University of Missouri-Kansas City

Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Quick Facts


Master of science in nursing

Delivery Mode

Blended, some campus visits required

Standard credit hours


Standard estimated cost


Typical Course Load

1 or 2 classes each semester

Typical Program Length

2 or 3 years

*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

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In the health care field, you’ve found your calling — caring for pediatric patients. From your bachelor of science in nursing credential, you now strive to make a greater impact and address the influx of acutely ill patients, including infants and children with complex conditions. Expand your skills to face the challenge while establishing your leadership expertise by enrolling in the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s online master of science in nursing (MSN) program’s acute care pediatric nurse practitioner (ACPNP) option. Gain the knowledge to influence care quality and delivery in specialist, critical care, emergency, rehabilitation and early intervention environments while assisting families and guiding patients’ growth and development.

A blended format helps you reach your goal around existing obligations. You’ll complete course work online, attend select on-campus sessions and apply what you’ve learned in clinical assignments. Completion of the online MSN with an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner option prepares you to sit for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) certification exams.

Due to the desired outcome and curriculum, candidates considering the ACPNP option must have at least two years of full-time pediatric clinical experience from the past three years and a current license. 

About the profession and program

Your professional experience already offers some insight: health care organizations need pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) to provide family-centered, culturally sensitive care to patients from birth to age 21. A type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), PNPs either specialize in primary care or acute care.

In general, pediatric nurse practitioners oversee the delivery and quality of acute, chronic, complex and wellness care and play a role in health promotion, disease prevention, counseling and health education. UMKC’s ACPNP equips you to make a difference by focusing on restorative care for pediatric patients living with rapidly changing critical conditions. Through online course work and clinical experiences with preceptors in community, inpatient and outpatient settings, you’ll:

  • Learn to provide care for patients with unstable chronic, complex, acute and critical conditions
  • Understand how to promote health and wellness and oversee assessment, diagnosis and management of patient care, including prescribing pharmacologic agents
  • Refine your decision-making skills to improve clinical care delivery in a leadership, yet collaborative role
  • Understand how to provide quality care to pediatric patients through theory, evidence-based practice, research and clinical skills
  • Be able to assist or provide care in diagnostic assessments, monitoring and therapy to decrease complications and risk factors

Developing programs for today’s health care landscape, UMKC strives to graduate competent nursing professionals ready to lead, think critically, continually grow their skills and serve others in complex and diverse medical settings. For our nationally ranked MSN program, the School of Nursing and Health Studies started pioneering distance learning over two decades ago and continues to refine course work in relation to health care and technology developments. 

Our online MSN program with an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner option not only serves as a stepping stone to professional advancement but is supported by:

  • A certification exam with a 99% pass rate
  • Clinical faculty certified in online learning invested in your success
  • An emphasis on leadership, advocacy and delivery of culturally sensitive care
  • Curriculum emphasizing the latest care techniques and technologies
  • Affordable tuition

Top-ranked programs

UMKC's online master's in nursing programs ranked among the nation's finest in U.S. News & World Report 2024.

An acute care pediatric nurse practitioner smiles while talking to a young child patient.

Career Prospects

Build off your current credentials with UMKC’s online MSN program with an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner option. The skills you gain allow you to assess patients’ health, guide physical exams, document their health history, diagnose and treat acute health conditions, guide care for stable yet chronically ill individuals under 21, engage in clinical research projects and assume an integral part in disease prevention and health promotion.

Demand for acute care pediatric nurse practitioners exists for:

  • Hospitals
  • Pediatric and neonatal intensive care units
  • Pediatric emergency departments
  • Specialty pediatric clinics
  • Community clinics
  • Group clinical practices
  • Nurse-managed clinics
  • Rural health clinics
  • Urgent and emergency room care

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified 45% more positions for nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030.


Employment growth


Median salary

Program Structure

The online MSN with an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner option requires 52 total credit hours. You’ll start with a general MSN core designed to strengthen widely applicable competencies before developing a specialty through the ACPNP option.

All online MSN students, regardless of specialty, become well-versed in health promotion and protection along the lifespan, nursing theories and applications and using research to improve care quality and delivery. Along with these points, courses touch on cultural diversity and competency in the context of ethical decision making, health care policy and advocacy concerning cost and access. Across all specialties, the MSN core emphasizes the importance of evidence-based practice guidelines and theory for diagnosing and treating medical conditions, delivering care and upholding wellness.

Online courses are blended, combining both asynchronous and synchronous learning. Expect to attend scheduled class and chat times to engage with your instructors and classmates. For ACPNP students, the online MSN requires an on-campus residency each semester during your clinical course sequence. Faculty and your adviser will inform you of these dates ahead of time to help you make arrangements.

Through this two-part format and clinical requirement, you’ll advance what you know about pathophysiology, pharmacology, physical and health assessments, health promotion, disease prevention, differential diagnosis and disease management.

Courses for the online MSN with an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner option start during the spring and summer semester. Plan for one residency per clinical course. Students attending full time take three courses per semester to finish in two years. On a part-time schedule, you’ll take one to two courses per semester to finish in three years.

Course work includes:

  • The ethics involved in advanced nursing practice
  • Pharmacology principles
  • Managing complex acute, critical and chronically ill patients
  • Collecting and documenting patient health and physical assessments
  • The skills for conducting advanced health and physical assessments
  • Physiological function from cellular to organ levels and related dysfunctions
  • Clinical pharmacotherapies
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Overseeing common pediatric health concerns


The University of Missouri-Kansas City is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

The MS at the School of Nursing and Health Studies is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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