Best Pediatric Nursing Schools

Updated on January 12, 2024

At a Glance

  • Pediatric nursing involves providing care for infants, children, teens, and young adults in various settings.
  • Earning an ADN or BSN and passing the NCLEX-RN are necessary to become a pediatric nurse.
  • Top pediatric nursing schools include the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and Duke University.
  • The job outlook for pediatric nurses is excellent, with a projected growth rate of 7-9% through 2030.

Pediatric nursing is a rewarding career that involves providing care for infants, children, teens, and young adults. Pediatric nurses work in various settings like hospitals, clinics, schools, and home health situations. They address the physical, mental, and emotional needs of young patients and their families.

To become a pediatric nurse, you must earn either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Many employers prefer candidates with a BSN. You’ll also need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to gain your registered nurse license.

When researching nursing schools, look for those with excellent pediatric nursing programs. Factors like curriculum, clinical experience, facilities, faculty, and career support services should guide your decision. This list highlights ten of the best pediatric nursing schools in the country.

1. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Avg SAT Score: 1510

Tuition: $63,000 per year

Avg Salary: $80,000

Website: https://www.nursing.upenn.edu/

UPenn’s School of Nursing is one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in the nation. Students benefit from state-of-the-art simulation labs and abundant clinical opportunities at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the top pediatric hospitals worldwide.

2. Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, MD

Rating: 9.3/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Avg SAT Score: 1510

Tuition: $55,350 per year

Avg Salary: $82,000

Website: https://nursing.jhu.edu/

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing offers exceptional pediatric clinical and research options. Students train at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, gaining experience in specialty units like pediatric ICU, NICU, oncology, and general pediatrics.

3. Duke University

Location: Durham, NC

Rating: 9.2/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Avg SAT Score: 1510

Tuition: $60,000 per year

Avg Salary: $80,000

Website: https://nursing.duke.edu/

Duke School of Nursing is a top-ranked program providing intensive pediatric classroom and clinical education. Students train at Duke Children’s Hospital, one of the best pediatric specialty hospitals in the country.

4. University of Washington

Location: Seattle, WA

Rating: 9.0/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Avg SAT Score: 1350

Tuition: $38,000 (in-state) – $58,000 (out-of-state) per year

Avg Salary: $75,000

Website: https://nursing.uw.edu/

UW School of Nursing is highly regarded in pediatric primary, acute, and critical care. Students complete over 1,000 clinical hours, with pediatric rotations at Seattle Children’s Hospital and other excellent pediatric facilities.

5. Rush University

Location: Chicago, IL

Rating: 8.8/10

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Avg SAT Score: 1160

Tuition: $47,000 per year

Avg Salary: $70,000

Website: https://www.rushu.rush.edu/college-nursing

Rush University College of Nursing offers the PNP specialty track allowing students to focus on pediatric nursing. Students gain experience at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and other Chicago pediatric centers.

6. University of Colorado

Location: Aurora, CO

Rating: 8.7/10

Acceptance Rate: 78%

Avg SAT Score: 1220

Tuition: $35,500 per year (in-state) – $56,000 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $72,000

Website: https://nursing.cuanschutz.edu/

At CU’s top-ranked nursing school, students specialize in pediatric primary or acute care nursing. They complete rotations at Children’s Hospital Colorado, gaining experience in specialty areas like pediatric oncology.

7. Ohio State University

Location: Columbus, OH

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Avg SAT Score: 1280

Tuition: $29,000 per year (in-state) – $58,000 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $70,000

Website: https://nursing.osu.edu/

Ohio State’s College of Nursing is highly ranked nationwide for its pediatric nursing program. Students train on campus and at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one of America’s largest pediatric hospitals.

8. University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Rating: 8.2/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Avg SAT Score: 1450

Tuition: $41,000 per year (in-state) – $55,000 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $75,000

Website: https://nursing.umich.edu/

Michigan Nursing offers exceptional BSN and MSN programs with a pediatric nurse practitioner focus. Students gain clinical experience at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals.

9. University of Illinois – Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL

Rating: 8.0/10

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Avg SAT Score: 1260

Tuition: $30,000 per year (in-state) – $47,000 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: https://nursing.uic.edu/

UIC’s highly ranked nursing school provides abundant pediatric clinical opportunities. Students train on campus and at facilities like Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.

10. Boston College

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

Rating: 7.8/10

Acceptance Rate: 27%

Avg SAT Score: 1430

Tuition: $61,000 per year

Avg Salary: $75,000

Website: https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/connell-school-of-nursing.html

Boston College Connell School of Nursing allows students to specialize in pediatric primary care nursing. They gain clinical experience at Boston Children’s Hospital, Longwood Medical Area facilities, and community health centers.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What degree do I need to become a pediatric nurse?

Most pediatric nursing jobs require you to earn either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Many employers prefer candidates with a BSN.

What is the job outlook for pediatric nurses?

The job outlook for pediatric nurses is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for registered nurses and nurse practitioners to grow 7-9% through 2030, much faster than average across all occupations.

What settings do pediatric nurses work in?

Pediatric nurses work in various settings like hospitals, pediatricians’ offices, community health clinics, schools, home health care, social services, and more.

What is the average salary for a pediatric nurse?

The average salary for a pediatric nurse is $75,000 per year. Those with more advanced nursing degrees and special certifications can earn over $100,000 annually.

What are the education requirements to become a pediatric nurse practitioner?

To become a pediatric nurse practitioner, you must earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree. You’ll also need RN licensure and extensive pediatric nursing experience before applying to MSN programs.

What types of patients do pediatric nurses care for?

Pediatric nurses care for patients from birth through young adulthood. This includes caring for healthy infants and children, those with acute illnesses or injuries, and those with chronic health conditions.

What types of procedures do pediatric nurses perform?

Pediatric nurses are trained to provide immunizations, conduct developmental screenings, assist with procedures, operate specialized pediatric equipment, provide patient and family education, and more.

Do I need to become certified in pediatric nursing?

Earning a certification like the Certified Pediatric Nurse demonstrates your specialized expertise to employers. While voluntary, certification can boost your career opportunities and salary potential.

Where do pediatric nurse practitioners work?

Pediatric nurse practitioners often work in pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, community health centers, school-based health clinics, social support organizations, and home health care settings.

What qualities make a good pediatric nurse?

Important qualities for pediatric nurses include patience, emotional stability, attention to detail, communication skills, problem-solving ability, critical thinking, stamina, and the ability to educate patients and families.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.