The Benefits of Having Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in Rural Communities
Pediatric nurse practitioners are valued members of healthcare teams in any setting. But because of the scope and range of services they provide, these nurse practitioners can be especially vital contributors in rural communities that have limited access to healthcare.
Primary care pediatric nurse practitioners offer a continuum of care to patients from birth to age 21. Having one healthcare professional who can provide a wide variety of wraparound services is a boon to rural communities. Some of the beneficial, essential services pediatric nurse practitioners provide include:1
- Diagnosing and treating common childhood illnesses
- Performing school physicals, well-child exams, developmental screenings, and other important assessments
- Prescribing medication
- Screening and managing mental health illnesses
- Managing acute and chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes
- Providing behavioral counseling to improve school performance
- Offering guidance on preventing sports injuries
- Advising parents on issues like nutrition, obesity, and weight management
While working in small rural communities, pediatric nurse practitioners may have the opportunity to build close relationships with parents and other caregivers. These bonds can lead to even better patient care—another benefit of having pediatric nurse practitioners in rural communities.
“At the heart of every pediatric nurse practitioner, or PNP, lies two similar aspirations – caring and curing. As a PNP, one aims to care and cure children from newborn to early adults,” says Dr. Cindy Trent, pediatric nurse practitioner and Academic Coordinator of Walden University’s Master of Science in Nursing program. “Working with the child and the families brings joy to the job daily”.
Nurse Practitioners: Meeting the Need
As the U.S. population ages, the country finds itself in a healthcare provider shortage.2 And in rural communities, the need is often even greater. Because these communities may be operating with fewer healthcare professionals than other settings, “the loss of a single healthcare provider can significantly impact a rural community,” according to the National Rural Health Resource Center.3
Nurse practitioners, almost 90% of whom are certified in an area of primary care,4 are stepping in to help. “As new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows, NPs are gravitating to areas where patients need them the most, including rural and medically underserved areas,” according to the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).2
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs) Make a Difference
When you’re ready to focus your nursing career on pediatric care, Walden University’s online school of nursing puts earning a PNP primary care degree at your fingertips. When you enroll in the accredited university’s online MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care specialization, you can work and enjoy your personal life while preparing for a rewarding career addressing the healthcare needs of patients from birth to age 21.
With Walden’s flexible online learning platform, you won’t lose valuable time commuting to a college that may be miles away. This is a game-changer, particularly if you live in a rural setting. Instead, you’ll engage in your MSN degree coursework when it’s convenient for you, and wherever you have an internet connection.
In Walden’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited master’s program, you’ll learn how to assess, diagnose, and treat children and adolescents in a range of primary care settings. You’ll gain hands-on practice by applying what you learn in your pediatric care online degree program. And you’ll engage in Walden’s immersive and engaging online nursing degree program featuring state-of-the-art learning technologies like interactive simulations, case studies, and robust media. No other school graduates more MSN students than Walden.5
Employment of nurse practitioners is expected to soar 52% from 2019 through 2029—a rate much faster than average for all occupations.6 Earning an MSN degree with a specialization in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care can prepare you to help fill the need in the setting you choose: underserved rural communities, rapidly growing cities, or expanding suburban enclaves.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MSN degree program with a specialization in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
5Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Based on the most recent year’s completions survey data, using CIP code family 51.38 “Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing” for Master’s degrees (Award level 7). Available at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data. (Retrieved January 2021; may consist of or include provisional release data.)
6Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.
Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.