Online DNP in Pediatrics: Degree Program Information
A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program in pediatrics prepares registered nurses to work directly under doctors in a clinical setting. For students unable to relocate for school, online degree programs are available.
Online Doctor of Nursing Practice in Pediatrics Degree Program Information
Individuals looking to practice nursing in a clinical setting will find a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree a good option, as opposed to a traditional, research-based master's program. A DNP degree program is a doctoral-level, practice-focused program specifically designed for nurses who are interested in advanced training and education. Some programs offer concentrations within the degree program, such as pediatrics, family practice, or adult care. Nurse practitioners work with doctors and patients to deliver top-quality, patient-centered health care by practicing evidence-based medicine.
Program Information and Requirements
Licensure as a registered nurse (RN) is a typical requirement for admission to a DNP program, along with a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited nursing program, depending on whether the DNP program is designed as a post-bachelor's or post-master's program. Students can expect to devote 4-6 years towards the completion of a DNP program.
Since the program requires a significant amount of time be spent in actual clinics, online programs are combined with a clinical residency conducted in the student's local area. For the online portions of the program, students will need a computer with Internet access and a supported Web browser, such as the more recent versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. Students may also need to purchase videoconferencing software for some DNP online programs, and a webcam. Courses are often delivered via a course management system such as Blackboard Vista.
List of Courses
The curriculum consists of advanced classes specifically designed to prepare students for a specialized career as a nurse practitioner in pediatrics. In addition to classroom instruction, students spend a vast amount of time in clinical practice.
Mental Health Issues in Pediatric Patients Course
Students conduct mental health evaluations with pediatric clients and their families. Areas of focus are childhood and adolescent mental health, dealing with mental health issues in primary care, pediatric neurology and behavioral-developmental specialty practice. Students are involved in site visits to clinical hospitals.
Child Healthcare Issues in School Course
This course gives students a comprehensive overview of the pediatric healthcare issues encountered in school settings, such as asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and cardiac problems. Students devote approximately 90 hours to clinical time, where they work directly with children who have healthcare needs and the children's families.
Advanced Pediatric Nursing Practice Basics Course
Students learn to assess a variety of illnesses afflicting newborns through adolescents. Special topics of interest include physical development, allergies, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics and the pulmonary system. Students are expected to spend almost 90 hours in actual clinical practice, the majority of which should be in a pediatric primary care clinic.
Because of the growing number of aging baby boomers, the need for qualified nurses is on the rise. In 2008 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that there were 2.6 million nurses in the U.S., and projected a 22% growth in employment in the nursing field for 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). In May of 2010 the BLS reported that the annual median salary of nurses was $64,690.
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