Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care

Infant, Child and Adolescent Primary Care

The pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP-PC) specialty prepares graduates for advanced practice roles in the provision of primary care for children and adolescents within the context of the family and the community.  Evidence-based research and concepts from nursing, medicine, community health, child development, health promotion, and the natural and social sciences provide a foundation for clinical practice. The role of the PNP-PC as a member of an interprofessional team and health care coordinator across systems of care within the context of family is developed.

The Yale School of Nursing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Specialty was ranked 3rd by US News and World Reports Graduate Nursing Programs in 2020. 

The Academic Experience


Students may elect full or part-time study and enter the PNP-PC Specialty as either a RN or via the Graduate Entry Pre-specialty in Nursing (GEPN) program.  A Post-Master’s Certificate program of study is also available for nurses who have already completed a master’s degree. Each PNP-PC cohort is made up of approximately 20 GEPN and RN entry students with a 6:1 ratio of faculty to students. Upon the successful completion of the Plan of Study, students are eligible to take the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board Exam.  The YSN PNP Specialty has an impressive 100% 1sttime pass rate among graduates since 2014.

Students attend classes on Mondays and Tuesdays in the first year of the program and Thursdays in the second year.  Clinical assignments are scheduled throughout the week and vary depending on proximity, preceptor availability and didactic courses.

Didactic Coursework:

Core courses: Students participate in several core didactic courses with their peers from all the other YSN Specialties.  These courses include Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Community Health, Statistics and Research for Evidence-Based Practice, and Transitions to Professional Practice.  Several courses also include students from other specialties that will practice with pediatric and adolescent patients and their families. 

Specialty courses:  Pediatric specific didactic and clinical courses begin in the first specialty year of the program and continue throughout the four semesters.  Clinical placements are intended to augment what is taught in the classroom.  Students also participate in a clinical conference to discuss current practice issues and their clinical encounters.  

Concentrations:  YSN offers students additional training in our concentrations.  Current concentrations include Diabetes Care, Oncology, Gender and Sexuality Health Justice, and Research.  Students must apply during their first specialty year to participate in one of these concentrations.

YSN students are also encouraged to participate in additional courses offered at YSN and the university to augment their educational experience. Students have taken courses offered at the School of Public Health, Divinity School, Law School and Medical School. Language courses are also a popular option for students.

Specifics of the program course of study:
• Students may elect for full or part time courses of study

• Students may enter as either an RN or as part of the Graduate Entry Pre-specialty in Nursing (GEPN) program

• Students may choose this program as a Post-Master’s Certificate

The Clinical Experience

Clinical Coursework:

The PNP curriculum provides students with in depth clinical practice with infant, toddler, school-age and adolescent populations.  Clinical practice experiences occur at a variety of primary care clinical settings primarily in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. Students may also elect to complete clinical experiences, in their final semester, outside the area, if clinical sites are available. All PNP-PC students complete a minimum of 518.5 pediatric clinical practice hours in addition to observational experiences, clinical case discussions, simulation experiences, and physical assessment laboratory hours. The PNP Preceptor Liaison and Clinical Site Coordinator, in conjunction with the faculty, arrange all the clinical experiences to best meet the needs of each student.  Many of our preceptors have long-standing relationships with the Specialty and/or are alumni dedicated to the training of our students. Clinical placements have a 1-2:1 student to clinical faculty ratio. Clinical practice sites include hospital- and community-based primary care clinics, private practices, school-based health centers, and specialty clinics.

Primary care: Clinical practice experiences in primary care are available in community health centers, private practices, and outpatient pediatric primary care clinics. Emphasis is on providing evidence-based care to children from birth to young adulthood. All PNP-PC students will complete 283 hours in a primary care setting. 

School-Based Health: School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) are primary care clinics located within the school setting. All PNP-PC students complete an 84-hour clinical rotation caring for school-aged children (preschool-8thgrade) located in urban or suburban communities. 

Adolescent: Students participate in an 84-hour primary care experience focused on comprehensive adolescent-friendly primary care at a high school SBHC or adolescent clinic. 

Specialty: Clinical rotations occur in a variety of specialties including out-patient pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric surgery, and pediatric otolaryngology practices.  The goal of these rotations is not only for the student to learn more in depth about common issues that arise in pediatric primary care, but also to gain a greater appreciation for what the child/family experiences when referred to the specialty care.

New graduates work in a variety of clinical settings that include Federally Qualified Health Centers, private practices, school-based clinics, and specialty clinical practices locally and across the United States.  Others elect to continue or return to complete advanced degrees. 

“I graduated from Yale School of Nursing two years ago, jumped right into pediatric primary care and haven’t looked back! The coursework and diverse clinical experiences prepared me for my current role. In addition to clinical work, my practice finds me opportunities to do community outreach. I give talks to parents of early education programs on how to build healthy habits, specifically around screen time and sleep recommendations. My role as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner is both fulfilling and challenging.” Alexis Abel YSN PNP 18

Who Should Apply?

Who is the ideal candidate? What do we look for in applications?

Applicants should have a strong interest in providing holistic primary care services to the pediatric population within the context of the family and community.  It is strongly recommended that applicants shadow a practicing PNP and are able articulate the role of the PNP in primary care practice.


Can I work as an RN while I am in the PNP Specialty? 

Students typically take the NCLEX exam in the late summer or early fall after completing the GEPN Program.  May students elect to work as a RN part-time or per diem throughout the program.

What do students typically do the summer between the 1st and 2nd specialty years?

PNP-PC students often work full-time as a RN during the summer at a camp or health care agency.  (quotes needed, student spot light).  Students may also elect to complete primary care clinical experiences during the summer.

Volunteer opportunities

•      YSN Student Government Organization (SGO)

•      Have Bones Will Travel

•      HAVEN Free Clinic

•      Neighborhood Health Project (NHP)

•      Poverty Alleviation through Washing Soles (PAWS)

•      Planned Parenthood

•      Yale Day of Service

Why become a PNP-PC versus FNP? 

While both PNPs and FNPs can both practice in pediatrics, PNPs exclusively specialize in providing holistic care, disease management, and health prevention for pediatric patients from newborns to young adults.  All the coursework and clinical experiences focus on preparing students to provide advanced care to newborns, children and adolescents. 

What are the differences in the role of a PNP-PC versus PNP-AC?

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, there are two tracks of study: acute care and primary care. Primary care providers focus on health promotion and prevention, providing well visits, management of acute illnesses and chronic health problems. Primary care providers can work in private practice, community health centers, urgent clinics, or outpatient clinics. Acute care providers focus on caring for more complex chronic and critical illnesses. Acute care PNPs can work in the ED, ICU, inpatient or outpatient specialty practice.


“Being a first year PNP student at YSN has already given me a plethora of learning opportunities, I can’t wait to see what my next year has in store.”  Tiffany Henry, YSN PNP 21

“My clinical sites have all been wonderful learning opportunities. From day one of each rotation, I was held responsible for my patients’ care as if I were their actual provider, not simply a student. My preceptors held me to a high standard while also making themselves available for teaching and mentoring, something for which I am especially grateful.”  Lauren Edelman YSN PNP 20


The pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP-PC) specialty curriculum prepares students to be eligible for the Certification Examination of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

Our students now sit for the PNCB certification exam rather than ANCC.

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, 9605 Medical Center Drive, Suite 250, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Phone: (301) 330-2921, 888-641-2767, Fax: 301-330-1504

Yale University is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to conduct practice experiences in the state of Washington for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Master’s program.


The master’s degree program in nursing at Yale School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

PNP-PC Faculty

The PNP-PC faculty, in addition to their teaching responsibilities, engage in clinical practice and/or conduct research. Students are assigned an academic advisor to guide them both academically and professionally.  

specialty director: 

Elizabeth Ann Doyle DNP, APRN, PPCNP-BC, BC-ADM, CDCES

faculty who teach in the pediatric nurse practitioner - primary care program

Nancy Cantey Banasiak, DNP, PNP, PPCNP-BC, APRN

Elyse Borsuk, MSN, CPNP-PC, APRN

Jessica Chan, MSN, APRN, PPCNP-BC

Elizabeth Ann Doyle, DNP, APRN, PPCNP-BC, BC-ADM, CDCES

Jennifer Hill, RN, MSN, CPNP

Nicole Maciejak, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Wendy Mackey, APRN-BC, MSN, CORLN

Neesha Ramchandani, PhD, PNP, CDCES

Monica Roosa Ordway, PhD, APRN, PNP-BC

Patricia Ryan-Krause, MS, MSN, PCPNP-BC

Martha Swartz, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN