DNP—Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care


The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care (PNP-PC) track within the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program specializes in preparing students to provide ongoing care of children, from infancy through young adulthood. Students interested in pursuing study dedicated to improving children’s health, including diverse and underserved populations, should consider applying to the PNP-PC track.

Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are critical to the care of children of all ages, as there is currently a national shortage in pediatric care providers. PNP-PCs evaluate, diagnose and manage common acute and chronic health conditions. In the PNP-PC role, you will partner with patients and their families to promote self and shared management, including health promotion and disease prevention.

Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners:

  • Provide health maintenance care for children, including well child examinations
  • Perform routine developmental screenings
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses (acute and chronic)
  • Provide anticipatory guidance regarding common child health concerns
  • Provide childhood immunizations
  • Perform school physicals

The UW School of Nursing is the only nursing school in the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) to offer the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care track.

Students interested in focusing their practice on restorative care for children with acute, critical and chronic illnesses and/or injuries should consider applying to the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care track.   Students interested in health care systems and education across the health spectrum (wellness through acute care) should consider applying to the Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist track.

Sites of practice

Graduates from our PNP track practice independently and within larger health care teams. They work in a variety of settings and with diverse populations, including:

  • Primary care pediatric practices
  • Public health settings
  • School-based clinics
  • Subspecialty practices
  • Medically underserved and rural practice settings
  • U.S. Armed Forces
  • International health settings


All Doctor of Nursing Practice tracks are offered as full-time study only.

PNP students are prepared to:

  • Make independent and interdependent decisions
  • Develop and implement health policy
  • Provide leadership in nursing and the community
  • Direct accountability for clinical decisions
  • Work in a collaborative practice
  • Perform differential diagnosis and acute and chronic care management
  • Conduct case management
  • Provide developmental and family-centered approaches

Year one

Year one of the DNP program is offered in a hybrid format (50 percent in-person, 50-percent distance learning), and requires that you be on campus one day per week. You will complete core DNP academic classwork with peers across all DNP tracks in the School of Nursing. Content of year one courses includes:

  • leadership
  • appraisal and application of evidence to advance practice
  • health equity
  • health systems and policy
  • wellness and health promotion, and
  • quality improvement

Year two

In year 2, students establish the foundation of advanced practice education of the lifespan, which includes:

  • pathophysiology
  • advanced physical assessment, and
  • pharmacology

Students build upon this in track-specific advanced assessment, diagnosis/management, and pharmacology. You will gain advanced practice skills from these academic and lab courses to move into clinical placements during spring quarter.

Year three

As in year two, many courses require in-person attendance with some courses including distance learning methods. In the final year of your program, you will continue clinical training.

In addition, you will work with your supervisory committee to complete a DNP final project in collaboration with a local clinical agency or organization. This project is presented in the form of a final examination.

Role of the DNP

Our DNP program prepares you not only for an advanced practice role but also teaches you how to look at leading-edge research and apply that evidence to your practice.

The DNP program’s additional academic and clinical hours beyond a master’s-level degree gives you a solid foundation to become a leader in the nursing profession.  You will work with faculty who are nationally recognized for their research, and also with agencies around the Puget Sound region to gain hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical experience.

By combining advanced practice nursing skills and knowledge of how to evaluate evidence-based research, you are empowered to become a more efficient and effective practitioner.

National certifications

Successful PNP graduates are eligible to sit for the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner examination through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).


The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Washington is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (