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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing


Pediatric Nursing Leadership & Special Needs

NOTICE:  The Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs specialty is not accepting applications at this time.  Check with Graduate Programs office for further information.


Pediatric nursing leadership and special needs (PNL) is a program that prepares nurses for advanced practice in leadership positions working with children and youth, especially those with special needs. Multiple program options are available.


A Post Master's Certificate is available in this specialty.  Please see Overview of the Post Master's Certificate.

Gainful Employment and Program Statistics for Post Master's 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 - Pediatrics Special Needs


Program Plan

Program focus:

PNL offers students an opportunity to achieve leadership roles with health care providers in other disciplines, such as:

  • education
  • medicine
  • occupational therapy
  • parent advocacy
  • physical therapy
  • psychology
  • social work
  • speech-language pathology
Master of Science in Nursing Core Courses
Advanced Practice Core Courses Required for Specialty Option
Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
Total Credits for PNL

The specialty program plan for the MS program outlines the courses students need to take for the pediatric nursing leadership and special needs (PNL).


Upon completion of the nursing program, students will be prepared to incorporate pertinent knowledge, values and abilities for direct and indirect provider roles to:

  • Implement caring and competent nursing practice with individuals, families and communities based on understanding the human experiences of health, illness and healing.
  • Integrate the ethical use of technology and information systems to augment the human capacity for health, facilitate decision-making, support collaboration and foster communication.
  • Promote health of local to global communities through promoting safe environments and safe and effective health care addressing the interaction among individuals, communities and their environmental contexts.
  • Manage care to achieve quality, cost-effective and ethical outcomes in the delivery of health care for individuals, families and populations.
  • Engage in leadership to promote social justice related to access, quality and socio-cultural acceptability of health care through relationship-centered caring, advocacy and empowerment.
  • Negotiate and adapt the delivery and management of health care and health care systems for diverse populations and environments.
  • Practice relationship-centered caring through self-awareness, by developing and maintaining respectful relationships, communicating effectively, and integrating the influence of the human experience of health, illness and healing.
  • Practice nursing reflectively, guided by theory, based on best evidence and integrating creative and critical thinking.
  • Participate in generating and testing knowledge regarding nursing, health care and reflective caring practice.
  • Actively engage in self-directed learning to maintain state of the art nursing practice and to facilitate the education of future practitioners, paraprofessionals and healthy communities


Marilyn J. Krajicek, EdD, RN, FAAN
Program Director
Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs

Victoria Erickson, PhD, CPNP, FAAN
College of Nursing MS/DNP Program Director

Ann Petersen-Smith PhD, CPNP-AC
PNP Option Coordinator

If you have any questions and wish to speak with Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs staff: please contact Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs Program:

University of Colorado
College of Nursing
Mail Stop F541
13120 E. 19th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045


How long will it take to complete this program?
Does this program have a clinical requirement?
Will I be eligible for national certification on completion of this program?
Is the PNL program offered completely online?
Will I be required to come to campus?
May I take a course before I apply?