotiated many distance practicums, but success is not guaranteed. 

You will complete 756 clock hours of clinical practica and 252 DNP project clock hours for a total of 1,008 clock hours. 

Contact the program director if you live outside the Chicago area.