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Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS)

What is a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS)?

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialists are advanced practice nurses who provides care to children across the health spectrum (from wellness to acute care), and demonstrates expertise in direct/client care, nurses and nursing practice, and systems and organizations.

What does a PCNS do?

A PCNS incorporates clinical, educational, research, leadership and management skills into an advanced practice nursing role.  They develop evidence-based advanced nursing practice involving specific patient populations within specific health care settings.  The majority of PCNSs graduates go on to work within a large clinical agency as part of an interprofessional team, and serve as expert clinician, educator, leader and manager within those systems.  A PCNS often integrates and improves care within organizations, completes quality improvement and safety initiatives, and improvement in processes.


Why Study PCNS at the UW?

  • The PCNS track within the Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares PCNSs to provide advanced practice nursing care to patients from birth to young adulthood.  Completion of this track prepares graduates to take the Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist national certification exam with ANCC.
  • This is the only PCNS program offered in the WWAMI region (Washington/Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho)
  • Outstanding board certification first-time pass rate
  • We are partnered with numerous community sites across the greater Seattle area for clinical rotations
    • The PCNS track clinical placement coordinator arranges all clinical rotations for students
  • PCNS students will share coursework with PNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner students), with a strong focus on growth and development.
  • We are part of a large public university with access to interprofessional learning opportunities with medicine, dentistry, public health, pharmacy, social work and more
  • Our emphasis is evidence-based practice and leadership, with access to top nursing researchers and clinicians.
  • Three year curriculum is offered as a hybrid model
    • Year One of courses require 1 day on campus every other week
    • Years two and three typically require 1 day on campus per week
    • NOTE: Clinical rotations are in addition to on campus time