The University of Iowa Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (PNP-AC) program educates nurses through didactic and clinical experiences to enable graduates to successfully practice as PNP-ACs. The PNP-AC program focuses on the care of complex acutely, critically and chronically ill infants, children, adolescents and their families. At the completion of the program graduates are eligible to be nationally certified through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Our goal is to prepare clinical leaders within the profession and U.S. health care system.

Program Design

The College of Nursing offers robust options including pathways to a clinical doctorate as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Post Graduate Certificates. 

The BSN to DNP program focuses on the educating students in the DNP competencies with 3 and 4 year options. This program can be clinically focused on one population.

(PNP-AC) or can be constructed as a dual program which allows students to be educated in two APRN populations (for example, PNP-AC and PNP in primary care).

A two-year Post MSN to DNP program for APRNs is also offered for those who have master’s degrees but would like to achieve clinical doctorate.

A streamlined post master’s certificate program is available to for those NPs with a master’s degree who wish to match their practice with certification and licensure. This program is typically one year depending on a Gap Analysis.

Benefits of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) has recommended the DNP as the graduate degree of choice for advanced practice nurses. The University of Iowa College of Nursing was one of the first in the nation to receive approval for the DNP from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2009.

In a landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine recommended that “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training; and, be full partners in redesigning health care in the United States.” The DNP degree will allow PNP-AC to be full partners in the developing health care system of the future and provide the high quality, cost-efficient care for which they are known.