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Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Our Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program has ranked #8 in the U.S. News and World Report 2017 Rankings of Top Nursing Programs.

Maximizing the health of children within the context of their families, communities, and environmental settings, the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specialty is designed to prepare graduates to care for children from birth through young adulthood in pediatric primary health care including well child care and prevention/management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions.

Graduates of the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program continue the legacy of Dr. Loretta Ford and Dr. Henry Silver who pioneered the first nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado over fifty years ago.

Plans of Study

The core curriculum provides students with an in-depth understanding of advanced nursing practice and enables them to apply this understanding to a variety of settings, such as community health centers, day care programs, chronic care facilities, hospital and other outpatient facilities, private practice offices, schools, health departments and homes.

PNP curricular content includes growth and development, pathophysiology, pharmacology, health promotion, ethics, assessment (physical, developmental, family, cultural, community and environmental), laboratory skills and the diagnosis and management of behavioral problems and childhood illnesses, including both acute and chronic conditions. There is a special emphasis on evidence-based practice throughout the program.

*Additional Certificate Information Post-Graduate Certificate Information

A post-graduate certificate is available in this specialty.​

Gainful Employment and Program Statistics for Post-Graduate Certificate

For more information regarding graduation rates, the median debt of students completing our certificate programs and other important information, please visit the University of Colorado Denver Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.​​​​​​​​

Nursing Post Masters Certificate – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner ​Gainful Employment Disclosure


When do you accept applications?

We admit students for the MS and BS-DNP programs once yearly with students beginning in the Fall semester.

How long will it take to complete the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program?

Please see the posted program plans. The PNP-PC MS program is 47 credits and is completed in 2 years and 8 months (8 semesters). The PNP-PC DNP program is completed in 4 years (13 semesters).

Is the PNP program offered completely on-line or in-class?

The courses are offered in an online format with some classes having monthly in-class requirements.

Will I be required to come to Colorado?

Most students can complete the program at a distance online but need to be able to attend on-campus sessions. It is advised students contact student affairs to discuss their specific state requirements prior to applying to the program.

Does this program have a clinical requirement?

Yes. The PNP-PC program requires 12 credits (equal to 540 hours) of clinical experience.

Do I have to find my own clinical placement?

The University of Colorado College of Nursing is responsible for ensuring adequate and sufficient clinical experiences for students in all programs, including students enrolled in distance programs. Clinical placements are arranged by the University of Colorado College of Nursing for students who live in the Denver Metropolitan Seven-county area (Jefferson, Adams, Aprapahoe, Douglas, Broomfield, and Boulder counties). For those who live outside these counties, the CON asks the students to find clinical preceptors/sites. This process can take several months to achieve an affiliation agreement, so we highly recommend providing information about an institution to your Specialty Director shortly after program admission. However, if a rural or out-of-state student is unable to find a clinical preceptor(s)/site, the CON will provide a clinical site, which may NOT be in the geographic location of the student but will provide the student an adequate experience to meet the program outcome. Additionally, if there is a concern of a clinical practice, a student may be asked to complete the clinical time in the Denver Metro area for more direct observation and assessment by the CU CON faculty/Specialty Director.

Will this program prepare me to sit for certification as a pediatric nurse practitioner?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for pediatric primary care certification through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Can I take a course before I apply?

Yes, you may take up to 12 semester credits as a non-degree student prior to being accepted to the program. You must meet all prerequisite requirements of the course. Non-degree students register on a space available basis during open enrollment just prior to the beginning of the semester. Please see the Office of Professional development for more information.


What is Urban Underserved Track?

The Urban Underserved Track (previously CU-UNITE) is a longitudinal track started in 2010 by Dr. Allegra Melillo. The Urban Underserved Track (UUT) is designed for students passionate about: working with ethnically and racially diverse populations, serving individuals with limited access to health care and for those interested in working to eliminate inequities in health. The track accepts medical, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students from the School of Medicine, College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner program and the Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) program.

Why should I consider it?

If you are passionate about working with ethnically and racially diverse populations, serving the uninsured and those with limited access to health care in urban areas, then UUT is for you. Students completing the UUT curriculum will have a thorough understanding of healthcare disparities and inequities, the multifaceted role of the health care provider in urban communities, and knowledge about health issues of specific populations of patients in urban areas.

For more information, visit the Urban Underserved Track page.​​​​​