Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (ACPNP)

Overview

The Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner meets the specialized physiologic and psychological needs of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with complex acute, critical, and chronic health conditions. Focus of care includes complex monitoring and ongoing management of intensive therapies in a variety of settings, including hospital-based pediatric acute care areas, PICU, Pediatric Cardiac ICU, Pediatric Emergency Department, and program-based specialties that manage acutely ill patients from the outpatient setting through inpatient, to discharge.

Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (ACPNP) Program

Students may choose to focus on becoming an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and develop expertise in the clinical management of acutely and critically ill infants, children and adolescents. The goal of this Program is to provide culturally competent care for acutely and critically ill infants, children and adolescents at risk of dying and their families, and to reduce racial disparities in health care access and the health care workforce by preparing a diverse group of Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Clinical application occurs in a wide variety of acute care clinical environments that specialize in children with complex health care needs.

The ACPNP program is currently the only one of its kind to offer an end-of-life and palliative care focus as part of the curricular focus in the US. Graduates are eligible for state licensure as a nurse practitioner and for national certification as an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Program Requirements and Recommendations

Due to extensive clinical experience requirements, applicants are expected to have a minimum of one year acute care pediatric nursing experience prior to commencing the ACPNP specialty content, and two years or more are highly recommended.

This specialty area does not admit MEPN applicants.

Fluency in spoken and written English is mandatory for acceptance into the program. Fluency in spoken and written Spanish is highly desirable. Due to sequencing of course requirements and clinical rotations, students should plan on beginning Fall quarter and attending as a full-time student for two years. The program is academically rigorous; therefore, prospective students should plan for no more than 60% work, and limited professional commitments during their graduate study.

Curriculum

Coursework and clinical residency in the ACPNP program provides didactic and practical knowledge development in advanced pediatric health assessment; family/child/adolescent development and theory; pediatric physiology and acute care pathophysiology; nutritional and pharmacologic management in acute care; diagnostic and therapeutic management of acutely and critically ill children, ethical issues in the acute care setting, pediatric end-of-life/palliative care, and professional role development for the ACPNP.

In the first year, courses are taken in the Graduate core curriculum, and clinical assessment skills begin in the primary care setting, and progress to the chronic care setting. In the second year, the program includes specialty courses in pediatric acute care, and immersion into the acute and/or critical care clinical role, with an emphasis on the student's clinical focus. A total of 600 clinical hours are required for national certification by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) as an Acute Care PNP (CPNP-AC), with a minimum requirement of 50 hours in primary care, and the remainder in chronic/acute care areas. Graduates will also earn a Certificate of Completion for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Curriculum (ELNEC Pediatric), allowing them to qualify as trainers for this curriculum.

ACPNP Required Clinical Experience

ACPNP applicants are expected to have a minimum of one year acute care pediatric nursing experience prior to commencing the specialty content at UCSF. Two years or more of qualifying experience is highly recommended.

Closed to MEPN Applicants

This specialty area does not accept MEPN applications.