Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs) are independently licensed health care providers who are dedicated to improving children’s health. PNPs are registered nurses with advanced graduate level education in pediatric nursing and health care and they serve children and families in an extensive range of practice settings. Working with pediatricians and other health care providers, PNPs have been enhancing the health care of children for over forty years.
What do PNPs do?
PNPs serve as pediatric health care providers for well and ill children of all ages. Many parents choose a PNP as their child’s health care provider knowing they will receive individualized quality health care. PNPs offer a variety of services including:
• Provide health maintenance care for children, including well child examinations
• Licensed to prescribe medications
• Perform routine developmental screenings
• Diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses
• Provide anticipatory guidance regarding common child health concerns
• Provide childhood immunizations
• Perform school physicals
What else should I know about Nurse Practitioners?
All NPs must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program, and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation.
To be recognized as expert health care providers and ensure the highest quality of care, NPs undergo rigorous national certification, periodic peer review, clinical outcome evaluations, and adhere to a code for ethical practices. Self-directed continued learning and professional development is also essential to maintaining clinical competency.
What sets NPs apart from other health care providers is their unique emphasis on the health and well-being of the whole person. With a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education and counseling, NPs guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices, which in turn can lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs.