The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s professional association of pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 8,000 healthcare practitioners nationwide with 17 special interest groups and 49 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973. NAPNAP was the first nurse practitioner professional society in the U.S. The NP movement was founded in 1965. NAPNAP is based in New York, NY. There are an estimated 60,000 pediatric-focused APRNs, including 16,000 PNPs; there are an estimated 205,000 NPs in the U.S.
Pediatric-focused APRNs are certified, licensed advanced practice nurses who have obtained a master’s degree, postgraduate certificate or clinical practice doctorate from an accredited academic program. PNPs have completed advanced course work in physical/health assessment, pharmacology and pathophysiology. The curriculum content includes health promotion, disease prevention and differential diagnosis and disease management. The degrees require a minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours. These advanced course and practice requirements are in addition to an NP’s initial nursing degree (typically RN baccalaureate) and licensure requirements. Beyond educational requirements, NPs have passed anational certification exam and expanded their knowledge through ongoing continuing education.
Pediatric-focused APRNs treat millions of patients across the country each year. They spend significant one-on-one time with patients and families. Fifty-five percent of NAPNAP members report spending 11 to 20 minutes with patients and 23 percent report spending more than 20 minutes. Based on NAPNAP membership, practice settings include: pediatric offices, 29 percent; hospitals, 45 percent; school-based health care settings, 3 percent; specialty clinics, public health, faculty, other, 23 percent.
What Pediatric-focused APRNs Do:
- Manage acute, chronic and critical pediatric diseases, including asthma, diabetes and cancer.
- Provide pediatric health care maintenance, including well child exams.
- Diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses such as allergies, otitis and acne.
- Screen and manage mental health illnesses in children and adolescents.
- Perform in-depth physical assessments, including vision, hearing and dental.
- Perform therapeutic procedures in a variety of settings.
- Prescribe medications and medical equipment.
- Order and interpret results of laboratory and diagnostic tests.
- Provide anticipatory guidance regarding common child health concerns such as nutrition, obesity and weight management.
- Provide behavioral counseling in areas such as school failure, ADHD and risk taking behaviors.
- Coordinate and lead pediatric healthcare homes.
- Perform developmental screenings.
- Perform school physicals and provide childhood immunizations.
- Provide anticipatory guidance on in-home safety, unintentional injuries, sports injuries, motor vehicle and bike safety.
For more information, visit napnap.org.