The pediatric acute nurse practitioner (AC-PNP) role is designed to meet the specialized physiologic and psychological need of children with complex acute and chronic health conditions. AC-PNPs respond to rapidly changing clinical conditions, including the recognition and management of emerging health crises, organ dysfunction and failure. In accordance with this practice focus, AC-PNP role activities encompass a wide range of NP practice strategies including contributions to the management of children’s illness/health states, the client-nurses relationship, the teaching-coaching function, the professional role, managing and negotiating healthcare delivery systems, monitoring and ensuring the quality of health care practice, providing family centered care, and demonstrating cultural competency. The short-term goal of care is stabilization of the child, minimizing complications, and providing physical and psychological care measures. The long-term goal of care is to restore maximal health potential through implementation of NP strategies to reduce health risks. The continuum of care spans the geographic settings of the home, emergency departments, hospitals, sub-specialty clinics, and intensive care units.

The Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner BS to DNP hybrid program is 3 years and 9 months full-time.

The program is divided into 4 parts:

1- Core Courses: 4 days each quarter on-campus with online interaction, mentored-inquiry courses.

2- Concentration Courses: Pharmacology I & II, and Advanced Pathophysiology meet up to four times a quarter.

3- Clinical Experience: The clinical experience is a combination of clinician hours and DNP Project hours to total at least 1000 hours

4- DNP Project: The DNP Project can be done in the workplace allowing students to collect evidence-based research data.


3 years and 9 months full-time


The requirements for admission into the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program are:

  • Application with personal statement
  • Baccalaureate or Masters degree in nursing from a regionally accredited program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Science GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Unrestricted Registered Nurse (RN) license in the United States with an unrestricted Registered Nurse license in California BEFORE matriculation and the California RN license must be maintained until program completion.
  • Minimum of two years of full-time RN experience in an acute care setting where the RN must have developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills; competency in patient assessment; proficiency in monitoring and calculating infusion rates for critical care medicines and monitoring those infusions; and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitor techniques including, but not limited to mechanical ventilation and invasive monitoring for cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological status.
  • Current certifications – American Heart Association Basic Life Support (CPR) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification.
  • Three strong letters of recommendation using the LLU form provided.

Letters of Recommendation requirement:

  • Spiritual Advisor or Pastor
  • Immediate supervisor in the Acute care area in which the applicant is currently working
  • Acute Care co-worker

If Interview is granted by the Acute Care NP Program Admissions Committee

  • Completion of Emotional Intelligence Screening and continued participation in the Emotional Intelligence Program and course work through completion of the program


AC-PNPs are prepared for careers in a variety of settings, including emergency departments, hospitals, sub-specialty clinics, and intensive care units.


The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Graduates are prepared for certification by the State of California and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (program approval pending).


Loma Linda University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).