nurse with stethoscope on infant

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP

  • Delivery: 
    Primarily Online
  • Cost: 
    $973.75 per credit (MN resident); $983.21 per credit (nonresident)
  • Total credits: 
    77
  • Credential: 
    Doctorate Degree
  • Admission GPA: 
    3.0
  • Application deadlines: 
    Priority: October 1; Final: February 1
  • Campus: 
    Twin Cities
  • College: 
    School of Nursing

The Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist is a clinical expert in pediatric nursing who, in addition to providing direct care, serves as a leader in education, research, quality improvement, outcome monitoring, and consultation with other nurses. They provide care to children and adolescents and their families within the context of family, community, and the health care system.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the University of Minnesota is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

International Students

Applicants who are not US citizens or Permanent Residents should understand that the University of Minnesota’s DNP program does not meet the requirements for eligibility needed to obtain the appropriate F-1 student visa or status because the DNP has limited (fewer than four) face-to-face on-site classes per DNP course. During the application process, we ask that international students use ECE or WES credential services for the evaluations.

Program Format

The post-baccalaureate option of the DNP program is a three-year full-time program. All DNP students are required to come to campus for a four-day session (Tuesday through Friday) each semester that includes: core courses, enhancement programming, specialty courses, and meetings with their advisor.

In addition, beginning in the second year of the program, students are expected to be on campus for course work one to two days each week throughout the semester. Students also complete 1,000 hours at clinical sites arranged by the school.

Recommended 3-Year Program Plan
Recommended 4-Year Program Plan

Career Readiness

Our graduates are prepared to:

  • practice as pediatric clinical nurse specialists in inpatient and outpatient settings, schools, and community health settings.
  • lead system changes to improve health care for children and youth.
  • provide consultation to nurses, medical staff, and interdisciplinary colleagues.
  • advocate for children and families at organizational, state, and national levels.
  • implement evidence-based practice and quality improvement to all patient care.
  • educate pediatric nurses in clinical and academic settings.

Successful completion of required Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist course work and practice hours meets the eligibility criteria to take the Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification Exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Alumni Profile

Nancy JaworskiNancy Jaworski’s work with preschoolers at risk of not succeeding in school was meant to prepare her for a career in education. Instead the experience led her to nursing. “As I became more interested in the reasons children were at risk for failure or why they fell behind, nursing offered more answers and more opportunities,” said Jaworski.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota, Jaworski went on to earn her master’s degree and her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University as well. “The University of Minnesota is, in my opinion, one of the finest nursing schools in the country,” said Jaworski. “I have had the opportunity to precept, or orient, many students from other schools and find while they are all well prepared, students from the University of Minnesota, whether undergrad or graduate level, are uniquely well prepared to function in high level conversations about quality care.”

With interests in quality improvement, system level work and informatics along with patient care, Jaworski chose the pediatric clinical nurse specialist track within the DNP program. She is now a pediatric clinical nurse specialist at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, where she works with children who have serious and life-limiting illnesses like cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, birth anomalies and organ failure.

She said she uses the knowledge she gained obtaining her DNP degree daily. “The DNP has impacted the way I think about problems, policy issues, professional practice and interpersonal issues at work. While I would like to think that my success with patients and families is mostly a result of my hard work, it certainly has been shaped by the education I received in the DNP program at the University of Minnesota,” said Jaworski, who added that her education has given her the confidence to approach physicians and other health professionals with options and resources for her patients and their families.

“Part of the reason I am who I am, personally and professionally, is a result of my nursing education at the University of Minnesota,” said Jaworski.