Masters in Nursing Pediatric Acute Care
This specialization for advance practice nursing takes nursing into a challenging medical field. It involves working with seriously ill infants, children and adolescents in a variety of settings but most prominently in acute care hospitals. Of necessity, a Masters in Nursing Pediatric Acute Care Practitioner is going to be working with family members as well, providing education about illnesses and treatments, as well as any reassurance that can be offered. Working with acutely and critically ill infants and children requires a highly professional nurse with a stable and calming approach to the daily tasks at hand. For that reason many MSN programs in acute care pediatrics require that applicants have a year or more of experience working in pediatrics, preferably in critical care.
The transition from a pediatrics or critical care nurse to a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner is a big step, from the staff member executing doctors' orders for treatment to the practitioner that may participate in diagnosis and in devising a treatment program. Nurse practitioners are given a large amount of professional responsibility today; so much so that most NP programs will be converted to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) by 2015. Today however working RNs who would like to obtain an advanced practice degree in critical care pediatrics can do so through a MSN program. This training option is offered by the larger schools of nursing, generally affiliated with a university or teaching medical center that can provide the clinical hours necessary for a high level specialization.
Some of the advanced practice nursing programs that offer this area of concentration have created a post-masters program for graduates in family nurse practitioner or pediatric nurse practitioner, offering additional specialization in the form of a certificate or simply as additional classroom activity and clinical hours. Some of the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner programs are relatively new, as critical care options for children and infants have developed that vary from those available for adults. As medicine has become more specialized so have the areas of expertise for nurse practitioners. The Masters in Nursing Pediatric Acute Care Practitioner field is one area that will see a lot of technological innovation in upcoming years.